Midwestern Summers

As I’m sitting here trying to figure out how to explain how this works, my heart is full, and I have a big smile on my face with the anticipation of returning to the family cottage.

Many midwestern summer cottages pass down through many generations. This somewhat simple process, if done right, causes ever growing families to bond. In our case, the second generation are now the owners. Because this family chooses to use the summer months to spend time together, rather than divide the time amongst individual families…the magic result is really wonderful family time with multiple generations and geographically divided loved ones gathered together. The other magical result which I have witnessed first hand is that all of the cousins from around the country know each other really well.

I am filled with anticipation as we get ready to flip the calendar to July. In the coming month we will gather together. We come from various parts of Michigan, Palo Alto, Washington DC, Berkley, Boulder, Denver, Bend, Salt Lake, Charleston, Baltimore, Vermont, and Chapel Hill. This year our Boston and London contingency will be unable to attend due to exciting events, and will be missed dearly. We will arrive with cottage clothes (jeans, flip-flops, shorts, T Shirts, bathing suits, and sweatshirts.) We will sun, surf, read, laugh, cocktail, dine, play cards, watch Jeopardy, needlepoint, gab and gab and gab. We will share bathrooms and keep the laundry moving. We will go to the grocery store nine hundred and twenty five times, sometimes just for toilet paper and wine. We will cook in teams and sit down to eat dinner together every night. We will measure the heights of loved ones on the kitchen wall. We will celebrate marriages, babies, pregnancies, graduations, promotions, and birthdays. We will try not to get hit by darts walking between the porch and the kitchen. We will pass worn paperbacks around and download kindle suggestions from each other. The ladies will hit our favorite “up north”shops. We will go on candy runs, and coffee runs, and whitefish jerky runs. We will beg our new nephew to make his famous “fish butter”. The 20-something “kids” will collect washed up wood on the beach for fires, and we will try not to eat the s’more fixings when in the kitchen. We will watch the little children play with the circus toys on the living room floor and happily step over them to change the channel. Uncles will light off canons from the deck and beautiful firework displays on the beach. The mothers will gather and talk about raising children, hosting weddings, and how to welcome new in laws.

Oh the joy of midwestern summers!

Tricia HeatonComment