Years ago we started a family tradition for just our family of five. We camped at Raymond Gary Lake for July 4th. We met a great family that first year and every year we met them at our spot for fun, food and fellowship of like-minded Believers. Mike and Cassie shared their pontoon boat and took us swimming in the hot of the day and for a toodle around the lake after supper. The annual fireworks show took place from the piers around the lake and from homeowners there. We would sit in the middle of the lake while fireworks burst overhead showering us with light. More than once we weathered lightning storms hoping not to get struck. It was so hard to freely enjoy the light show when you know you're in an aluminum boat on the lake. We loaded up on junk food 'cause Cassie is the ultimate fun camping mom.
It was always fun to arrive at the campgrounds and watch the kids run to climb on this one certain low hanging tree. With each passing year I noticed the tree seemed smaller than the year before. Hmmm. We each had an important job to perform to get camp set up. After the work the boys would hop on their bikes and fly down the winding hills. We always enjoyed Daddy cooking breakfast and Jansen's famous camp toast.
One year as we were on the lake waiting for fireworks we called Derek to let him know what he was missing by not coming. The next year we were calling Candace. As we heard her choke back the tears we knew we had succeeded in making those "family memories" that run deep. Regardless of how nice life is we think of those years camping.: The muddy water of the lake, the temperature changing with the depths, the year we had the johnny boat, waving at the passersby, meeting new folks, johnny coming by for coffee and a chat.
Thank goodness for a country where our lives are free because someone loved America enough to fight for her. Happy Fourth of July!