To Everything There Is A Season

A Time For Every Purpose Under Heaven

A blog about raising a young family and keeping Christ at the center of it.

The Cyrs

The Cyrs
Photo Credit: Rachel Dewhurst

Monday, July 18, 2016

A Time for Memories

My family and I just returned from a 3-week long vacation to visit family in our hometown on the Canadian border. It was an incredible and much needed time away from our busy and sometimes hectic lives. We were so blessed to be able to spend that time at my family's camp on the lake. I have so many wonderful memories that were made in my childhood here. Fourth of July pig roasts my grandfather would put on, time playing with cousins on the beach, the big black inner tubes we spent hours playing on

in the lake, playing the "Albert Shuffle", a game some of my uncles created. There were nights of hide 'n' seek in the dark, fireworks on the lake and my great-aunt yelling at us kids, "don't slam the door!". Having the opportunity to share this place with my own kids and them having a chance to create their own memories at the camp means more to me than I can express here. Their fondness of this place will look different then mine, but I am sure will mean just as much to them. For them the memories are kayaking on the lake, walks across the beach to visit Mrs. Bouchard, sleeping outside in the "little cabin", canoe rides with Pepere, fishing on the lake, playing golf, finding clam shells in the lake, seeing who can make the bigger and better city on the beach and of course....learning to play the Albert Shuffle!

When I was growing up we were lucky enough to be able to drive a few miles down the road to the "other camp". On my mom's side of the family we had a camp also, on the same lake. I have just as many great memories spent there. The swimming wasn't as good or the beach as big but there were days spent on the party barge going to Peppermint Beach and having my Pepere teach me to dive. There were walks with Memere to pick wild strawberries and then bringing them home to eat them in a bowl with cream and sugar. There was fighting over the beds sisters and I all wanted the middle bed because the mattress was the best! There were nights of playing Scat for nickels and playing restaurant with a wooden caraf and goblet set my Memere had. I remember my grandfather's flowers and how anxious I was to be able to cut some Tiger Lily's to put in a vase. I remember him walking me around the yard telling me the names of the different things he had planted and smelling mint for the first time. This camp had a wooden glider swing that sat 4 people and I looked forward to being able to sit there with my Memere each day. Then of course my two favorite activities at this camp...skipping rocks and paddle boat rides!

Only those of us lucky enough to have grown up in this unique small town can truly appreciate it. While it is small and isolated and today offers very little employment opportunity we still love coming back to visit and share it with our own kids. I love that my husband also grew up here and loves coming back to visit as much as I do. This particular visit both my sisters were there at the same time I was! We took this rare opportunity and decided to explore our old stomping grounds in a
Me about to enter the garage
of our old house!
different way than we had before. When we lived in Madawaska we had a house on Main St. It was my grandparents house first, the house my dad grew up in. Behind us lived my grandparents and behind them my aunt and uncle. It was a great street to grow up on. One of the best friends I had as a child also lived on that street and we still make time to see each other today! When we moved an insurance agency bought our house and did many renovations. This visit my sisters and I went to the business and asked if they minded if we walked around the place. We explained that we had lived in the house years ago and wanted to see if anything was the same. As we began walking around it didn't seem like we would see anything that existed when we lived there. As we entered the basement we found a small door that we were certain was the door to the old root cellar. Sure enough when we opened the door the root cellar was as it was when we were kids. The same small, scary, cob-webbed, cement room we had remembered, complete with the same smell! My favorite part though was finding the door in the basement that led to the garage. When we entered the garage we were amazed with what we found. A red ten-speed bike that had belonged to my older sister, still hanging there! A bathroom sink that was in our bathroom and the vanity that belonged in my great-aunt's bathroom in the apartment she lived in above our house were also there. What we realized that day on our visit through memory lane was that our house was not as big as we remembered it, the street was not as long and the field behind all the houses on that street that we spent so many hours playing in was not as far away from home as we had thought when we were kids!

 Everything is larger than life when you are a kid and that's the way it should be! Things and people pass away but our memories remain with us forever. Hang onto the good memories and make them larger than life! Share them with your kids because they are a part of you and have played a part in making you who you are today. Encourage your kids to make memories and be an active participant in them. As we are told in God's Word:

"Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away." 

James 4:14
 Life is too short and fleeting to not make the most of the moments life sends your way. Life is too short to wait until tomorrow to show your kids where you grew up and what you spent your time doing in your youth. Life is too short to get caught up with things that hold no value. What is valuable is creating memories and sharing memories. As kids we didn't take expensive vacations to Disney or Hawaii. We didn't have our summers filled with activities. We went to the lake and played with our cousins, we spent time with our grandparents and great-aunt's & uncle's. We looked forward to trips to Tastee Freez and Brian's for penny candy. Our days were not elaborate and jam packed with water parks and amusement parks. We spent time making club houses, riding our bikes and occasionally fighting with the neighborhood kids! We had simple, fun and creative days and this is the kind of childhood I want my kids to have. I want their memories to be filled with cousins, and building forts and riding their bikes and the occasional fight with the neighborhood kid....because
those are the things a great childhood is made of! I want them to have stories to tell their own kids someday and having the chance to spend time at a camp where I made so many of my childhood memories to create their own memories is something I don't take for granted and will forever be thankful for!

For my "foodie" readers, we know that a trip back home isn't complete without a trip to the grocery store to get the food we no longer have access to! And don't be confused by the bag of All-Dressed don't know All-Dressed until you've had the authentic Canadian ones! Oh, and yes, Smarties really ARE better than M & M's!