As I am writing this column i am with the BIL (Boy I Love) and his entire family at their Piseco Lake house located in the Adirondacks (upstate New York). The nearly 100-year-old cabin  is alive right now with about two dozen family members ranging in age from 22 months-old to 888 months-old. We are four days into our vacation and the group has had only one minor trip to the emergency room (stitches in the chin) and one trip to the clinic (stomach virus). We take out the trash 40 times a day and do the dishes 140 times a day and because of the water shortage (lack of rain) we are encouraged to bathe in the lake, which I  like. We have water skied, tubed, boarded, canoed, kayaked, and tore up the lake riding the wave runner. The home was built by my BIL’s great grandfather, Luther Edwards and his son Frank  and was to serve  as a summer vacation spot for the family. To build the home, the father son duo had to haul wood on a unpaved road via a model T. As I look at all the family pictures on the wall some dating back to 1862, I wonder if the Edwards men ever realized what they were building at the time.

This  is the thickest home I ever been in, there are layers upon layers of family memories. Generations have grown up here, been married here, laughed, loved and died here. This house has felt pain and known how to comfort, it has felt frustration and known how to sooth, it has felt lonely and known how to give company and more then ever, it has felt joy and known how to celebrate. It has been a haven for children desperate to grow up and adults in need of a return to childhood.

This house holds my BIL’s best memories. Memories of how he learned to water ski, memories of the trouble he would get into with his brother, sister,  cousins and lake friends, memories of his first summer job, of his first kiss behind the roller rink and most of all memories of his dad. I will never meet my BIL’s dad but from  what I gather,  his dad, Pete worked hard and played hard, he was adventurous yet a planner, strickt yet loving and above all he was a true family man. August 18th marks the 18th anniversary of when BIL’s dad was killed in a car accident while driving up to the Piseco Lake house.

Sailing was a passion for BIL’s dad. Days after his death, the family raced a sailboat in his honor. From start to finish,  the family noticed the same monarch butterfly following the sailboat.

Earlier today some of the children and some of us adult children went on a treasure hunt. Pirates had come to Piseco and left some treasure for the children and we went on a mission to find it. As we loaded up the pontoon boat and set out on our journey in search of clues, we looked up and saw a monarch butterfly, which stayed with us for most of the journey. I want to believe BIL’s dad isn’t missing out on seeing what awesome adults he created and what beautiful, loving, smart and creative grandchildren he has. The butterfly we saw today let us know that although he’s not physically here, he is not missing out on a thing.

With most big things in life I tend to be a bit of a scaredy-cat. So knowing that I am getting married in two months from now, should freak me right out. But being here makes me less afraid, it reminds me that along with my own wonderful family, I will now inherit more love, support and good times than I ever could have hoped for.  Plus, how cool is it to have an excuse not to shower everyday, that reminds me, I better grab some soap and jump in the lake, I’m getting a little stinky.