We did it all in one week. It felt like a month. But it was only a week. Jessica and I flew west to attend a wedding in Colorado. I was there less than 48 hours, but it was enough to know that I'd like to go again. And visit at a more leisurely pace.
Outdoor weddings can be tricky but this one was perfect. The weather was clear. And in the Rockies, they don't have to deal with the heat and humidity that is our everyday fare.
Everywhere I looked there was another beautiful vista. I'm so glad that we were able to go. To celebrate the marriage, to spend time with family and to see a little of the landscape that was so different from ours.
And then in the blink of an eye we were back in the deep South where the air was thick and steamy when we stepped off the plane. But we had things to do here. Every July 4th for many years, we have had a big family dinner. I told someone this year that it was just like Thanksgiving, but with BBQ instead of turkey and it was much more casual.
I just read in a decorating magazine about a similar cottage that the owner called "the glue house." He said it was the house where extended family gathered and kept them glued together. I understand what he means. This year it was tempting to skip the family day because of the wedding trip.
But big family gatherings are rare as it is and it was important to me to keep the tradition going. We buy the barbecue and everyone brings the rest of the food anyway, so I wasn't doing lots of cooking. We just needed to set up tables and pull out a few tablecloths.
There were 25 cousins of all ages who came for the day. The little ones played in a wading pool and went on a boat ride. The older ones found a seat in the shade and visited.
Both little girls got time "at the wheel" as they drove the boat sitting in Daddy-O's lap. After the 4th, there aren't so many boats on the lake so it's wide open for them to steer—under his watchful eye.
We always take at least one night cruise to watch the sun go down. The little girls love to see the birds and squirrels and lightening bugs and cicadas and lizards and frogs that are the real owners of the lake.
Breakfast was on the porch every day. How much fun is that? In fact, all meals are eaten on the porch. The lake cabin was built nearly 60 years ago (it's been in this family for over 50 of those years,) most likely as a small fishing cabin where cooking wasn't much of a consideration for the fishermen. But we now have the whole family here, so we added a big screened porch several years ago and that porch has become our primary summer living space.
One college-aged cousin who was at the lake for the first time on July 4th looked at our antique stove with raised eyebrows and asked if I really cooked on it. Of course, I cook on it. It has served us well for a very long time. And this tiny kitchen is a reminder that it doesn't really take much to produce a meal. No granite countertops. No large island. Not much counter space. (The sink is right beside the coffee pot.) I've learned to be very efficient.
And suddenly, it was time to pack up and head home. Our family week was over. We will be back several times before summer is over, but for shorter stays. Our grandchildren are the fourth generation of this family to enjoy this lake house. Here's hoping that another generation or two will get to enjoy this spot that we love.