Carolyn L. Braun (

Bang ! … part 1 (of 2) of Cousins weekend

Part 1 of 2 – with each part containing a story about our near catastrophes. 

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At Lake Lipsett

This part weekend was the second annual Cousins Weekend at my sister-in-law’s cabin on Lake Lipsett near Siren, Wis. This year there were 4 older women in attendance. The fact that we are all older is good in many ways: (1) we can sit around in our pajamas or nightgowns and not offend anyone; (2) we don’t have to be concerned about our weight or jiggly arms – we all have pretty much given up on that;  (3) it doesn’t take much wine at all to make us happy (actually it didn’t take much of anything to get us laughing); and (4) we don’t have to worry about holding anyone up because  most of us are pretty slow-moving.

Time for a pontoon ride

There is nothing more peaceful than sitting by a lake with a nice breeze and the sun shining. What’s even better, though, is a long pontoon ride on the lake. The youngest woman (who just retired) became the captain. Of course, none of the rest of us knew how to drive the pontoon; this was her second time at it so she is the professional.

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A Little about the Lake

Lipsett Lake is a 393 acre lake located in Burnett County. It has a maximum depth of 24 feet. Water clarity is low (according to the Wisconsin DNR) with numerous patches of lily pads and weeds. Fishing seems to be pretty good (at least for the bald eagle who kept swooping down by the dock, near the shore of the cabin, and picking up his fish lunch). Those out fishing this weekend, however, didn’t seem to have much luck – but they kept trying.

On the pontoon ride, we toured the perimeter of the lake, looking for eagle’s nests in the tall pine trees that surround much of the lake. We are never disappointed. We also looked for and found loons. Often you can hear them from the shore. We also found many other folks – in boats or in the water – who were enjoying the lake.

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Time to Dock

I’m not sure but I think the ride took about an hour; I was too busy enjoying the ride to  check the time. Finally, though, we were back to the area of our cabin and it was time to bring the boat to shore and park it in the lift. This is where the ride got more interesting. The captain brought the pontoon in slowly, swinging it sideways to counteract the waves but the waves blew the pontoon a little too far sideways. Our lady captain put the motor in reverse and backed up for another try.

This time she steered the boat further to the left to counteract the waves. Things were looking good and we were almost to the lift. But then … have you heard stories about pressing on the gas when it should be the brake?? Well, the captain had one of those moments. All of a sudden, we were heading for the dock. The captain was screaming:” Oh, my God!!” My sister-in-law – sitting in the front of the pontoon – had her feet firmly braced for a crash landing. My other sister-in-law (who owns the boat) was laughing – and we hadn’t had any wine yet. And I was expecting us to hit one of the posts on the canopy – so I am yelling: “the post!” And then we hit — a loud BANG! After a quick survey of the scene, however, we determined there was no damage at all. All relieved, we managed to pull the pontoon into place under the lift. And then we laughed … and laughed … and laughed. Then we got the wine and sat right there, on the pontoon, with a cool breeze, and drank wine and laughed some more.

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Coming next – Part 2 of Cousins Weekend – There She Blows! 

Thanks for reading! I hope you will return.

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