The Summer of Family

Someone posed a question to me recently: What is one unintended consequence of the pandemic this summer that has been positive, and something that you wouldn’t have probably done otherwise?

I got more time with the kids at home, grew a garden from seeds, lots of running on local trails, made a few Tik Tok videos, and enjoyed being outdoors, however, the very best thing was the time Max and Mila got to spend with their cousins and family.

Cousin crew at Anna Maria Island, Florida, in June.

Early this summer we rented a house at the beach with my sister, my sister-in-law, all of my nieces and nephews, parents, and even a great grandparent and my aunt and uncle.  After so long apart, it was amazing to have everyone together.  
Toward the end of summer, we made our first (socially distant) trip out of state in five months. On the way to my parents house in a Pennsylvania, we traveled to my sister-in-law’s house just outside of Raleigh, where Max and Mila got to play with their cousins Madie and Elliott, and even got a bit of fishing in.  Liz’s house is beautiful, and inspired me to do a few renovations around my house lately, including installing lots of shiplap.
Maxwell fishing with Uncle Jim in North Carolina.

Maxwell with his first catch of the day (right before throwing him back).

Madie and Mila, only four days apart in age.
On the second leg of our trip, we made our way up to Central Pennsylvania to my parents house. My sister and her children came in from Indiana, and it was like my childhood growing up in the summer (just more kids at the house). We spent hours each day in the pool, at night tried to catch fireflies, and listened and cicadas sing is to sleep.  
Cadence, Camryn, Max, Mila and Carlin across the road from Meema’s house.

Checking out the local trains with Pappap.

Meema spoiling the kiddos with snacks when they are done with the pool.
Views from my morning run.

Maxwell wearing my grade school tee shirt in on a walk by the Spring Dam in Roaring Spring.

Berries, bunnies and flowers in my parents back yard.

Aunt Coco getting the kiddos ready for bed.

Just down the lane my parents live on, just after sunset.
One day we spent at my dads cabin. He has spent the better part of the last 20 years working on perfecting his hand built a cabin that is nestled in a forest at the top of a mountain.  The living area is perched up on a little knoll, and down below he’s built several bridges that cross the stream that runs nearby. 
Pappap and his cabin. I love this place, and so proud of what he has built.

The next day we went on a proper hike up the side of a mountain near Bedford. All of the kids kept up great, even my little two year old niece Cadence who walked nearly the whole thing herself.  
Hiking near Bedford, just behind the Omni Bedford Springs, where there are miles and miles of trails.

Years from now, I don’t think my kids will remember so much about how crazy the world is right now, but will think about that summer with their cousins, spending days at the beach, hiking in the mountains, and having jumping contests in the swimming pool.

  1. So Blessed To Enjoy your family and extended family. Thank you for letting ys spend time in the rented house. It was a Fun Day!

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