By: , for: Volume 13, Issue 10, October 2018 -

The Annual

The Annual

It began as a lark, back in those halcyon days when they were just  out of high school and responsibilities were few. Perhaps they sensed  their carefree days were numbered and that was a good enough excuse to  plan a day together. The five share a love for the River, so it was  natural that they would celebrate life and their friendship by spending  time together on the River. The first outing was such a success, they  decided to repeat the event the next year and the next year and again  this year. This year marks the forty-first outing. The concept behind  this event is as simple as the name. They call it “The Annual.”

Every year is the same. They meet early in the day, load up the boat  with drinks and nibbles and start out. No destination in mind. No time  schedule to meet. Just a day on the River together.

Boat of Memories

Sometimes Mother Nature throws them a curve ball, but they have never  canceled. After all, they are seasoned River Women and a little wind or  rain isn’t going to keep them from a day on the River. No. They may  change boats to something a little more weather tight, but the day goes  on as planned.

The middle years were hard when they had more responsibilities:  children and husbands and more serious jobs. Some years, The Annual was  the only time they saw each other. A day on the River was just what they  needed to relax, unwind, catch up and nurture their relationship.

The Annual is steeped in tradition. They have special cups made each  year for the event. Each has their own position on the boat and a role  that goes with it. One is always the captain, another always brings  breakfast, another brings appetizers, another plans dinner and yes of  course one maintains the log.


But rituals aside, these five aren’t afraid to mix it up. One year  someone brought a bag of hats. This year, they decided to add rocks to  their outing. One of the members texted the other members to bring  painted rocks for The Annual. This year as they went about they would  stop and leave rocks. “Leave our calling card,” as they referred to it,  in an effort to spread their cheer.

So, if next August you see a slow-moving boat full of ladies with  outrageous hats and hear a lot of laughter, you might possibly have  witnessed the Annual in action. Better yet, if there is a gaily painted  rock on your porch step or near your dock, you know you’ve been part of a  very special day forty-one years in the making: The Annual.

By Lynn E. McElfresh, Grenell Island

Lynn McElfresh has written 117 articles for TI Life.  This month’s  article makes us realize the importance of friendships and tradition.  Lynn often writes about island life.  We have learned a great deal over  the years from her musings, from moving pianos to island weddings, or  from plumbing problems to nature walks and now staying closely connected  even months apart. To see all of Lynn’s island experiences, search TI  Life under Lynn McElfresh.  


Comment by: Dave Nims
Left at: 3:17 AM Monday, October 15, 2018
We were honored by the ladies with a stop at our dock where they left one of their beautiful stones

Comment by: Diane h kingsley
Left at: 12:15 PM Monday, October 15, 2018
This article was inspiring.  Having left for the winter months, the  article is a reminder of  yet another way to enjoy the “River”

Comment by: Jennifer Damiani
Left at: 1:41 PM Monday, October 15, 2018
Beautifully written. Makes me wish I was part of this very special group and tradition..

Comment by: Thornley Stoker
Left at: 5:11 AM Tuesday, October 16, 2018
Sounds like a LOT of FUN!!!

Comment by: Nora Detlor
Left at: 3:22 PM Thursday, October 18, 2018
What a fabulous article of “The Annual” forty one years is a long time  of fun and laughter! I love traditions like that!! Good for you on  keeping it going so long!
My group of ladies have three years here now in a row. For a weekend! I hope we make it many more!

You  ladies are welcome to stop any year on your day At our dock! .....423  Ash Island on the Canadian side. Turquoise boat port.....Nora and Drew  Detlor welcome you!  

Comment by: Pam F
Left at: 6:31 PM Wednesday, October 24, 2018
I'm privileged to know the participants of The Annual; no finer women on The River!  

Posted in: Volume 13, Issue 10, October 2018, Places, People, News article, archive

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