"We need to help you keep your hair out of your eyes, honey. Would you like to wear your hair like Brook?" Meadow asked Willow that first morning at the cabin.
"Well, I don't want to look just like her," Willow replied, "I want something else, Momma."
"You wouldn't look just like her since your hair is curly, but that's fine; we can find a different hairstyle for you. How about a pony tail--or braids? Or we could give you two ponytails; one on each side of your head."
Willow liked that idea,
"Yes, I want to have two of them. Two ponytails instead of one."
So she had a whole new look when the family headed after lunch. When they had loaded up on local trinkets and apparel, they toured the town and Meadow made a list of the places they would like to go over the next few days as they walked past each tourist attraction. First on the list would be the Lumber Mill Range.
On the way back to the cabin they stopped at the supermarket to get some fresh milk and extra groceries.
"And paper plates and plastic cups!" Meadow said, "I don't want to spend all my time washing dishes."
Meadow would be doing the cooking but, happily, part of the rental agreement was that a maid would come each day to clean the cabin. For supper Meadow made spaghetti and meatballs.
"Spaghetti tonight," she teased, "But after this I expect some people around here to catch enough fresh fish to eat every day!"
It seemed to get dark suddenly up there in the mountains, but there were still things for the kids to do inside. However they were all three getting a little tired and cranky due to the long drive that morning and all they'd done that day. So bedtime came earlier than usual.
The next morning the family was up early; All members freshly scrubbed and ready to enjoy the day. They were anxious to find out if the fishing was any good in the pond at the cabin. Brian and Meadow caught the most fish that morning, but the kids were learning fast, especially Heath.
They headed to the Lumber Mill Range in the afternoon where there was ax-throwing for the adults and log-rolling for all. The day had gotten increasingly warm--almost hot--so falling into the water was quite refreshing. Heath competed against Brian while Brook and Willow took turns trying to best Meadow.
Willow was fascinated by the huge slice of tree trunk where she could read about what was going on in Three Lakes during specific time periods. Brook was interested in doing more fishing at the pond there. She had caught the least fish of all that morning and she wanted to see if she could catch up.
The day went fast and when it grew dark Meadow herded the children over to the canteen for supper. Heath and Willow wanted to try the famous flapjacks of Three Lakes, but Brook ordered chicken pot pie. She loved chicken, whether it be grilled, roasted, baked, or fried, but she did not get to have it very often. For some reason it was hard to find chicken for sale in Pleasantview and no one knew why.
By the time Brian came over from the axe throwing range, all four seats at the canteen were already taken by Meadow and this children.
"I'll just eat at this little table here," he told them, but Brook hopped down and said,
"I'm done; Daddy can have my seat."
When Meadow saw Brook look toward the pond and start walking that way she called,
"Where do you think you are going, Brook Elizabeth?"
She looked surprised and pointed,
"I was going to go fish in the pond."
"No, I don't think so," Meadow shook her head, "You need to stay right here in our line of vision until we're ready to go."
Brook opened her mouth to protest, but Brian admonished her gently as he sat down on the stool she'd vacated,
"Kitten, you can't just go off by yourself, especially at night, you should know that. There will be plenty of time over the next couple of days for you to fish."
Brook had become "Kitten" and Willow was "Punkin'" or "Punky". Brian was definitely a nickname man, he always came up with some pet name for anyone he loved. His brother, Dylan, was the same way. "Little Buddy" was what Brian had called Heath when he was small, but he knew Heath thought he was too old for that now.
"Here, you can play with the bubbles I bought yesterday, they're in my bag," Meadow suggested. Brook had forgotten about those so she was happily distracted.
Heath and Willow were still finishing their supper and Brian ordered grilled catfish.
"I think from now on maybe we should eat our suppers at home, I mean at the cabin, that is," Meadow told him, "I mean, we can have our lunch wherever it's convenient while we're out and about, but I don't mind cooking our suppers and we have plenty of food there now."
"It's up to you, Sunshine---if you're really sure you don't mind having to do it on your vacation."
"Well, that was the idea of renting the cabin, to make it more like home for all of us, so I don't mind."
Soon, Willow joined Brook under the yard light to play rock-paper-scissors.
They caught a taxi back to their cabin where the children nearly fell into bed. What new adventures would tomorrow bring?
Next blog update: Brian Ottomas ch. 10 Three Lakes Pt. 3