Our world has gotten so complicated with all the technological advancements, that it is hard sometimes for those that are in our middle ages not to think of our childhood days with fondness and longing. Days when excitement meant the family was planning on getting together and doing what we always did in the great outdoors. My time in the mountains over the last week brought a lot of wonderful memories back to light.
Our family was always close. When we all got together for a big event, usually at a lake in north Florida, it was one of the most amazing times in my life. All the aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents and others would meet up to camp out around the lake. In the morning all the men would go fishing out on the lake and the rivers and they were sure to bring back a load of fish that they would spend the afternoon cleaning. The kids would find anything we could to play with and if we didn’t have anything we would make up our own games. We would swim, lay under the trees and just enjoy life and nature.
In the evenings, once the fish had been cleaned, all the cooking would happen. Fried fish with hushpuppies, potato salad, baked beans and just about every other southern food that you could think of. Not to mention the pies, cakes and goodies that had been baked for the event. Everyone would stuff themselves and then we would all wind up around the fire making s’mores or just telling and listening to stories.
The most important thing I remember from those times was that the family just enjoyed each other. There wasn’t fighting or bickering or jealousy. We were all there for a common purpose. That purpose was to have fun, eat some good food and just enjoy the company of each other. I always dreaded when those weekends would end because I knew it would be a while before we could repeat them. Now that everyone is older, they haven’t happened in years and I miss them.
The memories that we make during those years carry with us for a lifetime. Today, I make new memories with my chosen family & friends and the family that still gets together. I have to wonder if it isn’t how society has changed that has made us all so busy that those times of the past haven’t continued into the present. Or, maybe in a way we still do them, just with new generations.
Have a great weekend and remember to be the reason someone smiles.