Thursday, August 26, 2010
Chris and Mike had us out for the day at their cabin. I think the highlight for the kids was the boat ride and time at the beach. They also loved exploring the island and Maura thought it was pretty cool going to the bathroom in the woods. We went back to the cabin and had sliders and other junk food. There is never a shortage of food with them. Maura was in heaven following the boys around and generally harassing Jack. After dinner the kids watched part of a movie and then we decided to head home instead of spending the night. The kids were so tired that everyone was asleep by New Melle.
Josh, Pam, and Austin came from Michigan to STL for a visit. Originally, we had planned on hosting them at Chautauqua. With the cottage being small and the pool being flooded we decided to host them in STL which ended up working out really well. The kids were able to run around in the basement and they were able to have the basement as a separate space to escape when downtime was necessary.
The visit pretty much centered around food. I made lasagna, salad, etc... for the first night. They brought us wine and delicious fudge from Michigan. Apparently, Michigan is famous for fudge, who knew? Charlie and Josh stayed up late catching up and talking on the deck after everyone went to sleep. The next day we went to the Magic House. It was insanely crowded especially for a Thursday. Maura thought it was too loud but loved having her dad's attention. Austin got stuck in the bean stalk but with some assistance was able to get out. I dropped Ben off at a birthday party on the way home. It was nice that we were in town over these couple of days because Ben was able to go to Matthew's pool party and see some of his friends from school. The rest of the group picked up Imo's Pizza for lunch. Imo's was a staple in college for Charlie, Josh, and Pam in Rolla so it was sort of a nostalgia trip. That afternoon some took naps and then we grilled flank steak and veggies for dinner. They headed off to KC and then Maryville the next day. It was great catching up with them. It had been over 10 years since I had seen them. Crazy how time flies!
Maura and I went for a stroller walk before her nap one afternoon at Chautauqua. We headed down Bluff and crossed over the bridge. I wasn't paying any attention to what was in front of us and all of a sudden Maura says “Look mommy, a big snake!”. I proceed to jump, run, swerve, and scream. Dave Hagin was behind us in a golf cart. He stopped to look at it and said it was a rattlesnake. He said he was going to go get his gun which I thought was a great idea. He tried to run over it with his golf cart but it got away and Dave said it was heading for the woodpile. We walked on for a few minutes and then turned back around to see how things were going. When we got back John Bick had joined to help Dave. John was in the creek with a rake saying he thought Dave was crazy and there surely wasn't a rattlesnake. I chimed in that we saw it and mentioned to Dave that he saw it heading for the wood pile. They decided to get out of the creek to check the wood pile. They pulled off the tarp and immediately we could hear it rattling. They pulled the wood off section by section. MaryAnn Weyforth came out to see what was going on and contributed a shovel for someone to use. They cornered it out and used the shovel to chop off the snake's head. They buried the head since it still had venom and could hurt someone. Rick Mitchell kept the boysclub away until it was safe and then the boys came to check it out. After thirty minutes it was still moving on both ends. John then began skinning the snake. We could see the heart beating as he skinned it. Later he and Rick fried some up to taste it. Maura will forever be known as the rattlesnake spotter by the Chautauquans that were there that day.