The Harnisch Family

The Harnisch Family

Oct 18, 2010

Ponca (part 1)

It has come and gone...another much awaited, eagerly anticipated, Lee Family reunion at Ponca State Park.  Our family has going to this beautiful part of Northeast Nebraska for at least as long as I've been alive (that's 30 years)...but it has been much longer than that!
We always go in early October...
It is a gorgeous time of year, the tree's are usually just starting to turn, some year's (last year) we experience the season's first snowfall up there...and other year's (this year) it is the last (probably the last) warm weekend before a bitter cold front comes from the North and lingers for several months. I love the changing of Nebraska's seasons...
Aside from the serene nature that Ponca has to offer, much more importantly than that is family togetherness...CRAZY family togetherness at that!  My Dad is the oldest of eight...all of which have produced several offspring...and much of that offspring have begun producing offspring of their own.  Add in a few friends that are like family and you get 150+ "Lee's" who TAKE OVER the park!  
I really enjoy catching up with my Aunts, Uncles, cousins, sisters, nieces & nephews.  My cousin Jackie currently lives in Korea and expressed in her blog how sad she is to be missing out on Ponca this year.  As she said "It is her nature"  :-)  The mention of phase 10 and Chris' CHEX MIX brought tears to my mom's eyes..hehe.  It was so funny to think that someone all the way over in Korea was thinking about little 'ole Ponca, NE.  We read her blog post aloud (from my iPhone) around the campfire...and the next night, her twin sister Nickie, read it aloud to another large group.  aww sweet  Imagine doing that 30 years ago!  :-)

I was excited to finally get on the road Thursday afternoon.  As I know ALL of you know, it can be quite hectic and somewhat stressful to shop, pack and load up the family truckster and be on the road "on schedule".  The stars have to perfectly aligned...tummies full, 3 year-old bladder's empty and the oh-so treasured NAP TIME!
 20 minutes into our 3 hour road trip we stopped at a fruit market outside of Fremont to get some snacks :-)  ahh, nothing better than fresh, locally grown APPLES!
 We got to Ponca just in time to un-pack and get settled in to the cabin, take a short walk, eat some din-din and sit around the campfire awaiting the arrival of more family members to join us  :-)
 Perfect night for a fire...just cool enough to require adorable handmade bunny hats, sweatshirts & jeans...PERFECT!
 Heather was so sweet offering to "take Macy off my hands"...but in hindsight, I'd say she was scheming.  She knew that Macy comes with a large fleece blankie and served to be a productive source of heat for her.  tricky!
 Chad and Dylan
Dad warmin' up his hands  :-)

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