As a family we almost always trek up to Maine. It is our family’s place to rest and play and enjoy time together.
This year, Anna and I left before the rest of our gang, and we drove up. A few stops along the way, Mississippi to see my Aunt! North Carolina to see the Lewis family. And finally we arrived to the same house we have visited since 1997. The rest of my family will arrive in about 2 weeks, and my brother in law and family will be here in about 9 days!
This year is different in many ways. First, there are only three of us here right now. Leslie, my father in law, Anna and me. It is quiet and calm, well in my mind it is. In reality it is a bit crazy with the two dogs as well. The second difference. I have never been here with a dog.
The major difference though is the absence of Betsy. Her fingerprints are in every space of this house and not hearing her voice, knowing she’s in the house, is so very hard. Seeing her touches of love and thoughtfulness everywhere is hard. She was the glue. She did more than just hold us all together though, she drew us together. She planned food and fellowship and fun, and we all came.
I am so glad that we are all coming again this year. We will fill the house with laughter, and probably some tears too, but lots of voices in the coming days and probably lots of scrapping dogs as well. I am glad though because she would not have wanted it any other way. She would want us together, on top of one another. Laughing with a beer here, a cocktail there and some ice tea as well. Hors d’oeuvres of cheese and pepper jelly, made by her in the past, and maybe even some clam dip. Marshmallow roasting, fires, and kayaking. All these things she would smile and savor, and I hope that we all do a lot of that these next few weeks.
Family is everything. Making memories, and doing life together is my favorite and while Betsy is not here making more memories, I am so very thankful for a head and heart full of memories from the past 23 years!