Last week, my in-laws reserved a giant five-bedroom lake house for 11 of us to stay at for the week. We all have looked forward to this week since Christmas, we all took the week off, we talked about it at length, stocked up at Costco, and and dreamed and prepped and packed and planned. And then, none of us could have predicted what would actually happen.
There had been fires near the area on and off this summer, but the night before we arrived, a dry lightning storm struck, starting fires that have currently burned a total of 155 square miles, and currently only 30% of it has been reported to be contained. The devastation has been far-reaching and unmeasurable, but we had no idea just how bad the weekend would turn out for us.
With no power, cell service, and limited water in the house, we were already in survival mode when my eleven month old nephew began to develop a severe allergic reaction to breakfast. No benedryl in the house plus no stores being open due to the power outage made an ER trip the only option. My nephew began to recover, but heightening an already stressful situation, the hospital was evacuated just as they were released. We were staying a few miles down the road, and even though we didn't have the direct order to evacuate, we decided that was best for everyone at that point. We called an audible and headed home, totally devastated, shocked, and curious at how our week-long, lakeside family vacation could have gone so wrong.
After getting home to electricity and showers, we rallied for dinner that night at my in-laws. After being sad about it for a little bit, we decided we would turn lemons into lemonade. We nominated people in categories over the past two days for "best one-liners" "most inventive use of scarce resources" and "best meal," and I laughed so hard I cried. If there was ever a family who could turn a tragedy into a comedy, it would be my in-laws. It's a gift for sure and they have it.
We've gone all out for our staycation this week. Brunches and dinners out at our favorite spots, afternoons at the pool, picnics at the beach. We're bummed but rallying in the best way. It's a treat to get so much time together still, and even though we're not at a lake house, I feel like I could even have fun with this crew in a dumpster.
We'll get a redo vacation someday, but until then, I'm thankful for this week. I'm thankful mostly that we're all safe, but also for a family who knows how to have fun, even when things go really wrong. It reminds me of dancing in the rain at our wedding. There is no one I'd rather dance through all the storms of life than with my husband and his hilariously fun, generous family.