Apps family gathers from all corners of US

In 2002, Ruth and I started a tradition that we continue to this day. When the tradition began, I was teaching a writing workshop at the School of the Arts in Rhinelander. We invited our grown kids and their spouses to spend the week with us at a cottage on Lake George.

We’ve continued the tradition, now gathering at Long Lake in the Waupaca Chain O’ Lakes. This year some 20 of us have come to the lake from Boston, San Diego, Minneapolis, Avon, Co, Gunnison, Co, and Madison.

Each evening is a special event: birthday, graduation, and anniversary celebrations. And a creativity evening. This year the creativity evening featured everyone sharing their own “Old Timer” saying.

Here are some of them:

  • “We all must become more comfortable with being uncomfortable”—Christian
  • “In these turbulent times, five letters to remember: R-E-L-A-X”—Josh
  • “I was addicted to the ‘Hokey-pokey,’ but then I turned myself around,”—Nick
  • “Of all that I do best, doing nothing is at the top of the list,”—Blake
  • “Happiness takes time so don’t rush looking for it,”—Libby and Grace
  • “The sun sets no matter if no one is watching,”—Ben and Alyssa
  • “Everything is better at the Lake,”—Tyler (8 years old)
  • “Prior proper planning prevents poor performance,”—Annika
  • “Life is tricky so make sure you plan for some time at the lake,”—Sue
  • “Behind every great man is a woman—rolling her eyes,”—Jeff
  • “A tree’s strength comes not from how far its branches reach, but from how deep its roots grow,”—Shanna and Pat.
  • “Darn, why did I come into this room?”—Natasha and Steve
  • “Never curse the rain, unless you live in a tent,”—Sandy
  • “A trip is measured in miles, but captured in memories,”—Shanna and Pat

The Old Timer Says: So many thoughts in so few words.

Jerry Apps

Jerry Apps, born and raised on a Wisconsin farm, is Professor Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the author of more than 35 books, many of them on rural history and country life. For further information about Jerry’s writing and TV work, go to