Great Family Memories


A couple years ago a friend of mine mentioned that he was looking through family photo albums and realized how many of their favorite family memories revolved around water. I have thought back on that statement a number of times as I have come to realize how true that is for my family as well. Watching 4th of July fireworks on grandpa’s boat, biking to the Rockford dam, family vacations at the lake, swimming in the backyard inflatable pool, hiking out by Pickerel Lake and more.

Psychologist and author Mary Pipher states that people remember three kinds of family events with great pleasure — meals, vacations and time outdoors.

My father was a school teacher which gave him summers off and each July our family would embark on a three week camping trip in a pop-up camper to explore some area of our country. I have many great memories from those trips which I now realize are an intense combination of the three events listed by Pipher. Anyone who has camped in a 60 square foot camper for weeks on end will understand that intense is not too strong a word for all the family bonding packed into those experiences.

Since it is now past the 4th of July, most of you have already had the conversation about how fast the summer is going…how you are not getting out to do all the things you had hoped you would do.

I am sure that I will not have time for a three week family vacation this summer, but that doesn’t mean that my family is not going to make great memories. We are grabbing all the opportunities we can to get outdoors and experience the beautiful Michigan summer weather. We are regularly eating outside on our deck which I think makes every meal more enjoyable (especially after all the work I did to get our deck looking nice).

This January when we look back at our summer pictures while the snow blows outside, we will have have many photos from summer 2011 and many will involve water. I am confident that in the years to come my children will look back on these simple family events “with great pleasure”. We are making great family memories!


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