The Other Venus and Serena


Even though we only sing along with David Allan Coe a few times during the wee hours, this song sticks with me like sand burs to my socks.

You don't have to call me darlin', darlin'
You never even call me by my name.

But I'm not worried.
It will go away.
And I won't even notice when it fades.
It will just disappear.
Like it does every year.

And I'll hang around as long as you will let me
And I never minded standin' in the rain.


But, as long you will let me..



Cabin five came as a one-time offer.
Sven and I agreed to rent it for a week in order to keep an entire resort available to our daughter-in-law's family.
That was seventeen years ago.
And we have never given it back.
Because it was meant to be.
You see, even though the number five is not as pretty as a three, or as presumptuous as a seven, it is my favorite number. It is dependable, sturdy and true. It easily divides into ten. And frankly it is cute, in a number sort of a way.
I am happy to report that the weather was absolutely perfect this year.
So perfect that we all know we will be paying for this good fortune for the rest of our lives.
We won't need to pack shorts ever again.
Just sweatshirts and raingear.
It was that perfect.
There is one thing that could possibly save us from our doom of shit weather from here on out.
That would be the mosquitos.
This year they happened to be the biggest bunch of losers I've ever run into.
They traveled in clouds made of millions of tiny, silent, blood sucking assholes.
I heard on the radio the other day that 2018 is a banner year. And that last year's batch didn't die.
Something about insulation under the snow.
Followed by a great spring thaw.
Then lots of rain.
Followed by a couple of steamy days.
Which basically sounds like every year.
Due to these perfect conditions, they spent the entire winter making whoopie under an electric blanket of frozen crystals. And then their undisciplined, disrespectful children turned right around and started making their own undisciplined, disrespectful babies.
No planned parenthood under there.
There is very little funding in rural areas.
Which is obviously the root of this problem.
Because the parents, who at this point are great grandparents, and nobody knows who their daddies are either, didn't have a chance to teach their offspring basic mosquito etiquette, because they were all too busy boinking each other without even as much as a condom.
Now as much as I despise all mosquitos, and without sounding like a bleeding-heart bug lover. There is something to be said about the older ones, like from last year, who used to buzz around your face and then circle you a few more times before landing on your skin to take a bite out of your neck.
Not only that, but nobody has also even explained to this new generation what mosquito hours are.
And how sunny afternoons, with blue skies and gentle breezes are not their feeding time.
Even my Sweet Sven was pissed enough to shut the screen door.
But it didn't matter.
I swear the little snots could fit through the holes.
And if they didn't feel like sucking it in to slip through, they just hopped a free ride on any living soul who dared step outside.
But I am not here to dwell on the negative.
Because this is a vacation success story.
And they can be so hard to come by.
All we had to do to escape the swarming mothers, was climb aboard a boat and jet around at fifty miles an hour.
And there were plenty of boats.
And lots of jetting.

Image 31

And here is another piece of good news.
They were very respectful of the riff raff hanging out on the islands tied to the dock.
Because we are just as tough on drunk fliers as we are on drunk drivers here in Wisconsin.
And somebody should explain that to the horse flies.
All things considered, the cabins were relatively pest free at the nightly gatherings too, due to Venus and Serena, the famous sisters, who were seldom seen without their electrifying bug zapping tennis rackets.
I don't mean to be disrespectful to those two, since they are my very good friends, but the up-and-coming talent in that family would be their nieces.
I think it's time for both Venus and Serena to pass on their batons.
They are still talking about a fantastic move that took place in the master bedroom of cabin one.
I heard that Lindsay had a hell of a back hand going while leaping off the bed like a gazelle and then snapping that racket forward with a record-breaking reach, to zap another mosquito on her way down.
And her cousin Ali?
She is the Arnold Schwarzenegger of the group.
That sweet looking girl with the prettiest smile on earth, is as merciless as her crazy laugh, that she can't help, on account it came straight from her dad.
So thankfully, everything was perfectly under control.
And despite co-habituating with the little vampires, we were able to enjoy another Norman Rockwell week in the north woods.
Fish were caught.
Lots of them.
And luckily my first northern was small enough to slip out the hole in the bottom of our net so Sven could get at him really easy to get the hook out.
And since Wi-Fi was about as scarce as mosquito birth control, I read two really good books.
There was a bit of an upset.
The young guys beat the old guys at the annual golf outing.
Sven says it was because Kaden, our grandson, the youngest in the competition, is improving as fast as he is going downhill.
And they didn't stop for lunch on the way back to the resort, so our girl's day was cut in half, which at first was alarming.
But I guess it was okay. We'd already offended each other enough with a game of Who is most likely to.
At least I was pegged for most likely to survive in a forest with just a hatchet, rather than being most likely to sleep with someone I just met. Or most likely to sing but should not.
And we'd already played two rounds of a lip-reading game while in a soundproof booth, which were earphones making horrifying noises that gave Iris a migraine and upset everyone else's stomachs.
Not to go all negative again, but it was tough to practice washer box this year, with all the flying parasites out there.
That's probably why Lindsay and I, The Free Spirits, were only able to take down, The Baby Back Ribs, but not The Dragons, formerly, The I will Do Anyone.
You see Klen was a wild card and initially he had multiple partners, but then he picked up an eight-year-old ringer who goes by the name of Lydia.
It was really no surprise when the Amazing Scoobies were able to defend their title in the end, taking out Together Forever.
But no worries.
We all shook hands.
Oh, and Marvin learned a valuable lesson.
Never store your crème de mint next to your lime vodka.
Grandma Patsy's summer hummer toast was one we will never forget.
But, you know how vacations are.
There are the days full of fun in the sun.
And there is that break for dinner.
After dinner comes the downtime.
When it's all quiet.
It's the part before the night festivities begin for all who can muster up a second wind.
Well, that down time reminds me of mini-Sunday nights.
When you get the creeps.
Or as I call it, the Ed Sullivan feeling.
While I was there, I wrote a song.


Lying here on the couch
Stuck between a nap and a dream
Too tired to yawn
Too tired to scream

The Cabins are filled
With family and friends
Sven and I in number five
The one way on the end

There's gas in the boat
A lure on my line
The islands tied to the dock
Ready for tomorrows sunshine

But the langoliers are coming
Just like Stephen King said
I hear them crunching away on time
Inside my head

The party starts at nine
After this time to relax
Shots will be poured
Popcorn popped
And songs will be sung
In a room out of tune

I used to think
That my shit didn't stink
But as I lie here right now
I am aware
I just couldn't smell

I gotta close my eyes
Try to get a little sleep
Because if I do not
Ed Sullivan will creep

Lying here on the couch
Stuck between a nap and a dream
Too tired to yawn
Too tired to scream.


So, I'll hang around as long as you will let me.
And I never minded standin' in the rain. No,
You don't have to call me darlin', darlin'
You never even call me; I wonder why you don't call me.
Why don't you ever call me by my name?


At least the lake flies weren't too bad when we got home this year.


And I never minded standin' in the rain.

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