If you missed my last post, the kids and I are currently in New Hampshire, soaking up summertime and seeing my family for the first time in 10 months. I forgot how sweet summer is in New Hampshire, and I’ve been loving this humidity here lately. I know what you’re thinking. What? You love humidity? Now, hear me out. In Washington, we very rarely have any humidity at all, and you might have noticed we’ve had an extremely fickle summer at JBLM thus far. In fact, summer appeared to have finally arrived for real when the kids and I left at the end of last week. So, sufficed to say, we’re soaking up all the humidity during our summer week in New Hampshire because it just feels like summer.
I didn’t make big plans for us while in New Hampshire. I wanted to see my family, I want my kids to meet their cousin, and I want to squish my six-month-old nephew for the first time ever. Beyond that, everything is gravy. My mom had a double knee replacement this year, as well. Her first was replaced right before COVID completely blew normalcy to hell. The second was just seven weeks ago. So, while I’d love to say we’re going on big hikes, we’re trading those for small adventures that are just as sweet and, as usual, outdoors. And, like I mentioned, humidity gives people a great reason to spend every second of a summer week in New Hampshire in some sort of water.
From the little local’s hideaway where the Swift River meets the Saco to visiting Keoka Lake and Kokosing in Waterford, Maine, we’ve spent every possible second outside. As in most areas, public pools are closed in Washington, so the kids have been craving an opportunity to swim with no real outlet. We’ve obviously done our best, swimming at Granite and Bertha May lakes, American Lake, etc., but the opportunities are far more plentiful here.
Particularly special was our day spent in Maine. I don’t know if I’ve ever really shared our attachment to Kokosing in Maine, but it’s probably one of the most special places in the world to our family. Some of my earliest memories are from Keoka Lake and Kokosing. My Uncle Spence, who Spencer is named after, would fish for trout, bringing the freshest catch back for breakfast. We’d celebrate with sparklers under the stars on the 4th of July. We’d spend hours upon hours in that beautiful lake, learning to swim out and dive from the docks, rowing the canoes, running around the root-filled paths with feet sticky with pine sap. I swam across that lake more than once. My brother in law proposed to my sister there, and after Uncle Spence died, Kokosing became a living memory of some of our best times with him.
As a military family, home is a weird thing, which I’ve mentioned before, but going back with my own three children felt like a sort of homecoming. It was soul fuel. The camp and cabins are obviously closed this summer due to COVID, and there wasn’t a soul in sight, but we played in the water, watching those memories come alive again in the faces and hearts of my own children. Honestly, I haven’t felt that peaceful in a really long time.
I may have hesitated briefly when buying tickets back East, but a summer week in New Hampshire is just what we needed to fill our cups before the latter half of summer, Ryan’s TDY, and the impending craziness and chaos that will be fall and whatever school looks like this year. I’m so grateful we’ve had this opportunity to decompress and refresh together.
Tell me – do you have places like this that are so special and dear to your heart?