This past weekend my family and I took a bit of a nostalgia trip.
When I was in my early teens, we had a family tradition of spending a week every summer in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Every year we would pack up the cars for the 2 plus hour drive, and head to a nice little “cottage resort” for nature, fun and games. My cousins PM, M&M and I would get our very own little cottage, our parents (and my little brother) would set up camp in surrounding cottages, and we would spend the week enjoying each other’s company, and the lack of “technology” available to us.
We would cook out, take all day sightseeing/hiking trips, hang out by the pool, hit up random yard sales and village shops, and then spend the evenings by the campfire roasting marshmallows and telling tales.
My cousins and I would then proceed to stay up all night doing whatever it is that teenage girls can do all night long at slumber parties. Giggle, tell stories, fantasize about their future husbands, listen to music.
Every year we’d look forward to this week.
We haven’t been up there as a family in well over 15 years.
This weekend, however, we decided to revisit and take a mini-vacation at the White Mountains.
My parents, my grandfather, my brother and his girlfriend, my uncle and aunt, my cousin M&M, her fiancé and her daughter and of course I spent the weekend at a little cottage resort.
It was surprisingly easy to allow ourselves to let go of the confines of technology and sink into the beauty and ease of nature around us. I won’t lie, we had our blackberries and iphones in tow, but by Saturday afternoon, the constant checks for emails and text messages were less frequent, and by Saturday night, I’d given up all hope (or interest) in keeping up with my twitter stream updates.
Instead the focus was on the beauty of the mountains around us, the warmth of our campfire, and the company of family. We ate, we drank, we told stories, we played games, and we reminisced a bit. Mostly, we just enjoyed the time, and the company.
It was a lovely and fun time, and a reminder of all the great things God has blessed us with.
I’m hopeful it won’t be another 15 years before we all do it again. In fact, the fall foliage is just starting to turn, so a re-visit in a few weeks is something we’re all considering.
I won’t lie, there was a bit of bitter sweetness there as I watched my family throughout the weekend.
The resort we used to stay at, just up the road from the one we stayed in this weekend, is badly deteriorated, closed for renovations, but now owned by someone else.
My cousin PM now lives in California with a family of her own, so she was not there with us. My brother, all grown up, is no longer the “little boy of the family” but instead brought his girlfriend with him. The “kids” are now the adults, and things are so different.
And yet, the love, the camaraderie, the incessant joking and teasing were all the same. For the record, every last one of my family members is nuts. I can’t wait to do this all again soon.
My family and I took a nostalgia trip this weekend, and I brought back a heart filled with warmth as a souvenir.