Saturday, July 14, 2012

Old-Fashioned Fun

As a parent, it is particularly satisfying to share with your children the things that were important to your childhood.  I have been doing that for the last week, during our annual trip to our family's place on Lake Tillery in Norwood, NC.

The house was built by my grandparents, and my dad spent his childhood coming here.  When I was growing up, we came down every July 4th for a busy week full of great-aunts, great-uncles, grandparents, and multiple cousins.  It was an incredibly fun happy chaos, especially for an only child like myself. 

Keeping with tradition, I bring my two kids for a week every summer.  It's a lot quieter than it was in my youth--most of the time it is only the kids, me, my parents, the cousin of my dad's generation who lives next door, and an occasional visit from my grandmother and other family members.  While it is quiet, much remains the same.

The motorized water vehicles have more horsepower and the things we tow behind them have improved in quality, but we still do basically the same thing.  We swim, we water ski, we ride the inner tube and the jet ski. I hop on the boat every time it leaves the dock.  The kids wear nothing but a bathing suit and pajamas the entire week and essentially live in their life jackets.   

Yesterday, I posted photos of the kids on the rope swing and riding the inner tube.  A friend commented what good old-fashioned fun we appeared to be having.  She is completely correct.  It's not the Tuscan countryside and it's not zip-lining through the jungles of Costa Rica.  We are in a small house (recently improved by my parents, but still very simple), in a podunk town on a lake no one but locals have ever heard of, but it is fun.  Great fun. This summer, at age eight, my eldest learned to water ski in the very same place I learned to ski when I was seven.  I taught my kids the great thrill of magnet fishing--dragging a large magnet on a rope along the bottom of the lake, searching for "treasure" dropped off the pier.  We made homemade ice cream--peach, of course, the only kind we've always made.

The lake house.

It has been a great trip.  Tomorrow, I return to reality, where my mom isn't cooking my meals and doing my laundry, and my dad isn't hanging out with my kids at 6 a.m. and delivering a cocktail to me at 5 p.m.  There are not many people or much variety at the lake, so after a week, we are ready to return home to our lives and our stuff.  Tomorrow night, I'll need to pack lunches for camp and on Monday, I'll need to catch up on exercise and yard work. But for this past week, I've gotten to share with my kids a life that I love and activities I enjoyed when I was their age.  Sitting on our pier here, looking out the cove, is my happy place.  I love it, and I love sharing it with the next generation.  Thanks, Mom and Dad, for making it happen again for my kids.

My happy place.

1 comment:

  1. Your description of NC is what my memories of going to Huron and Ocean Isle Beach, NC. There is something about our 2 weeks every summer in Old Homestead that made life so much simpler. Fingers crossed we will keep the tradition.