I broke into a jog , my oldest daughter pacing beside me on her bike. Two of my other children were quite a ways ahead, one weaving back and forth and the other stooped, picking raspberries with his bike parked beside him. Hannah said, "I wish we weren't going home today, Mom."
"I know," I acknowledged her grief at the end of our vacation. Trying to avoid the lecture about we've been fortunate to have four weeks I say instead, "We've had a lot of fun. These four weeks have gone fast, eh?"
She then said, "I'm looking forward to seeing my room again and our house."
We smiled at one another and she reminds, "We come back for the long week-end in five sleeps."
I had purposely planned this last six and a half km on the Tay Shore Trail as an interlude in the pack-up. There's always such mixed emotions at the end of our time at the cottage. We pack up memories as we fold towels, tuck away bathing suits, store away beach toys, and paddles. We sweep out the cottage and check for any treasures left behind. We know we'll be back for more good times on Georgian Bay. We take with us grateful hearts for so many experiences shared together. We're thankful for this place to marvel at God's creation and build family memories. And we are thankful for home and friends and the rhythms of our small town life.
I look forward to drinking water from the tap, a dishwasher, washing machine and a full-fledged shower. The older I get, the more I enjoy my creature-comforts. I look forward to seeing friends again and I missed full access to my blog friends and regularly reading, "Whateverhesays" and "Holy Experience". We missed worshipping at Faith Community Church in Alliston although we are blessed by those we fellowship with at Christ Church in Waubaushene.
The last of the bins, and full-laundry baskets were packed in the Suburban and then they came over - our dear cottage friends, the Martin's. How is it that hearts connect, bond, and rejoice together in any place?
I looked at Paul, all 6'8" of him. He and I played together as children. We water-skiied across the bay, sunk his "Li'l Skipper, an old white row boat, and jumped off the gunwales of our cedar-strip canoe. He stood there laughing with his dear wife, Susan and their 4 children. Easy chatter and some tears as we talk of his mom, a valiant widow and his dad who left this earth a year ago, February. Laughter returns as one of his daughters hides behind Hannah. The girls wonder if maybe no one would notice if we gained another girl and the two could continue playing into the next week.
I'm proud of my pastor-friend and his sweet wife. Only God in His goodness and mercy and love could have the two of us find Himself in separate journeys, in separate places, and have us re-unite as brothers and sisters in Christ. I am so grateful that we can share some of our earthly journey and our eternity together. Treasures to be sure.
We say our good-byes to them and resume cleaning and packing, the twins already buckled in their car seats are contentedly waiting for our trip home.
Padlocks are on the boathouse, pump box, and our new deck box and we close the windows and lock up the cottage door. I gaze at the lake, making a mental picture of the view that has been so dear to me. My husband hops into the Honda and I climb up into the Suburban. We are homeward bound....
Our earthly journey is fleeting. The gifts God gives as we sojourn here cannot be compared with the treasures to be received when we reach our Heavenly Home.
"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal, But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, their will your heart be also." Matthew 6:19-21 NASV