How to sum up the pure brilliance that was Summer 2011? What was it that made every day better than the last? Sure, the work was fun, and Chefy is the best boss a guy could ask for, but there was more to it than that. Yes, hearing Ken Rudolph’s stellar preaching five days a week was wonderful, and so were all of the fun weekend trips, but those aren’t the memories that will stick with me longest. No, the reason that I loved this summer so much, the reason that there will never be another summer like it, is because of all of the amazing friends who shared it with me and helped shape it into the adventure that it was – and believe me, it was an adventure.
My friends this summer at Lake Ann were an energetic, spontaneous bunch, and some of the most memorable moments that we spent together were the result of a decision to just get up and go somewhere, do something. Like the night that Adam Beckmeyer and I decided that we were desperate for a drink at 2 AM and ran out of our yurt across a field in our pajamas to use the drinking fountain, or the afternoon when Megan, Jon, Adam and I walked into a Wal-Mart and came out half an hour later with blue hair dye and a sudden desire to apply said dye to our heads. Then there was the afternoon when we followed through on that desire with mixed-yet-entertaining results… I still have a silvery streak of hair from when we bleached it.
The most truly epic of our adventures, however, were the Wal-Mart runs. It seems that every time Adam Beckmeyer and I set out to go on a simple shopping trip, amazing things happened, and each time we had the privilege of bringing along a different set of hilarious passengers. One week, our friend Hannah tagged along and we almost got lost because I was playing QWOP when I was supposed to be navigating. In my defense, Adam probably should have closed that tab if he had really wanted me to focus on Google Maps. Also, I definitely won – twice – making me a double national hero, and no one of that rank should really be saddled with a lowly job like reading a map. It’s disrespectful.
Another time, Jon and Megan joined us for the ride, but I already documented most of that ridiculosity in an earlier post. Suffice to say that the conversations were the highlight of that particular trip, especially Jon and Megan’s continuing battle for the affections of Drew Waters. Well, technically, it was a battle to shove said affections off on the other person… nobody really wanted to claim Drew as their own, mostly due to the confusion over his/her gender and the fact that he/she is a jug of water.
The greatest of my summer adventures, however, was when Adam and I set out together to get some ice cream at Moomers. We arrived, we got our ice cream, it seemed like nothing out of the ordinary was going to happen. Then Adam said, “Hey, while we’re out here, let’s head over to Wal-Mart.” I thought that sounded like a great idea, so we sped off with cones in hand (both cones in my hands, to be specific; Adam needed his hands for driving) and headed toward Traverse City. We drove along happily for a while, until we both realized that neither of us really remembered how to get to Wal-Mart from Moomers. We made a few wrong turns, and Adam nearly gave up on the idea – until he remembered that he had a GPS in his glovebox. “Get my GPS out of the glovebox!” he shouted urgently, at which I stared dumbly at the two cones in my hands before responding “I can’t open the glovebox with all this ice cream in my hands.” “Well, I can’t use the GPS while I’m driving!” he replied, “And we have to use it to find out how to get to Wal-Mart!” “What do you want me to do?!” I screamed. “Think of something!” he screamed back. So I did the only thing I could do.
I threw the rest of his ice cream out the window.
Adam gawked at me, stricken, while I dug the GPS out of the glovebox and set it up on the dash. Then he exhaled one word: “Why?” At this point, we both broke out laughing, and I had to calm down before I could offer my stunning defense: “Well, I wasn’t going to throw mine.” Logic, plain and simple logic.
To make things even better, when we told the GPS to take us to Wal-Mart, it wound up guiding us straight to Meijer. I think that’s the first time I’ve ever gone on a Wal-Mart run to Meijer. It was the moments like that, the time that I spent with the wonderful people I love, that made this summer one of the best of my life, so to all of my fun and fantastic friends, thank you for making my life a much, much happier and more adventurous place. I can only hope that I’ve helped to do the same for you.