Summer Weekends

Josh - Wichita, Kansas
Entered on March 4, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: family

I believe in summer weekends at the lake.

For 20 of my parents’ 22-year marriage, all of my 16-year life, and my entire sister’s 13 years on earth my family has spent just about every summer weekend at the lake. We’ve gone through different favorite lake phases but for the past few years we’ve been stationed at Skiatook Lake, Oklahoma, where we’ve met some of the best friends our lives have seen. Last year’s Memorial Day weekend was the benchmark where I truly identified the effect these hundreds of trips have effected my life and brought me to the person I am now.

It began with the typical lake routine of my parents getting off work early, the family piling into the truck for the two-and-a-half hour drive, arriving at the campground to set up our fifth wheel camper, get cozy with the site, and celebrate the true arrival of camping/boating season with our group of lake families. For the most part of our history, Memorial Day weekend has been a damp weekend with little sun but on this instance, the weather was picture perfect: blue skies, a touch of white puffy clouds, and ninety-degree temperatures. From the moment the group was awake, normally eleven in the morning, to dinnertime, our time was spent on our seeming “fleet” of around ten boats. Of course, a portion of our time was spent to stereotypical lake-going way involving inner tubing, wakeboarding, and other water sports but the vast majority of our weekend was spent with the engines off, both literally and metaphorically, at our resting spot of the cliffs. Think it’s not the normal thing people do at the lake? Ask the other 102 boats (yes I counted from the top of the 45-foot jumping cliff) that joined us there to simply relax, meet new friends, and expand the relationship of old ones. It was in these moments of hopping from boat to boat to talk with random strangers, soon destined to be someone I would look forward to seeing year round; that I saw this portion of life has made me to be the fun-loving and outgoing person that I am. Because of the many hours spent in that crammed truck, the time spent on the water, and the other many memories at the campsites, I have the close relationship with my family and the great friends that I will always be thankful for. Along with the relationships gained, I have seen positive side of human qualities that is so very kind and realized the greatness of spending time in fellowship with others.

These moments of family tradition truly meet the definition of invaluable and have certainly been some of the most cherished parts of my life. For that reason, I believe in summer weekends at the lake.