Every year, DH's family (mother's side) has a reunion at Lake Lopez. Every year, everyone tries to make it. Every year, we eat the same things, we do the same things, and we talk about the same things. Every year Grandma makes something for the young children. Every year someone gets hurt or sick. Every year there are yellow jackets, flies, mosquitoes, gnats, raccoons, skunks, wild turkeys, deer, and WIND. Every year there is boating on the lake and driving to a beach on the coast. Every year we have Church on Sunday, all be it a small version. Every year we end the weekend with a few hours at the waterslides. Every year we talk about how much we love doing this every year. Oh, and did I mention that this includes a family of 2 great-grandparents, 8 sets of parents/grandparents, 38 grandchildren (with several spouses), and 15 great-grandchildren? Oh, and that they've been doing this for 38 years?
I have only been in DH's family for 8 1/2 years. Out of those years I have attended the Lopez camp out 4 times. So, technically, the tradition is supposed to be new and misunderstood by me. However, it only took one time of attending to realize how great the Lake Lopez tradition truly is...and how important it is to our family.
Perhaps this is because my own family is full of traditions. My own extended families are together once a year --usually in Canada. Waterton Park is my Lopez. Although the Waterton trip is usually for a day, I can understand how doing the exact same things every single year can be not only addictive, but therapeutic as well. There's nothing like tradition to unite a family.
As for this year, Lake Lopez did not disappoint. Aside from our tent blowing down the entire weekend (note to self: put tent somewhere else next year), the only downer was that Grandpa was unable to come for the first time. His health would not allow him to be there, and it was really sad not to see him. We truly missed him.
On a good note, I opted to join the traditional Lopez Run this year. I was up at 5:20AM with the other runners/walkers, and we were off! We drove 10 miles from the campsite to a park near town, and then ran/walked back. No joke! My MIL and I were the only ones that walked the entire distance (7 others ran/jogged). We did it in 2 hours and 18 minutes (I think). It felt great! Of course, it helped that brenbot and I walked 6 miles the day before. Wha-hoo! All in all, I walked 22.1 miles last week.
I'll post some pictures later of the trip. Here's to awesome family traditions! (go check out Rochelle's family tradition here...).