Family and Friends

It’s always something at our place in Lake of the Ozarks, otherwise known as Casalago. A few weeks ago one of the cables holding our 3-boat dock and swim deck broke away from the seawall. Fortunately, a neighbor called to let us know and we were able to arrange for a temporary fix until it could be properly repaired, which accounted for Hubby D and me making a quick trip from Southern Illinois to Central Missouri to make sure everything was back in order.

We were about a mile from Casalago when I thought about prepping my camera for the possibility of wildlife photos along our final stretch. Thought being the ineffective keyword because what do I see about a quarter mile from our destination but seven deer in assorted sizes. They were standing close together, calmly looking at me while I’m scrambling for the perfect shot, which turned out to involve only two of the deer who patiently waited for me to focus.

Later in the early evening D and I had kicked back in our family room and were talking via cell phone to Offspring #3 and her hub, when what do we behold across the road, not six or seven deer, but now eight of those lovely creatures wandering through the wooded area. Too late and too far away for me to capture that awesome moment since some unknown had already spooked our deer family into hurrying away. Indeed, families do come in assorted sizes and species; how fortunate are those who hang out together—every now and then.

As for our family, we bought this place at Lake of the Ozarks over twenty years ago. We, as is Hubby D and I along with four of our five adult offspring and spouses. Offspring #1 did not participate since he and his family were living in Montana and later, Wyoming. What a nice trade-off—their coming east to Lake of the Ozarks for fishing and boating; the rest of us going west, traveling from their home in Cody, Wyoming through Yellowstone National Park on our way to his wife’s family ranch in Island Park, Idaho for some R&R. Later this spring those Wyoming Giacs, as we refer to them, will be spending a week with us at Casalago, bringing with them the latest addition to the family and start of a new generation—four-month-old JD.

As for dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic this past year, D and I have made some necessary adjustments to our easy-come-easy-go lifestyle. He no longer strolls through Walmart five days a week. On the other hand, I’m constantly in search of supermarket bargains since we take most of our meals at home instead of eating out. That would be our main meal—midday—what our offspring and theirs refer to as lunch.

On a much more serious downside, like all families ours has experienced the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic this past year, though not heartbreaking like those who lost loved ones. Some of our family have already dealt with the virus; most of us have had or are getting our vaccinations, and as the rest become eligible, I certainly hope they will take advantage of the opportunity that wasn’t available early in the pandemic.

One of my best friends from high school did not survive the virus. Not did a cousin who was my age. Nor did a friend who lost his mother-in-law, after COVID swept through the entire family. Nor the elderly mother of a friend, one who enjoyed life to the fullest. Plus other acquaintances who passed without receiving a traditional send-off of friends and family expressing their sympathy. Rest in peace to all those victims and may their mourners find comfort in recalling happier times. 

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About Loretta Giacoletto

Loretta Giacoletto is an American writer of family sagas, mysteries, and contemporary fiction, all of which contain elements of crime. She divides her time between the St. Louis Metropolitan area and Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks where she writes fiction, essays, and her bi-monthly blog, Loretta on Life, while her husband Dominic cruises the waters for bass and crappie. Their five children have left the once chaotic nest but occasionally return for her to-die-for ravioli and roasted peppers topped with garlic-laden bagna càuda. An avid traveler, she has visited numerous countries in Europe and Asia but Italy remains her favorite, especially the area from where her family originates: the Piedmont region near the Italian Alps. - See more at: http://www.loretta-giacoletto.com
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