Saturday, August 1, 2009

Lake George

Lake George, NY is a special place in my heart. It was the place where I have a lot of childhood memories.

When I was a child, we used to have REAL family reunions in Lake George, NY. Camping, yeah, SO not me even back then. The toilets scared me, with spiders and stuff, so I would "hold it" for like the entire week until I was sick and being pumped with medicine by my Mom. We had an old tent for a lot of the years, but at one point we got an old pop up camper which was so much better, but still no toilet inside of it.

My Uncle Garry and his wife Barbara would be there. Often, Scotty and Sharon would be there, two of Garry's kids with Aunt Jan. Aunt Maureen would be there with Uncle John and usually at least Rebecca and Dawn, if not any of the other kids. One year, a bunch of my Aunt Barbara's nieces and nephews were there. Then of course there was Grandma and Grandpa, and then my family, Mom, Dad, Mike, me, Kate and Sam. Even in the summer, Lake George's water was freezing. Although I don't remember minding much as a kid. Because Grandma would put her swimming cap on and bring us into the water and we would play Ring Around the Rosie, over and over again. One of my favorite games to play was getting a big bucket of Lake Geroge's icy water and "sneaking" up behind my Grandpa and splashing him, and running around the chairs as he "chased" me. Of course, I knew he knew I was coming, and he knew I knew, but he went along with it anyway. He knew I loved the game, the chase. The second best thing about a day on the beaches of Roger's Rock campgrounds, where we always camped, was what sat inside my Grandma's cheap plastic (beloved though) beach bag. Before the camping trip, my Grandma would bake up a storm, enough of her famous oatmeal raisin cookies to last a whole week for a big family. They would sit in the sun, warmed by the sun and being in a plastic coccoon, and it was like they had just gotten out of the oven. We ate many meals family style too, because I remember the washing of the dishes in the dark of night, from big water jugs, the sounds of Grandma talking with Mom and Aunts, etc (me and my sisters were the babies at this time, we sat in out lil kid chairs) while Grandpa, Dad and uncles and older male cousins built up the fire, it was so reassuring.

I remember the fires every night. We would make S'Mores and there was so much laughter and love. Grandma would teach us new songs and such. I remember when she taught me "Hands, knees and boompsie-daisies", we did that all the time over the camping trip. It made us all laugh every time, it never got old. During the boompsie-daisies you hit hips or bums, so we'd all giggle, even Grandma.

I remember the year my cousin Kenny (yup named after my Dad) brought his wife (ex now) Yrma and their two small children Kori and Inti, Inti was still a baby, and though I was only about 8, I got to hold him. And he thanked me by being the first baby to pee ALL over me. What a punk. Lake George brought our family together. After my Grandma died when I was in third grade, so did the big family reunions. They just vanished. It was like she was the one holding some of the family to the rest of us.

My family would still camp in Lake George, but it was never the same. Sure, we had our own adventures, but having 3 or 4 campsites where you were welcome to play at, to be cuddled by family at, to be cared for, that was what was so special. It was after this that my Uncle Garry and Aunt Barbara and his kids became almost strangers. When you never see some one, the connection starts to be lost. Auntie's kids lost interest and they began going to Maine and other places instead.

So the magic of Lake George kind of died with my Grandma. And I don't blame my Grandpa for not exactly wanting to continue without the love of his life. It was THEIR thing. They began camping up at Roger's Rock with THEIR children years and years ago. My Dad remembers being a kid and the drive up there. The first time my Mom went on vacation with Dad's family, before they were married, it was to Lake George. She got to stay in the real camper, it had a name I just can't think...OH Frankie was the name I think, with my Grandparents. Dad had to sleep out in a pup tent.

Lake George runs through the veins of this family. My parents had their honeymoon there. Yeah okay I too think this was so unfair, but they have had a bunch of second honeymoons to Florida, so that makes up for it. So you see, Lake George, me hating camping and all, is still always going to be special to me.* This is the same stone church steps as the picture above with Sam as a tiny baby~

That's why when we decided to go back, BUT stay in a cheap motel a few years ago, I was all for it. After all, some places are just like a second home. And for this family, Lake George is it.

5 meaningful meanderings:

Laila Of Course! said...

Looks like Lake George is wonderful wonderful, no matter what the place of living is!!
Be sure and pop by & leave a note! It would really make my day.


Tori_z said...

Sounds as though you have some wonderful memories from there. Even if the holidays aren't as special as they used to be, at least you'll always have those memories.

LadyStyx said...

In all my years living in NY, I never once got out that way. I really need to see about planning a trip there sometime.

Sheri said...

Aww how fun! I like getting together with family but I hate camping too. Spiders and other scary things in the bathrooms was never any fun... ick!

Jessica♥ said...

I've heard of that town lake george before.
memories are great expecially the beautiful ones. =]

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