June 19th, 2016
“This is paradise!” – E and Gman when describing our cabin and view of the river.
Happy Father’s Day, Coach! Finally being in a “normal” house with “normal” bedrooms means kiddos actually slept until 7:30ish this morning! Or at least that was the thought until the big kids mention they’ve already watched three cartoons on TV by the time Poppy joins them! Oh, well. Time for breakfast. Lady Coach loves having a real kitchen and making real food after being on the road for four days. Pancakes for all and coffee for Coach. After the bellies are full everyone gears up for kayaking. Lady Coach wonders, though, if the fun starts in the hauling of said kayaks the 100 yards down to the river or once they’re in use on the water. Coach’s only input is to say he now knows where the team gets its “whininess”. Is that a word? After a round of Farkle, seat positions are assigned and the crew heads out. Coach gets Poppy (Lady Coach is afraid of that responsibility) and Lady Coach gets the two bigs. Poppy is not a fan. She was bribed with fruit snacks to board the kayak and now alternates bites and whines for the entire trip. Gman does a fantastic job sharing his opinions on how and where the ladies should paddle while resting and enjoying the ride, paddle-less. Despite this it really is fun. Smith River is beautiful – no matter the depth, which ranged from inches to 20′, you can see straight to the bottom. Water is cold, but not in that terribly scary, cold-enough-to-kill, sort of way.
Once back on the rocky beach, Coach exits for a river swim and solo kayak-ride while the kids really turn on their imaginations. After listening to The Hatchet, Coach’s favorite book as a kid, in the car on the road trip here, survival-mode is on their minds.
They come up with an elaborate story in which their parents died several months ago (Coach and Lady Coach try not to take this personally) and the three are now left to fend for themselves. A home is built and traps are set for food and responsibilities of life are delegated. At one point, though, Poppy comes up and plops down next to Lady Coach with a dramatically pouty look on her face and says, “My parents died.” And on that note… Time to eat.
Real fruit with lunch!!! Team Hovis’ bodies say, THANK YOU!!! Fast food and diners and delis can only sustain so long before some real vitamins and minerals must be consumed! And then, after several days of short or non-existent naps, Poppy goes down for the count. Coach takes the bigs back to the river while Lady Coach squeezes in a work-out and bakes Coach his Father’s Day cake. Then it’s Uno time! It’s so fun now that Gman and E are big enough to play real games. Each season of life has its ups and downs, but the part of this season that includes real and deep conversations and more mature humor (as opposed to just saying Poop! and bursting into giggles – er, Lady Coach) has been such a nice gift. Really trying to savor these moments.
Coach catches a quick nap (as possible as that is with three crazy children circling the house in the midst of various games). River’s Bend cabin is fully kitchen-stocked (well, really everything-stocked) so being here has been as low-stress as possible. What a blessing! Watch the last half of the NBA Finals Game #7 through dinner and after, Happy Father’s Day! Play some rousing games of Spill the Beans. The children alternated saying the following throughout the game: “Poppy, stop!”; “It’s not your turn!”; and “MOM!!!!!!”). The games were wrapped up some rousing contests of Guess Who, all while reading Winnie-the-Pooh. And then… Bedtime.
Coaching staff retreats to comfy chairs and good books.