Monday, August 4, 2008

My Olympic Event

My summer Olympic Event is going on right now! 17 of our family are in The Cottage, welcoming its 4th generation in Michigan. Getting here is both exhilarating and exhausting. Fuel prices aside, 4 come from the UK, minus luggage, which every year ends up in limbo upon arrival or departure. Fun with 4 and 2 year olds! 4 different States are represented as well. And 17 different personalities, needs, expectations and contributions!

We enjoy traditions passed down through the years. Like who can spot the church steeple first while driving into town on M-22 or making footprints of each child's first summer in wet concrete along the driveway. My kids finally confess their youthful antics, now that they have kids. I'm glad I didn't know! We challenge each other's "elephants" in the living room! Good times. Growing times.

I no longer try for the perfect vacation here, like the perfect Christmas. I get my clue from the Bible verse, "Times of refreshing come from the Lord!" It can be anywhere anytime. I simply want this cottage to be a haven of safety and peace. I want weary travelers through life to pause here and be free to be who they are without apology. Maybe even for them to be smoothed like the rocks in Lake Michigan get smooth by bumping against each other in the waves. The calm always follows the storm. My heart is gladdened by the love and respect our four adult children show one another. I delight in seeing their children interact, most of the time! All of them visit other parts of the world, but The Cottage beckons with wondrous awe.

Is it because it's the land of their beginnings? Is it the awesomeness of living right on Lake Michigan's unpredictable shoreline, seagulls swooping, fish eluding, sunset setting, night star covered location? Yes, partly. But even more it's roots...being rooted in family, the parts that work and those that don't...yet! It's using my mom's rolling pin and Fiestaware and remembering our my conversations with my folks sitting by the water's edge, floating, fishing and skiing on it.

When our kids were little, my sister and I shared the cottage. When we're expanded to 12 people our parents announced, "We're going to build next door and you guys can come over for pancakes on Saturdays!" Which we did...with lots of daily visits thrown in! My sister and I, with 7 children between us, marked cans and cereals with our initials and had fun sharing the old cottage. We gave each other space and helped each other out. One time I was dashing off to play tennis and noticed my sister's laundry in the washing machine. I thoughtfully tossed it in the dryer. Later she told me the laundry load had only paused after the pre-rinse cycle! Big help that was!

Send me your Olympic summer event! Let me know if I can share it on this page. I know there are plenty of stories going on out there. Send pictures, too! Whether your "event" is organized chaos like ours with the feeding of the 17 three times a day plus snacks while soaking up a few moments of Great Lakes glory...or something else....enjoy the "event." It will soon be a memory, part of the heritage you pass on. It's your opportunity to take home a medal on this one. There are no losers in seasonal celebrations like summertime!

1 comment:

Melissa Salomon said...

Phyllis, I LOVE your blog. Why not add a subscribe via email so that posts are automatically sent to my email....that way I don't miss anything! It was so good to see you at the convention. I finally got around to writing a bit about it and posted my scrapbook layout (with a photos of you and the women Intl Dirs)on my blog www.melissasalomon.com
Blessings!
Melissa Salomon
Director CPTLN Mexico