"Birth certificates show that you were born, death certificates show that you died.
Photographs show that you really lived."
And lived we did all week at Zeke and AnnMarie's lovely vacation home on Payette Lake in McCall. The Kopczynski's have always treasured pictures and their were guys with great cameras trying to capture all the precious moments of our week together. I'm guessing Larry, Duane, and Don each took about 2,000 photos. I uploaded many of Duane's photos for this blog post, and also some from my friends on Instagram.
Karen Stubbs made decorated personalized mugs for each of us, along with the welcome note. Personal nameplates decorated every door in all three cabins and a laminated one for Larry's family tent. The 90 degree days provided great opportunities for kayaking, paddleboarding, swimming, and tubing!
The children impressed this grandma with their courage and skill as they maneuvered the paddle boards in the water, made rough by the number of boats enjoying the lake all week. The children, 11 of them, always the center of attention, ranged in age from 3 - 12. They enjoyed each other and Grandma Marilyn commented that she didn't hear any complaining or tattling all week. Mom Jamie said her boys never once asked for screen time! What a gift to be outdoors every day!
The kids loved face painting - themselves and others!
Time for Rock Painting
And blowing bubbles
Riding trikes and getting wet on the deck!
There was time for a kid hike to Josephine Lake
And a trip to Ice Cream Alley
Time for serious discussions - maybe about a wedding or the challenges of teaching school
Time for birthday celebrations
And touching toasts to Dena
And Bradleigh for her approaching 21st birthday
Time for the "middles" to celebrate Jeremy's birthday at the Shore Lodge
A time for cupcakes
Time for pinatas
And gathering the candy from the pinatas!
Even a little time to study for the next test to become a financial advisor!
Larry had time to make his famous jerky
And these guys had some special male bonding time around the Traeger!
A time to act silly
A time to watch the older kids, and to snuggle with Grandma!
And wear Grandpa out with all the practice walking!
A time for fireworks
There was lots of time for smiles and laughter!
A time to reflect at the end of the day!
And, now I reflect on the gift of this week. And, what I want to say to all who might read this, "do you know how blessed we are to have enjoyed this special place and relaxed time that we had with each other?" Again, made possible by Zeke and AnnMarie's generosity and vision. You created, planned, and endured the chaos, so we could just be together! Borrowing John O"Donohue's words I'd like to offer a big thanksgiving to Zeke and AnnMarie.
"May the shelter and nourishment of all the good you have done, the love you have shown, the suffering you have carried, awaken around you to bless your life a thousand times."
All the photographs show how we lived the week. Now it's time to reflect on all the treasures hidden in our hearts as we recall the tender moments of love and concern. And to once again smile when we recall the funny and hilarious moments. Perhaps John O'Donohue was spot on when he wrote:
May the angel of memory surprise you in bleak times with new gifts from the harvest of your vanished days.
None of us want to imagine the harvest of our vanished days, but it happens and I recall how our Dad used to sit for hours looking through the scrapbooks and photo albums that Mom put together. Those books became angels of memory that brought surprise and joy to him. Maybe that's why I write this blog - to one day give me the surprise of my life, lived with love, joy, and hope!