When the girls were little, “going on a vacation” meant we were either headed to the Lake of the Ozarks or floating on a river nearby. Even though we can afford to go to more glamorous spots in the country, I’m happy we continue this family tradition.
I can’t manage float trips anymore. Between rowing for hours and sleeping in a tent, I’d have to spend the next month at the chiropractors. Our family has had our fair share of float trip memories, with most of them ending in some kind of mishap.
Trips to the lake are an annual affair and this year was no different. We packed up in three vehicles and headed to a rented house, on the lake, with enough food to eat our way through three fun-filled days. Luckily, we headed down Thursday evening so we could enjoy a full day of sun and heat on Friday before the rains came Saturday morning.
I loved watching the grandkids fill up their memory banks with everything from jumping in the lake to kayaking to catching fish. Weekends at the lake were all I could afford for “vacations” when my girls were this age, but listening to them reminisce, while watching their children enjoy lake life, it sounds like I did OK.
The grandkids only turned to playing on their electronics when the adults decided we could no longer play another game of Uno or spoons. What is spoons, you ask? This game has been played at our dining room tables since I was a kid. Simple game yet action packed. It usually takes two decks for us to play and spoons are put in the middle of the table, one less than those who are playing. Four cards to each person and then the dealer begins by drawing and passing cards, from one person to the next, until someone gets four of a kind and grabs a spoon. The person who doesn’t get a spoon is out. I wouldn’t suggest playing this on a fancy table.
Going to the lake will never get old. It’s a reminder of how simple life’s pleasures really are. When the kids were finally asleep my daughters, my niece and sister talked and laughed ourselves silly until we could go no longer. No one really gets a good nights’ sleep, from lumpy to blow up mattresses, it’s a given, but no one cares.
I know I’m fortunate to have my kids and grandkids live close by. I can’t imagine it any other way. We see each other often and still, I miss them when we all go back home. I marvel at my daughters and the wonderful women they’ve become. The mothers they’ve become. I look at them and think, I must have did OK.
Even with all the baggage I handed to them as kids, from my mistakes, they grew up to be everything I wanted to be, but didn’t. I worried my bad decisions in my younger life would influence theirs, but thankfully, they rose above anything I could have ever achieved.
As a mother, you always worry, but they’ve convinced me, I did OK.
Sandy Turner is a mom, grandma, former caretaker and retired journalist.