Another weekend gone, bringing us one step closer to what is quite possibly my favorite celebration of the summer: July 4th!
My family’s tradition is to head up to my Aunt and Uncle’s lake house along with a couple dozen cousins, aunts, uncles and of course the matriarch of our gang, Grandma Rea!
Now, I know my beloved Grandma will probably give me an earful for mentioning her in a column (sorry, Grandma!) but I truly cherish every moment I get to spend with the toughest and most admirable woman I know.
If you want to know how to live a satisfying and full life, talk to my Grandma and she’ll explain it from the perspective of someone who’s only about halfway finished (none of us in the family doubt she’ll be around another century to pass her love and wisdom on to great-great-great grandchildren).
Anyway - now that I’ve finished embarrassing my family - July 4th at Lake Brantingham is always an amazing experience. There’s about a million different things to do to satisfy any desire for the perfect summer weekend getaway.
Motorboating, tubing, swimming, hiking, card games, yard games, and all manner of delicious food to fill the most cavernous of bellies.
Personally, I have three things that I have to check off my to-do list each Independence Day visit.
The first is canoeing/kayaking. I have always loved getting into one of the little one-man kayaks and taking a few laps around the lake. My favorite time to do this will probably come as a shock to many of my more avid followers (and perhaps even those not familiar with my monthly complaints).
There is nothing more peaceful and mesmerizing then hopping into a kayak before dawn and paddling out into the center of the lake to watch the sun rise above the horizon. The trick is to do it before any of the hundreds of gas-powered boats have invaded the still of the water.
The fog that has gently crept across the crystaline surface during the night glows with one hundred hues of orange, red, and yellow giving the impression of floating in a pool of liquid gold.
It’s a truly awesome experience and is one that even I will wake up early on my day off just to experience.
The second involves jumping in the car and taking the one mile trip to the outdoor movie theatre located at the edge of the lake properties. They always get some surprisingly fun movies and personally I will take drive-in over 3D any day. I still remember clearly crouching in the trunk of my mother’s car with my brother and enjoying two of my all-time favorite things: movies and the great outdoors.
When we were younger we’d go as a family, but the past few years it’s just been Chris and I which made for some of my best memories with my little bro. The best double feature we saw? Wall-E and The Incredible Hulk. Heck yea!
Finally, my absolute favorite thing to do at Lake Brantingham each year (drum roll please badumdumdumdumdumdumdumdumdum ...)
... is reading!
It’s true. Perhaps it sounds lame when compared to the dozens of activities that involve either motors, fire or both, but the truth is: While I love participating in the others, reading always comes out on top in the end. I love curling up in my tent (there are always four or five each year positioned around the cabin) or in a hammock or even at the edge of the dock if the younger generation has vacated the waterfront for a few minutes (normally only happens for meals).
I usually bring my own books but my aunt and uncle also maintain a veritable library of fiction for the family to draw upon during quiet moments. We’re all pretty big bibliophiles.
So that’s what I’m looking forward to this summer, how about you, Chenango-ites? What’s your favorite summer tradition?
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