The year Anna was born was the year we began going up to the Fingerlakes region every summer. It’s about an hour from where I grew up and despite evolving into the third largest wine producer in the country, its laid-back pace remains unmarred by modern life. And that’s why we go there. We celebrated Mike’s 36th birthday with meat, beer, cake, and a boat ride, surrounded by the peace and quiet of smalltown country living that was the foundation of Mike’s childhood as well as my own. Even though in the photo below it looks like he’s taking out his frustrations with advancing age on an innocent chocolate cake, he has no qualms about turning 36, and even invites 37 to do its worst.
There are two things that are interesting about the video at the end here. One, my daughter loves to dance, yet panicked the night of her dance recital and completely refused to get into costume, despite endless high-pitched pleas from her fellow ballerina friends. The dance recital was held the night before we left for Keuka Lake.
Secondly, Anna refused to swim in her pool while on vacation because she didn’t like to see a single speck of leaf, bug guts, or twig floating in her pool. However, she readily swam in the lake every morning, a layer of bio-flotsam always circling. Even a three-foot dead fish was washed up one night. But slimy dead fish with their gaping mouths and wide lifeless eyes didn’t deter Anna. So here’s her debut water ballet performance. Probably not quite what Esther Williams had in mind.
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