Just before I was born, my Grandpa bought property at Lake Holiday in Illinois.
(Back then, we all lived in Chicago).
My mom used to take me camping there when I was a baby.
A few years later, the family all worked together and built a house.
A few years later, my family moved to California.
We were still able to go visit occasionally because we could stay at the lake.
When I was in college, my roommate came with me to spend a week at the lake.
Now that I have children of my own, I take them to the lake.
It's my tie to Chicago.
When Saxon was 10 month old, my Dad took him on his first knee-boarding trip...
It's the kind of place where you sit in the grass and eat watermelon all day...
Saxon is wearing the same life-jacket that we wore as kids :)
The kids all learn to fish at the lake.
Someone created the "you have to kiss your first fish" rule.
He didn't even hesitate as he smooched his fish :)
About 6 months ago, I decided to paint a family tree for my Grandparents, and use the lake as the setting. I intended it to be for their birthdays in April, but it was a lot more work than I had anticipated.
My Grandma (my mom's mom) is a professional artist, so I recruited her help when I first thought of the idea...
And this is the finished product:
I am very happy with it.
I found the perfect frame at Hobby Lobby.
The painting has a lot going on, and the frame (unfinished, weathered wood) has nothing going on. It's the perfect contrast.
Now that it is finished, I am so excited to give it to them.
I called my Dad to tell him that it's ready.
He said "Good, because Grandpa just sold the lake".
We are all heartbroken!
Now, I guess it will serve as a memory of the place that has come to mean so much to so many generations.