My happy place...
Well my fellow travelers, I just returned from vacation. This is the longest vacation that I have been able to take in years. Nine days of stepping off the treadmill and relaxing. That's right, the longest vacation in years.
It's hard to believe that you can be held back from relaxation because you are sick. But, that has been my story for far too long. The daily stability of my new treatments made it possible to enjoy an amazing vacation and file away many exquisite moments. To drink in the memories, to savor the seconds like a fabulous meal or glass of wine. In summer it is difficult to find the time to sit and write. I need a blend of silence and lack of interruption. The journey of having two amazing Beauties home is that those moments are hard to find... So as I write, the Beauties are yelling at each other about going to the park. I remind myself that these are the days I will long for in just a few years.
But I digress:
There are places in our world that offer us a break from the treadmill, a respite from the storm of life. And this vacation offered me that space. I have known Jeffrey for 23 years and the very first of his friends my Jeffrey introduced me to, were the ones who would become Norah's godparents. Fairy-godmother Jane and her beloved, we just call him the Godfather around here, Steve. I actually met Steve first. I fed him dinner and alcohol after Jane had breast cancer surgery. Jeff and Steve came and sat at the bar with me after that surgery. I met Jane six weeks later in her kitchen drinking margaritas and eating nachos with fresh jalapenos from their garden. She had just returned from her vacation home in Maine, where she had lovingly hung, while on a ladder, cedar siding. I'm sure every surgeon would think two weeks after major surgery is the perfect time to be on a ladder hanging siding, but that is just what she was doing. With a cancer diagnosis you have to shake things up and that is just what she did, she shook it all up. And she did it in her happy place.
Camp is that happy place. Camp is part fairy dust, part magic, and all love... It is rustic, beautiful and a place where I have never had a sleepless night and my worries have always melted away. It is something special, it is sacred in that you find yourself there, every-time. You reset your priorities, see life with the clarity of a fine Waterford wine glass. I don't quite know how the fairy's under Jane's watchful eyes do it... But, there is magic there, I have seen it! Jane could tell you how many times in the last 20 years I have visited, I really can't say, but each and every-time it has helped me chart a new course in my life. From jobs, to motherhood, to cross country travel, it has always helped me find my truth North. Camp hasn't only saved me, it brings peace and love to all who visit.
I love that it's informal, you don't bring your club clothes, nope you bring your favorite jeans, your old flip-flops, no one cares if your mani-pedi is perfect. I'm lucky to find my toothbrush, you don't need makeup. You wear T-shirts, and shorts, you never dress for dinner unless you call a lobster bib dressing. You are your real-self. Stripped down to who you are, real approachable, your true self.
Camp has been in Jane's family for years, her Grandfather and Uncle used the property as one of the original man caves, in the 60's. Without benefit of a tape-measure or level her uncle began building the A frame cottage. Steve on the other hand with his masterful touch has used a level and made the Camp's true beauty shine. Steve's superb craftsmanship and Jane's architectural eye have transformed the once lowly fishing cottage into a woodland retreat. But the building belies the real truth... It is the Lilly pads on the lake that stop you to see the wonder of nature, even the baby hummingbirds we watch test their wings this year, the dock where too many children have learned to swim, take canoe rides, or just splash in the water, every dog is always welcome and oodles of them have fetched sticks. Then there are the countless hours of floating just off the dock, just basking in the cool waters and warm sun of Maine in the summer. The last time I was ever floating in water was in Maine. A great memory. The Godparents have hosted, every niece and nephew they have, every friend have at one time or another visited.
It has been a summer mecca for years.
I had my first Lobster at Camp, a first for many of the visitors, a true right of passing, and a tradition at least one night while there. I have eaten blueberries just picked, and sipped coffee that has never tasted better. I have been over-served and never had a drop, it makes no difference the memories are all the same...
It's heaven on earth.
Steve and Jane see Camp not so much as theirs, but as if they are care-takers of a gift, a precious and beautiful one. They are a rare team that opens their door to all, and loves each and every guest.
It's no surprise we asked them to be our Irish Princess' guide in this world. There are people in this life that are shepherds, guides... That's Steve and Jane. A godparent needs to do one thing really well, they need to "get it". And when I say "get-it", it means that they are in the world, but not of the world. They delight in the foolishness of living, but also are able to teach through example and guide our child. They are phenomenal godparents. For the record, far better than Jeffrey and I have been to our godchildren.
I'm not surprised that God put these two amazing people in our life... Not even close. They are gifts, that I know I will spend eternity with... Heaven for us will look like a small cottage in Maine, with a cool lake that I will swim in daily, the best blueberry pie imaginable, a warm fire in the fireplace every night, with lobster and a coffee called "
" and Jesus telling us HE is so proud of us, and telling us that we did well.
So maybe that is what Camp is... A door to Heaven, a taste of eternity, a place to find God without looking at all... Because HE is present with us at the table.
Hope your Summer is filled with Exquisite Everyday Moments just like ours... We are overwhelmed with gratitude, love and well more love. Please know I'm praying for each and everyone of you, today and always.
Photo credit: Mr. PilgrimageGal