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I’m baaaaccckkkk.

We’ve just spent two weeks in Chautauqua and the boys are now finally at an age where vacationing with them feels like, well, a vacation. Even when my husband is back in Cleveland.

They made some new friends up there who happen to live just two doors away and it was play, play, play from morning til night. I love that kind of freedom, reminiscent of the 70s and 80s (and surely earlier) where the kids can just wander off to knock on someone’s door: “Can Taylor and Amanda come out to play?” The unplanned, unstructured playdate is not dead, I assure you!

So much of being there feels like stepping back in time. From the rocking chairs on the front porches to the unique thrill of sparklers to the carnival-like amusement parks.

Remember these old school rides?

Of course, they’ve been modernized with the addition of a rock climbing wall:

 

We even got Braedan up on water skis, which brings me further back into my childhood.  Hours and hours out on the boat, circling around as the latest water skier masters their craft. He was fabulous and so so proud of himself.

So, now I dig my way out from the piles of mail and laundry … and the stifling heat of Cleveland in July. With images like this in my mind:

 

It had been almost a full year since we’d last been to Chautauqua. And that’s a very long time for us. We left in a hurry one Friday last July when our friend’s mother was in the hospital, shortening our vacation by a few days to be with them.

And then August came and our house was newly on the market so we felt pressure to spend every Saturday mowing and mopping to prepare for Sunday’s open house. Then September, and we got the keys to the new house and wanted nothing more than to delve into cleaning and painting and wallpaper-stripping. Suddenly it was October and unexpectedly cool and rainy, forcing the cancellation of a possible weekend or two at the lake. And before we knew it, all hell broke loose and we found ourselves hospital-bound for the following six months.

So a year goes by and we’re somehow older and somehow wiser and everything seems different and everything feels so, so the same. We arrive late Friday night and the boys go scurrying off to revisit their bunk beds, where they sleep squashed together on that oh-so-sacred top. The next three days are filled with trips to the waterfront to throw rocks, boat rides to Bemus Point for ice cream cones, and endless firework displays from all corners of the lake.  We eat breakfast, lunch and dinner out on the porch, usually before a spectacular sunset. We venture indoors only long enough to watch some equally spectacular soccer matches. And everything is as it’s always been.

We are a family of four, alive, together and ever hopeful for the future.

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February 2020
M T W T F S S
« Jan    
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
242526272829