[bl]T[/bl]raditions create a sense of place and identity, reminding us who we are and where we belong. They mark years and lay foundations of togetherness. They draw and bind us with purpose and intention.
Traditions are good for family and home. These holidays, events and moments are hospitable to us. They interrupt our normal routine and invite us, welcome us to share life with one another.
They don’t happen by accident. They take thought, intention and often resources, making holidays and normal life exist within memorable moments of time spent together. But they’re worth it.
For the past 30 some years the Gresham family has traveled to Lost Lake Woods for the 4th of July weekend. It began when my grandparents built a home that could keep us all. They lived there full time during the five months of warmer weather. And they enjoyed receiving their 3 children and spouses and 9 grandchildren for weekends of four wheeling, strawberry and chocolate pies, swimming, grilling, walking dirt roads and holiday fun.
My parents keep this tradition alive for us. It’s apart of who we are. We fill up their house of wood with 8 adults, 10 children and 4 dogs. And the numbers keep growing as we add life to this family who loves living it. Cousins sharing beds, late night laughter, morning pan cakes, multiple showers a day from the wind and sand of beach, boat, and ATVs.
And there’s still grandma’s strawberry pies.
The community of Lost Lake Woods creates traditions for residents and visitors, drawing us back for annual parades, amazing fireworks and holiday activites.
These weekends are never perfect (though this past one sure was close!) Sometimes it rains, or a four wheel accident slows us down. Or tension builds from too much togetherness. Or new babies limit us. Or someone moves to a far off place like Africa and misses out for 4 years. But each year we make the best of it. We escape together for some fun. We feel the wind on our face. The freedom of not keeping up house. The joy of children discovering greater freedom. The love shared between people with so much in common.
This tradition keeps us. So we’ll keep it.
It’s never too late to start a new tradition.