It’s going to take me four days to recover from a three-day celebrating weekend. Anyone else feel this way? But what memories are you taking with you? I thought about it early this morning over a cup of coffee and the memories from this weekend will stick with our kids and family for decades to come. Four generations of family and a few dear friends at our prairie lake place, where we glamp. Not exactly camp. We have a little cabin, the size of a double garage with all the amenities we need along with a few family campers outside. My friend last year called it “glamping”, glamorous camping. It stuck. We glamp.
In the middle of the North Dakota prairie, which isn’t glamorous really. But it is home, a land that we love, where my family has been for five generations and my husband is a the third generation in his family. It is where we are raising a next generation.
Our prairie lake time this past weekend provided an opportunity our family to step away from long summer work days and soak in some time together that includes sitting down for conversation.
And it allowed time for Anika to celebrate her birthday. Again. This time we told her she was FIVE on the FIFTH, her second birthday of the week and another homemade cake. This cake was made by Nana and tasty as always.
Fireworks are for independence celebrating, for America’s birthday. She decided she was okay to share her birthday near America’s birthday. We went to our friend’s house like we do every year for huge, exploding fireworks for an hour. My husband, son and many husbands of friends line up saw horses and shoot up 22 shots at a time, never stopping for an hour or so. Our little town on the prairie of 1,000 people come out of their homes and even the nursing home residents lined the sidewalks to see the show this year. It was a perfect moment until the automatic sprinklers turned on nearby the nursing home residents. Quick movements by a few and it was fine again.
I wrangled nervous kids from outside to inside and back again to watch. It was fireworks daycare I said. Not all kids have the passion for explosives like their dads and brothers. My girls are included in that group. Regardless, fireworks were fun and memorable again.
The food itself from our weekend deserves a blog post or two. Steak. Smoked Turkey. Hamburgers. Pulled Pork. Chicken Thighs. Salads and more salads. Buns. Baked beans. Of course Grandma Nola’s Cherry Coke Jello with a layer of fresh whipped cream. It was glorious.
I developed a system this year at the lake to assign people staying at the lake a meal or two to cook. For instance, my mother-in-law did Friday noon. My sister, Friday night. I had Saturday, noon. And so on. It makes for less cooking for one person and less coordinating of everyone wanting to bring something to contribute. And it gives more time for important things like…opening gifts!
Anika received a few new surprises from family, gifts she will be playing with for years to come. I know for sure we will have a bike ride today with her new baby seat on the back of her bike!Baby Nola, my one and only niece, liked watching the ceiling fan best when she was inside. Grandpa Fred’s lap is pretty comfortable too.
One unique thing about our family is that Nathan and I combine our gatherings to include my family, his family, my brother-in-law’s family, friends and more. We all are great friends and it creates lasting memories. There is rarely a “my family only” or “his family only” event that we host. Somehow we all find room for each other and no one had a melt down this weekend for lack of space inside the cabin. Outside was perfect! We finally had summer! 95 F with a breeze. Everyone was lakeside.Baby Nola was the perfect baby. She had patience and only fussed when her mama put a life jacket on her.
Nola also was voted “Best Thighs”.
Miss E is our lake girl, like her daddy. She spent most days in the water. She wants to go fast. Faster. Fastest.Miss A likes to go tubing on “medium” as she says. Not slow. Not fast. Medium. And she liked it best to be next to our buddy Parker, who loyally stuck with her.
My sister-in-law or as the kids call her, Auntie Jenn, grew up on a Minnesota lake and gave Hunter water skiing lessons. She is a pro with a kind, teaching heart.
The lasting memory for me from the weekend was when my grandparents went pontooning with us. There we sat on the boat, laughing in a summer breeze, watching the kids ride by on a wave runner and more kids tubing behind the boat. I looked around to see my grandparents were by my side, my husband to my right, my parents straight ahead, my in-laws sitting behind me, our kids in the water, my sister and brothers, spouses and niece on the beach and more family and friends all around us.
This is what earthly life is all about I thought. Soak in the blessings that surround you. Do not wait for the perfect moment. Create the moment. My grandparents sat with four generations of family around them. We were loud. They laughed. And I thought that I hope when I am their age I am doing something similar with generations of my family. I hope my husband of 60 years is my side still. I hope I feel the complete fulfillment and happiness I did this past weekend, at age 85.
I hope. I pray. I love living with four generations of North Dakotans, glamping on the prairie.
What did you do this past weekend that will be a lasting memory?