This week I’m taking a little trip back in time to chronicle our Bear Lake days before they wash away and become foggy. Oh man, spending every summer at Bear Lake growing up has caused a pretty hefty chunk of my heart to be attached to it. My kids have always adored it too, but I think this was the first year I have noticed how much that love has become deeply entrenched in their little souls. I wish I had a recording of their excitement as we got closer and closer to seeing that gorgeous blue gem as we drove through the canyon that led us there. Since Dave and Max were on their way back to the desert and I had no one to roll their eyes at me, I blasted Holst’s “The Planets Suite” in the car as we drove and had the kids pick which one they thought matched Bear Lake best. (We chose Jupiter.) I didn’t think to have anyone snap a picture until we were already on our side of the lake, but isn’t that blue beauty inviting? By the time we arrived, half of the families in my extended family were already there in anticipation of the reunion so my Mom decided it was a good time to whisk away with some of her “groups” on their “Grammie Camps” before all the reunion hoopla began. We met this group of kids on our way to the cabin and my mom snuck off with the big kids to see the latest “Bandito” play in Pickleville. I wish pictures could capture the jubilance when they first ran to each other with hugs. There’s something so therapeutic about watching the sun set over those mountains over there, reflecting in the lake. This great lady took the younger group on a little adventure the next day: She came up with the idea to have the big girls help out this year and assigned an older one to each younger one which the girls, older and younger, beamed at. (She did these boys’ camp before we got there.) These guys worked tirelessly on fixing up one of the older cars. That’s their favorite past-time up there. After Claire’s third day of limping around after Max broke Claire’s toe (by stepping on it)in California I figured it was time to take her in to make sure it was healing correctly (we wanted to be sure the way she was walking wasn’t hurting the rest of her foot). Last year right as we arrived at Bear Lake we found out Claire had the mumps…hmmmm…some bad luck there… Her cousins were sweet enough to beg to come along to be her moral support.…and even wore their matching shirts for the occasion. The doctor confirmed it was indeed broken, and indeed swollen but that they couldn’t do anything about it. At least we got to pick up a little something for my second of the three cold sores I was lucky enough to have to get through summer:I’m pretty sure you have to take that kind of medicine with a Twizzler… And I’m also pretty sure that when you are in Montpelier you must stop by the house that used to be my Grandma’s…the one two of these girls are named after (Claire Hazel and Hazel on the right below). I miss that lady. Then we hunkered down back at the lake with the cousins……and got ready for the big reunion to begin. Let the baby-loving… no-pants-wearing-cousin-bonding… …giant-amounts-of-food-eating… …grandparents-soaking-in …fun begin!