Thursday, July 14, 2011

Red, White and Bluewater

When I was about five years old, my family started the tradition of going up north to Lake Bluewater for each Fourth of July weekend. My grandma used to direct a camp on the lake, and with her connections we were able to rent it out every summer with my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. Most of my favorite childhood memories took place at Bluewater, and I was heartbroken when about seven years ago we were told that we could no longer rent out the camp. It had come under new leadership and it seems they decided to go a different direction.

All these years later, after giving up hope of returning to my childhood paradise, we were able to pick up where we left off and spend the Fourth of July on Lake Bluewater! It was a dream come true. Max and Lucian got to run across the same field that I ran across as a kid. They got to boat through the same lakes and channels that I loved. I couldn't have asked for a better weekend. The weather was perfect, and we spent all weekend at the beach. It was as if the lake was giving us a welcome-home party! I can't remember a year that we didn't have storms at Bluewater, so to have nothing but sunshine every day was nearly miraculous!

I'll admit that I may be more nostalgic than the average Joe, but it meant more to me than I can put into words to watch my sons make new memories in one of my favorite places on Earth. My favorite part of the trip has always been boating to the dam on the next lake. In order to get there, we have go under a very low bridge, float through a shallow channel (which was dubbed the "Pirate Lagoon" this year) and cross a lake full of sunken islands. The high sense of adventure I used to feel was renewed for me through the eyes of my very own pirate explorer son.

When the temperature allowed it, we broke out the lawn games- croquet, SPUD, volleyball, Eenie-einey-over, and of course the ever-popular Bocce Ball. On the Fourth we were joined by my Grandpa's sister and her family for s'mores, four-square, and (get this) GLOW-in-the-DARK Bocce!! Unbelievable!

I hope to be able to continue our tradition next year, and who knows, maybe Max will bring his kids to Bluewater someday!

Tuesday morning, we had to say goodbye to good old Camp Bluewater and begin our trek across two states to Rapid City for the ordination of Father Sparks. This summer has been chock full of traveling, but I wouldn't have it any other way. There is nothing I would miss!

A much belated happy Fourth of July to all of you! Who says we have to keep the celebration of our freedom confined to only one day a year? God Bless America!