My grand-niece, Elliott Stevens is quite a girl. She is totally funny, without even trying. Her imagination runs wild, and she doesn’t need anyone else to make her fun. Sure, she loves to play with other kids, especially her cousins, but she is just as happy to play at home, totally entertaining her parents, Kayla and Garrett. Elliott sets the pace for the day with her antics.

Elliott loves to play make-believe and dress-up, a fact her grandmother, Alena Stevens knows well, so she is always looking for outfits for Elliott. On our recent trip to Wisconsin, Alena found the perfect birthday gift for Elliott…a chef’s outfit, complete with a chef’s hat, apron, and hot mit. The apron expressed Elliot’s imagination perfectly. It said, “Miss Bossy Boots.” It’s not that Elliott is any “bossier” than any other child of three years, but she does like playing the mom/boss/teacher kind of parts. Well, the outfit was a huge hit, and Elliott spent much of her birthday party wearing the outfit, and serving her guests a make-believe meal, that she had prepared herself…of course. Now we just need to add her adorable cowboy boots to the mix.

Elliott love to swim, and her parents got her a wading pool, which is great for these hot summer days. Elliott also loves to slide, and her pool has a slide, so she can do both things together. She also loves the big pools and the lake. Recently, the Stevens family got together at the lake, and Elliott got the chance to really swim. She loved it…so much so that she didn’t want to get out…even to warm up. Her little lips were so cold that they were almost blue and she was shivering. Nevertheless, she wanted to stay in the water. She finally had to get out, of course. Maybe they coaxed her with smores or something. I don’t know for sure, but I now she had a wonderful time, as she always does. They even managed to tame her many curls with the cutest little braids.

And speaking of wonderful times, Elliott got to go to the fair this year. I don’t know if it was her first, but I know that she had a blast. She rode every ride that could take her on, as well as the fun house, which her daddy had to go with her on. It was comical to see Garrett running after his little princess while trying not to bump his head, because the fun house is mostly designed for little kids. I laughed and laughed when I saw the video. Garrett is a great dad, and little Elliott keeps him wrapped firmly around her little finger…along with her mommy too. They are both quite taken with their little princess, Miss Bossy Boots, tumbling, swimming, entertaining baby girl…as are we all. Today our little Elliott turns 3 years old. Happy birthday Elliott!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

scan0027It happens every year, although maybe not to this degree, but when it has been a long cold winter, the ice can get really thick on Lake Superior, and when it begins to thaw, ice can make its way onto the shoreline because of the movement of the deep water. I saw a video a few days ago that showed Lake Superior thawing and the ice shards coming ashore. They weren’t thick, because this Winter, while bad enough back there, was not as bad as the one we had in 1958, when I was almost two years old. That year, the ice was so thick, that it came ashore as very large ice slabs. When the ice comes into the shore on Lake Superior, it can overflow onto streets and yards near the shore.

I can’t say that I recall the time we spent on the ice slabs that year, but apparently the scan0028ice slabs, shards, or just ice in general are things that the people along Lake Superior celebrate. I suppose when Winter is a longer lasting season, finding a way to have fun in it is essential. Enter the Ice Festival. From what I can see, and I hope some of my Duluth/Superior family members will fill me in, there are a number of events. On the website, I saw ice sculptures, ice princesses, bon fires and s’mores, warming houses with hot drinks to warm up with, food, fireworks, children’s story time, and crafts, so there is truly something for everyone, and it’s all about having fun.

I don’t know if we were at an Ice Festival when my parents took us out to see the ice slabs on Lake Superior’s shores, but in looking at the pictures, I must say that they were definitely impressive. I know that the ice festival is not as much about the ice scan0044slabs around the lake, but rather about the fact that, at this point, most people are really over Winter by now. Finding fun things to do that are associated with ice, as well as the coming Spring, is a way to lift everyone’s spirits. I can tell from the pictures my parents took at the time, that they and we were impressed with ice slabs that had come on shore that year. I think anyone would have been impressed, because they were huge that year. Some of them were half my height, not that I was tall, but that really is pretty thick. I’m sure it was somewhat cold out there, and back then, little girls wore dresses a lot of the time, but my sister, Cheryl Masterson, and I did not seem to mind the cold. I guess it was the wonder of it all. Maybe that is why they have an Ice Festival..so people can embrace the ice…so to speak.

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