Summertime and the Living's Easy

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I’m sure the fish are jumping somewhere. I’d love to be the one catching them but I haven’t given much time to fishing lately. I hear of the fishing trips my siblings and their spouses have taken. Actually, I get up to the minute details as invariably, either Tildy or George will call while on the ocean, lake, river or Pier in Daytona Beach.

We used to have a seafood feast in our parent’s backyard after all the shopping and fishing had been done. There would be smoked or steamed oysters, fried fish, and a seafood boil with crab, shrimp, corn on the cob and new potatoes. Yum, yum, yummy! I miss those days.

Here’s an idea that you and your family may wish to adopt. Or, you may wish to pass it on to friends and co-workers. I think it’ll grab your attention and may get you to thinking about doing something similar even if on a smaller scale for your family and/or siblings. Friends can also be substituted for family.

A girlfriend shared with me an annual summertime activity started by her in-laws who live in Marin County, California. She and her husband, along with his five siblings would take the grandchildren to their grandparent’s home for Summer Camp. The gang would have received an invitation which included a list of supplies and things needed. It was my understanding the grandchildren ranged from infancy to early twenties and just as many showed up at Summer Camp. She said it was a vacation all of them looked forward to, kids and parents alike. The parents would take off for Lake Tahoe, Carmel, Monterey, and other wonderful destinations while the kids were with their grandparents.

The grandchildren would sleep all over the house including outside under tents, or not, and in sleeping bags. The older grandchildren would work in the nursery, kitchen, and as Camp Leaders. They would cook, teach, train, and chaperone for the excursions held while at Summer Camp. Excursions included trips to: Alcatraz, zoos, museums, planetarium, train and ferry rides, beaches, hiking, Disneyland, and many other destinations. They would also attend church services together.

My girlfriend explained this was the highlight of everyone’s summer. It’s a tradition going into its seventh year and everyone, including those away at university, can’t wait to see what their grandparents have come up with each summer!

It certainly is a loving way to teach values, responsibility, and respect and illustrate the power and importance of family unity to children and adults. Bonds are being formed that will last a lifetime. The children get ten days at Summer Camp with their grandparents and the adults get the same time away with their spouses. And for my girlfriend, her husband sees his siblings once a year, guaranteed.

My girlfriend’s in-laws have started a priceless tradition. They know how busy life can become but how important it is for families to remain families, in spite of life’s demands. They’re keeping their children together and forging the ties that bind with the first cousins.

Comedian Jerry Seinfeld said, “There is no such thing as fun for the whole family.” Summer Camp in Marin County, California with Gramps and Granny disputes that statement hands down. I’m sure Seinfeld was making a joke but it can be a challenge to find something the “whole family” can enjoy, especially when there is a wide range in maturity levels. “So hush little baby, don’t you cry.” It’s summertime!




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