Yesterday two families invited me to join them at the lake just outside of Effingham. The weather could not have been more beautiful: about 85 degrees, very little humidity, a blue sky and a good breeze.
The afternoon began with a boat ride before returning to the house for lunch/dinner. Descendants of Italians were in charge of the meal and, hence, there was plenty of food. Appetizers consisted of caprese, cheeses, meats, artichoke hearts and artichoke dip, strawberries, grapes and a few other things, as well. The main meal consisted of spaghetti with a Roman sauce (delicious!), steak, shrimp, tilapia, sausage, salad, bread and a few other things that I don't now remember. Naturally, we took our time eating.
Once we finished eating a slip and slide was set up on the hill next to the house leading into the lake. The slide was made out of an old billboard sign and the bottom of it a ramp was constructed to launch sliders - who slid down on tubes - into the lake.
I had seen this set up before and it looked like a lot of fun. After some time, two of the high school students convinced me to go down with them. I reluctantly agreed, on condition that the tube would not flip and I would not be thrown off (I don't really like such rides). They agreed. We went down the hill, over the ramp and onto the water without flipping or falling. I didn't enjoy it, but I did it.
After a couple of hours in the lake we began to get a little chilly as the sun set so we returned to the house for dessert: cookies, a cheese cake, a lemon tart and soemething else that I didn't have.
After a couple more hours of chatting away and goofing around, I returned to the rectory after spending about nine hours at the lake. It was a great way to spend a Sunday after two Masses!