When our first few kids were young, we could adventure off any time we chose to. We’d go on work trips with Mike to California. We spent a September in GA. And, when we first lived in WA, we could come back to visit family any time we chose. It was a bit of a shock when our kids began school and we had to start working our vacations around weekends and school holidays. (I suppose that alone might be reason enough to consider homeschool! And perhaps might truly be . . . if we travelled more than we actually do.) But now, they have taken things further, these kids of ours! Why, even when we plan get-aways during perfectly reasonable school-free days, it is beginning to be that our older kids have their own scheduling conflicts!
Abe will have to work, there will be some gathering with friends they are loathe to miss, some church activity they have committed to, some school dance, a weekend bike meet, or other such nonsense (yes yes . . . I know, it isn’t all nonsense). Still, it has made our Bear Laking just a bit more complicated than it has been in the past. And, after planning on Memorial Day weekend up there, and then cutting it down one day due to one thing and another day due to another thing (and finally cancelling it altogether), I was incredibly eager to get up there, as we did, over Father’s Day weekend.
While we spend a lot of time riding four wheelers on the dirt roads near our cabin, going to the lake, hiking, or sitting out on the deck, the kids don’t typically play much directly around the outside of the cabin itself as it is primarily covered in prickly weeds (despite Mike’s efforts to have pasture grass take over). So, this trip, Mike and Abe put together a trampoline and swing set just outside the basement door of our cabin. They then weed-whacked the surrounding area and spread out several truckloads of woodchips. (And hopefully we’ll add a hammock or two eventually.) It was fun having the kids all out there or watching them swing and jump while sitting on the deck above them. And I think it will make for a much more pleasant “waiting area” when we are taking four-wheeler turns.
Abe commented on how strange it was that the younger kids probably wouldn’t remember the cabin now without this little playground area. And then someone else commented on how strange it was that they very well might not remember cabin trips with Abe!
That was a sad thought! And yet, it got me thinking a bit about how things play out when you have children over a long space of time. In my own family, my older siblings talk all of the time about “the old house” (one I never lived in), about the time when there were no trees lining our backyard, about our family dog Chester, and about the three grandparents I never knew (and they can never get over the strangeness of me not having known them). And, in truth, . . . all my own memories of growing up going to Bear Lake are made up of trips with none of my siblings but the two closest in age to me. Strange things to consider.
But! For now, all nine of my little people are together for these excursions, and, I shall do my best to aid their memories by writing about (and taking one billion pictures of) each of these trips! And if that isn’t enough. Well, I will remember for them.
The weather was a bit chilly this trip. But we still took the wave runner out (its first Bear Lake trip). And we still got shakes – wet and cold as we were, and late as it was.
And before we end: Waiting for pizza. And . . . Mette when she had decided (seemingly all at once) that she was done being cold and sandy (don’t feel too terrible looking at her dear, sad, little face – she had a glorious time riding the wave runner with me, she gleefully destroyed several siblings’ sand castles, and the shake she got shortly after these pictures restored her to full and complete joy).