July 5, 2015
A cool breeze rushed in the open van windows as we pulled into the gravel driveway of the cottage. I smiled at the Redwoods whispering in the breeze and the distant cracking and whizzing of fireworks.
A brisk voice floated from the house, “They’re here!”
I collected as many loose items as I could carry, pushed the van door open, and stepped out. Kids eagerly removed headphones and struggled to free themselves from seat belts.

Two days on the road isn’t easy. They were more than happy to pile out and stretch their legs.

“You made it!” A balding man opened the wooden gate and emerged from a tiny backyard to greet us with a smile. I’m sure he had been counting the seconds until his grandchildren would arrive. He had meticulously outfitted the deck with flags that fluttered gallantly in the evening breeze to celebrate our arrival.
Grandma was waiting inside with hugs and laughs to greet each of us as we hauled our belongings through the tiny laundry room entrance.
Not much had changed since last summer. A few pieces of artwork swapped around, and a new coat of white paint in the hallway were the only evidence that any time had passed.
To my overloaded mind, it didn’t seem like a whole year should have passed already. Surely it wasn’t quite time to be back at our summer home. Yet here we were. Another summer adventure waiting to draw us into its grip.

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