It was wonderful to head back to New Brunswick this summer to visit with my parents on Grand Lake. I have such great memories of summers spent there. Surprisingly enough, my fondest memories revolve around the (many) years without electricity or plumbing. Those days we spent as much time outside as possible, swimming (Mom would con me into a swim after a particularly thrilling chapter of the Bobbsey Twins, by promising to put me out of suspense…once I joined her for a dip in the lake), picking raspberries, campfires (always accompanied by family “sing-songs”, minus Dad) and of course boating. But rainy days were welcomed as well; some homemade “haystacks” for sustenance, perhaps a trip into the metropolis of Chipman, and a few rounds of “How Many in a Bushel” (played with either marbles or dried beans). We had visitors throughout our vacation, and it never occurred to me to get bored. There were always sleepovers in the loft, the treks up our driveway (1/2 km long) to gather fresh water from the on-property spring (still the source of all fresh drinking water in the house), raking leaves…there was always something to do.
Needless to say, I’m sentimental about this spot – which, regardless of the fact it now has running water, electricity, and all the comforts of modern living, will always be affectionately known as “The Camp” to me.
We arrived Tuesday afternoon, and after we got Abby settled for her afternoon nap, Dad and I headed off for a boating trip up Salmon River. The weather was spectacular. When we arrived home, John was nearly finished washing/waxing the car, and Abby was chasing a soccer ball all around the lawn. Apparently John would throw the ball, wax a small portion of the car, and then Abby would be back again…ball in hand, waiting for a repeat performance. This went on for over half an hour.
Abby has been very resistant (to put it diplomatically) to any contact with water lately. Bath time is synonymous with meltdown. So we weren’t sure how she would respond to the lake. Complete and utter joy. Seriously. She splashed and kicked and shrieked. Made her water-loving parents proud.
Abby went boating several times and, like swimming, surprised us by loving it. She wasn’t at all phased by the bulky life jacket, but did cling to John rather tightly on the first ride.
Saturday was a wedding day! My cousin Thomas married his long-time friend Jocelyn in a lovely ceremony in Saint John (although, in true Saint John form, it rained and was foggy). I sang in the wedding so Abby stayed with Grammie and Grampie all day Friday, while John and I shopped, ran errands, and attended the rehearsal. We spent the night with my Uncle David and Aunt Shirley in Rothesay, and met up with Abby just before the wedding. She was well behaved for Grammie and Grampie (and even got to me her Great-Grammie Corkum). By the reception, she was starting to wane, having only a short 1-hour nap in the car between the ceremony and reheresal. But she did so well (the cheesecake helped with that – she is her Mama’s daughter), and even stayed awake the whole way back to Grand Lake so bedtime was a cinch. Great to see various Aunts (Shirley, Heather, and Kathy) and Uncles (David, Richard, and Mike).
The final afternoon, due to some unforeseen problems getting laundry done (Grampie’s dryer broke), we spent down at the local Bible camp. Abby had a blast running through the fields, but her favourite part was throwing rocks into the lake. She sat there for ages just throwing rock after rock into the water.
One final boat ride with Grampie. Who, incidentally, Abby adored. She is still, almost a week after leaving, asking for “Gree” – which translated is Grampie. He held her and carried her and fed her the whole week (stopping short of changing dirty diapers of course). Grammie was no chopped liver either, and Abby has a whole new slew of favourite songs – Mr. Noah being her top choice these day.
Wonderful vacation! Looking forward to many more summer memories at “The Camp!”