I had gone to bed around 12:30 a.m., and must have fallen asleep quickly, as I didn't hear my phone buzz at 12:56. My niece, Stephanie, tried to call me several times and then left a voice message. I woke up in the morning to the shocking news that my brother Jon had been in the ER during the night due to a severe brain bleed. I immediately shared the news with Tom and called Beth, who had to tell Dad. Dad took the news pretty hard. We didn't have much information immediately, so we decided to wait to tell Mom when we knew a little more. (We explained everything to her on our first stop along the route home.)
We packed up as quickly as possible, while sharing the frightening news with the kids and our cousins. Everyone was concerned, and promised they'd be praying for Jon. After saying our good-byes to the cousins and the lake, we were on the road by about 7:45 a.m. (Beth, Elise, Zach & I in our car; Tom, Mom & Dad in the truck, pulling the boat; and Seth, Maddie and Chloe in their car). All day long, Beth and I were texting and calling siblings, other kids in the family, and church prayer chains to inform them of Jon's condition, while getting updates from Stephanie and Diane, and praying. We found out that Jon had been moved to Northwestern University Hospital in Chicago overnight, and during the day the neurosurgeons were able to stop the bleed during a very long and delicate brain surgery/procedure. It was reported that he would likely be in ICU for the next two weeks, so Beth and I made plans to take turns staying with Mom and Dad until Barb (vacationing in California) and Phyllis (traveling in France) came home.
Our cars departed ways as we went along. I moved to the truck with Tom and Mom and Dad as we had planned to help Mom and Dad unpack the truck and spend the night, before driving home the next day. We refigured our driving logistics so that I could stay in DeMotte for a few days and so we could get our other car from Beth at their lakehouse in Michigan City.
We were relieved to hear that Jon's surgery had gone well and that he was stable for the time-being. With a major shift in our thoughts and priorities, our Cass Lake 2018 vacation had come to an end. (Some time later update: Jon spent 3 weeks in ICU and rehab, and eventually made a full, miraculous, recovery! Praise God!)
As I've done with every Lake Log before this, I end with a recap of 2018:
Dates: June 29 thru July 14 This was our 14th year at Cass Lake, our 13th at Birch Villa Resort.
People who vacationed with us: Both weeks – Tom, Linda & Chloe (cabin 7, BV); Mom & Dad K (1st week in our cabin, 2nd week cabin 9, Sah-Kah-Tay); Beth, Elise & Zach (1st week in cabin 1, BV; 2nd week Beth with Mom and Dad, Elise and Zach with us); Paul, Melissa, Tommy, Benjamin & Elle (cabin 6, BV); Roy, Deb, Luke, Kara, & Erin (cabin 5, BV).
1st week only- Leah (our cabin); Barb & Fred, Sandra & Jeremy, Luke, Joel & Lydia (Townhouse on the hill); Bill, Nicole & William (cabin 1, BV); Leah G (cabin 5); Tom & Barb (Melissa’s parents)
2nd week only- Seth & Maddie (our cabin)
Price of gas: $2.69 - $2.89. We took our Ford Edge with bike rack and 3 bikes. We also helped Mom and Dad by driving their Ford F150, while pulling their boat. Seth and Maddie came in their Mercury Mariner (which required its first major repair...A/C).
Total number of fish caught: 153 (79 perch, 44 rock bass, 15 crappie, 14 bluegill, 1 walleye). We ate 31 of those over 2 meals, and let Dad take home the 6 perch we caught in his boat. We brought home 116; (55 perch, 36 rock bass; 14 crappie, 10 bluegill and 1 walleye) divided between us and Seth and Maddie.
Restaurants we ate at: C.K. Dudley's (Bemidji), Zorbaz (twice) (Park Rapids), Ruttger's (Bemidji), Turtle River Chop House (Turtle River/Bemidji), and Sunset Cove (Cass Lake).
Biking: Tom biked 188 miles. I biked 68 miles. We biked around Pike Bay on the Migizi trail, around Lake Bemidji, and on the loop around Itasca.
Church Attended: Evangelical Free Church of Bemidji
Other activities: Mall of America, shopping in Walker, Itasca State Park, ForestEdge winery, Paul Bunyan and Babe, movie in Bemidji (Ocean's 8), kayaking, tubing, card games (new one: Sushi Go), Wordscapes etc.