By: Carol Rood
For me, memories of 4th of July evoke images of ice cream cones, sparklers, going to the beach to watch the fireworks, and picnics, cookouts with family and friends. I grew up in Connecticut, and I remember my parents doing a “New England Lobster Feast” on 4th of July. The backyard would be full of family, friends and neighbors. Then when everyone was completely stuffed full of lobster, potatoes, corn on the cob and strawberry shortcake, we would grab blankets and sparklers and walk the two blocks to Fairfield Beach to watch the fireworks.
These are great memories, and now that I am a mom, I want to create great memories for my kids to remember when they are grown and thinking back on their youth. I am not one to eat lobster so we have started a new tradition in our family. We go camping! My partner K (AKA Bluebell) and I bought a camper a few months ago, and we took it to the local Yogi Bear Campground in Yorktown Virginia this past weekend to create some memories!
We went camping with our friends the H family and the T family. (Although they are really more like family then friends.) Once the campers were situated on Friday evening, the memory-building began. We put the two teenaged boys in charge of building the fires, and of course they jumped at the chance to “play” with fire; is that a testosterone thing, or a teenager thing?? Not quite sure, but they did a great job!
We went to the new Yogi Bear campground in Gloucester Point Virginia. We all swam at the pool, made tie-dyed shirts, went down the water slides, went fishing, played basketball and volleyball, and participated in campground events like ceramics. We had fires at night and of course we made s’mores! Here is a picture of Boo Boo with all of the kids.
We have a camper and the T family has a camper, but the H family doesn’t, so some of them stayed in each camper. It was fun having the youngest, Nelson H (age 5), go back and forth between both of his “families”. We were parked next to each other, which made visiting, eating together, and hanging out easy.
This is Eliana H and our Jacob hanging out (probably watching an episode of “Glee”).
And even though the teenagers might have preferred being “plugged in”, as opposed to being with the families, they were good sports and I think even may have had a good time, although they may not admit it to anyone!
I truly hope that when Bluebell and my children grow up they will look back to their childhood, and memories of the holiday weekends will be filled with thoughts of family and friends, and good times. This is the legacy I want to leave for my children. That family and friends and sharing love and good times with them is what the essence of life is!