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
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 upstairs...my 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!
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:
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"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."
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 chips...you don't know All-Dressed until you've had the authentic Canadian ones! Oh, and yes, Smarties really ARE better than M & M's!