Sunday, July 31, 2011

Making It A Vacation

I'm sure you've heard the various phrases about the difference between a house and a home. This one in particular being the gist of them all "A good home must be made, not bought." Joyce Maynard. These in particular have been at the forefront of my thoughts lately because we are trying to buy our first house.

However, tonight's post is not about the house, or our home of the last five-ish years. This is about vacation. I feel like coining a few new phrases "the difference between a vacay and a vacation..." or "A good vacation must be made, not bought." "Vacation is where the heart is," "Ones favorite place on earth will always be where she vacationed as a little girl" and finally "The heart of a vacation is in the memories that were made there."

Close your eyes and go with me there. Feel the breeze on your cheeks, smell the fresh summer air, hear the children splashing in the pool, taste the pepperpuffs and kiddie cocktails, and see yourself laughing with your family with a background of a sun setting over the lake.

Ah vacation. As a child I envied my friends and their (frequent) extravagant trips to Florida, pacific beaches, cruises and the like. Hindsight. Oh how I wish I could turn back the clock and rescind the hours and years of whining and pinning over what I was "missing." I did not then appreciate the truly rare gem that we had in our family vacation.

Mid pleasures and palaces though we may roam,
Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home.
John Howard Payne 

Two weeks of playing, swimming, swinging, walking, and dreaming at Lake Michigan. As if that wouldn't be enough to make my adult self jealous add in the "hundreds" of family members, friendships, and memories that were formed there and I'm absolutely baffled at why I ever wished for more.

My home is not a place, it is people.
Lois McMaster Bujold

Grandma and Grandpa standing in front of one of our cabins, after happy hour and dinner

My grandparents were the masterminds of this whole operation and while we lived close enough to see them several times a year I felt like vacation was always where I saw them "at their best" they dressed to the nines for cocktails and dinner and laughed delightfully at their precious grandchildren when they paraded in demanding an audience for the latest skit.  They had a lot of kids, who in turn had a lot of kids, (and in turn have now had a lot more kids) the idea was to give everyone a chance to stay in touch. The result, for me, was creating this home away from home; a place where I feel safer than almost any other; where my insecurities have been tested, but survived; where friendships wound their way more deeply into my heart than many others ever would; a place with a view that is beautiful because it is more than water, sunsets and sand dunes. 

This is the first year that I've ever missed vacation, and that's only because it was cancelled due to family reunions and weddings. My children have now woven their way into this web of memories and I'm so grateful to my parents for continuing the tradition on these last few years. But ultimately tonight, while I'm feeling nastolgic and a little sad, I'm grateful for the opportunity I have now as a parent to help my children create memories of their own, ones so strong that though age will reveal flaws in their "perfect" or "favorite" places, their memories wont allow them to see them for the beauty they will always remember. 

Today we went to a beach, we laughed, had mud fights, ate skittles, got sun burned, swang, and returned home to our home-for-a-short-time-longer then walked to McDonalds for ice cream cones. My husband called it "Vacation for a Day." That's a new day of memories to add to the vacation vault, and I will hold onto it dearly. 

God bless and good night sweet bloggy friends,

PS I just pulled the quotes off of some random site because I liked them and they worked, I have no idea who the people were who actually said them (were as in what their personalities or lifestyles stood for).

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