Lately I’ve found myself reminiscing, more so than usual. I always make it a habit to look back on fond (and not so fond) memories because they’ve shaped the person I’ve become, but it’s hitting me harder now for some reason. Maybe it’s because I’m approaching 30, maybe it’s because I’m focusing more on making my life mean something to me. Either way, emotions are making their way to the surface that haven’t occurred to me in a very long time.
As I drove to the lake two weeks ago, through the Fraser Canyon and up into the deep Cariboo, I began to well up for no apparent reason. Sure, I had worked an opening shift that morning, and nobody knows better than me that I tend to get over-emotional when I’m over-tired, but as I passed through Lytton in the heat of that late-July afternoon, one of my Grandpa’s favourite songs came up on shuffle and a happy tear escaped, rolling slowly down my cheek. Yep, I’m a dork.
So much of my childhood is wrapped up in the Picken’s Roost, the cabin on Pressy Lake. I have a memory for each long weekend, New Years Eve, and summer vacation I’ve spent up there in the last 28 years. Traditions run deep in that place, like the games of Rumoli running late into the night, like the countless happy hours every day at 4pm, like honking our car horns like crazy people as we drive the road out on our way back to 70 Mile House. And, as the cabin is about to vanish behind the trees, I swear I can see Grandpa waving at us from the dock on the other side of the lake, yelling “Adios!” at the top of his lungs.
I do that now, yell “Adios!” That tradition will always belong to the Picken’s.
The grandparents are gone now, but not really. I feel the most connected to them there because, despite the fact that they lived just across the bridge in Richmond when they were alive, the cabin is where we really spent time with them. They loved that place as much as I do now, so much so that their ashes reside next to each other in the garden behind the log cabin they bought together in 1978. As I walk around the property, everything reminds me of them. Grandpa’s tools and fishing tackle are still in the shed. Grandma’s ugly blue flowered curtains still hang in the kitchen windows. As I swung on the porch swing during the thunderstorm, I half expected one of them to come out and yell at me for swinging too hard.
That made me cry, I missed them so much.
We lost Grandma when I was 10, Grandpa many years after that, but I feel like I just spent a week and a half with them and my mind is peaceful. Now my mom’s the Grandma, a new generation of grandkids is starting to sprout, and I know that the old traditions will continue to go strong alongside the new traditions that are being made with every single trip to Pressy Lake.