Growing up, we were nomads due to my dad's military career. A nuclear power plant would be built, and Dad's team would be shipped in to set up and train. Then we'd be on our way again. It wasn't conducive to making and keeping friends. I was always the new kid on the block. Things like music and schoolwork were the constants in my life. But there was always one place where we would go, where (like Cheers) everybody knew your name. You could be yourself. It always seemed like everyone loved us, and life was beautiful. The pine trees were tall, and the lake sparkled. Whether the sun was hot or the snow covered the ground, it was a happy place to be. It was Grandpa's Camp, in Northern Michigan.
When we found our place here, we also found out we were expecting our first grandchild, who is now nine months old. We've had a sign made that reads Grandpa's Camp, and we hope to have the same feeling here for our family that I had growing up whenever we visited my Grandpa's Camp. Last night we had a trial run.
Two of our daughter-in-law Ruth's brothers have moved to a nearby town, and last night they came over for a spaghetti dinner, bringing their wives and seven kids. It was fabulous, and I got to see what a wonderful place this will be when having our own grandchildren visit. We just had fun. We did the s'mores in the yard around the campfire, of course, since it's one of my favorite things to do, and we ate a lot, since it's one of my favorite things to do. I guess that's what we always seem to do here — the things I like best. That works for me. It was almost like being an honorary grandma last night, and the kids couldn't have been better behaved or more fun. I think I had more fun than anybody else. I certainly wasn't ready for the evening to end, but we'll have many more.