Day 185: Cornhole Lawn Game

It was another beautiful day on Lake Dabinawa. We are experiencing unusually cool  temperatures for July. The recent days have been mild, breezy and low in humidity. Which meant, it was a perfect day for being outside near the lake. I spent the entire day outside, beginning with some peaceful time on the dock early in the morning. When the cousins returned from a fishing trip, Tim gave Greg and me a tour of the lake. I enjoyed cruising the perimeter of Lake Dabinawa in the boat. It truly is a beautiful and friendly community. Neighbors waved from their boats or docks as we motored by. I see the advantages of having a private lake to play on.

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After a hearty brunch, presided over by our gracious hostess Lisa, we all returned outdoors, where we remained for the day. The youngsters gathered on the boat dock, ready for swimming and tubing, and launching water balloons at passing boats, which is a tradition here on the 4th of July. There was some confusion over whether the parade of boats was today or tomorrow. After filling many balloons with water, the Moore Clan Generation 2 discovered it was officially being held tomorrow. However, several boats launched today, decked out in appropriate party décor, and the kids enjoyed pelting them with balloons, and dodging the return volleys.

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I enjoyed observing all their antics from the nearby shade of a large tree as I relaxed in a lounger. Today was one of those days where there was absolutely no need to hurry doing anything or being anywhere. When a game of cornholes started, I moved my chair to a better spot so as to watch this new game. Cornholes is a lawn game, played with two people or two teams. It is also known as bag toss, tailgate toss or corn toss and is played by throwing bags of corn (or beans or chalk dust) at a raised platform with a hole in the far end. A bag that goes through the hole scores 3 points while a bag landing, and sticking, on the platform scores 1 point.

The matches are played with two sets of platforms and two sets of 4 bags. Different colors are used to distinguish the team’s bags. The platforms are 30 feet apart. When teams play, each member of the team stands at opposite platforms. All four players take turns tossing the bags, alternating between the two teams, and the points are tallied for each round. The scoring is interesting. If both players land on the board, or get a bag through the hole, the points cancel each other out. For example, if one player lands a bag on the board and gets one through the hole, that’s 4 points. But if the second player gets identical placement on and through the board, the points cancel each other out. There is no score. If the second player gets a bag through the hole and 2 bags on the board, he ends up with a score of 1, after the other points are cancelled out. The first team to reach 21 points, or for a shorter game, 15 points, wins.

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I watched the teams play and thought it looked like a fun game. As a teen, I was the pitcher for a girls slow pitch softball team. I wanted to give it a try. When teams reformed for another tournament, I paired up with Tim Moore and entered into the competition. Although it is not as easy as it looks to hit the board and even more difficult to get a bag through the hole, the game is very fun and challenging. Tim and I made a great team! We advanced through the tournament, taking on new challengers, and defeating them. Each team played best 2 out of 3 rounds, and Tim and I never lost a round. This was primarily because of Tim’s skill! I did okay though, placing a good number of bags through the hole and landing even more on the board. I thoroughly enjoyed the game, the competition and learning something new. Cornholes, and winning the competition with my team mate, Tim, was my first for today.

It was wonderful to spend time with this generous and loving group of people. We all agreed we would not let so much time pass before meeting again. I am grateful for their hospitality, kindness and fun loving spirits. Until next time, Moore Clan, God bless our journeys and bring us back together once more.

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Day 184: Lake Dabinawa

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It’s a holiday week. Many people head out of town, to play, to celebrate the 4th of July, to gather with family. In a little community tucked around Lake Dabinawa, just north of Lawrence, KS, a group of people joined together to do all of the above. Mark, Linda, Pam and Tim are Greg’s cousins. Bringing most of the members of their families with them, they’ve traveled from four different states to be here for this annual event. This year, Greg and I joined in the fun. For my first, I am enjoying the beauty of Lake Dabinawa and being with the Moore Clan for the 4th.

I have not seen most of Greg’s cousins for years. As teenagers, though, we spent many summer days together, playing in the creek, picking strawberries, and sharing family meals, when the cousins and their parents, Uncle Bill and Aunt Maxine, would visit Grandma and Grandpa Moore in the tiny town of Noel, MO. Fun loving and close knit, this family was always a joy to be around. Greg and I were dating at the time, yet to me, they were my cousins too.

We all grew into adulthood, married, had children of our own. We lost Grandma Moore first and then Grandpa. The cousins scattered to different cities, different states. Sadly, Greg’s mother and brother passed as did Uncle Bill and Aunt Maxine. Our children grew up. Life shifted and we all journeyed on. The last time I saw most of the cousins was at their dad’s funeral.

With Facebook, however, connections have reformed, pictures  are posted and shared, and although still scattered, it has been much easier to stay in touch. I met up with Pam recently in NW Arkansas and met her husband Jay. And I was thrilled to be invited to the lake house to join the whole family for their gathering.

The lake is small but gorgeous and peaceful. The house has plenty of space for this sprawling family. It has been good to meet Tim’s wife, Lisa and their daughters. The lake house belongs to Tim and Lisa and they have been marvelous hosts, freely sharing their home and providing ample amounts of delicious food. Mark and his wife Kristy made the long trip from Colorado with two of their young adult children. Pam and her daughter and grandson came from Arkansas. And Linda arrived from Illinois with three of her six children.

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Although we are all older, the gathering reminds me of our youth. We’ve laughed and played games and shared a meal together. As we lingered around the table after dinner, enjoying cool breezes on the screened in porch, the story telling began. What fun to hear the cousins tell humorous stories on each other. The siblings, although separated by miles and busy lives, are still a close knit family and it shows. Greg and I added a few tales of our own. We all remembered the grandparents and the parents who are with us now in memory and spirit.

It is hard to believe that we are now the parents and grandparents in the group and there is a new youthful generation making its mark on the world. We all have children and grandchildren to be proud of and much to be grateful for. Not the least of which, are the enduring relationships among this joyful clan. I look forward to future gatherings.

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