Tuesday, August 26, 2014
MULTI FAMILY VACATION TO NIAGRA
We Gathered from Italy, Pennsylvania, Illinois and Iowa
Sometime early this year our girls had the great idea to visit the Canadian Niagara Falls this summer. The farther the ideas progressed the more exciting the plans became. Finally all was in order. I left with Lydia's family for a visit with Keith's family in eastern Pennsylvania. They had great fun touring Brandon's place and I stayed about three nights with Keith and Annette. I spoke briefly at Keith's Church that Sunday. Following the service they had the Christening of a sweet little boy. Several family members of each side of his family were present.
We had lunch with Brandon's family. That afternoon we visited some of the beautiful Cottages in the wooded hills of the Leigh High Valley where a very old Methodist Tabernacle had conducted and still conducts Camp Meetings and religious services for many years. It seemed that in a matter of moments we pasted from the hubbub and rush of modern American life to the peace and calm of Pioneer peoples in centuries long past.
Monday morning we loaded into the three vehicles bound northwest to meet with the van filled with luggage and wiggling, squirming life, two Mamma's and three kids filled with lots of vinegar from the corn fields of Illinois. All aimed for a marvelous camp ground near the Niagara River. Before nightfall, all family groups had made it over the border and found the next door camp sites where we pitched three tents and made use of one nicely supplied motel room. Breakfasts and suppers were prepared around the campfire. Wonderful fellowship was shared from memories long past: stories, games, fun and laughter filled the night air. The seven young cousins with Mamma's, Papas, Grand Mamma's, Grand Papas, and a Great Grand Papa, all from three continents, three states of the United States of America and two nations of the world were all camping in the beautiful Canadian countryside for a great four days of joy near the great unbelievably spectacular Niagara Falls.
We walked along the cliffs of the gorge in awe and amazed wonder as tons of water fell over the two sets of falls ever second. As night came on vary colored lights shown onto the cascading river falling into the great abyss. Boats in the river below sold rides for the bold and the courageous. We were each furnished with thin, sturdy rain wear with head covering. The strong blowing mist from the mighty river drove us to cower in the shelter of our over coats. The long exhausting walk from the boat up the great incline to the elevators was near more than I could handle. The girls helped me to some chairs under a canopy. Niagara attendants brought cold water and energy drinks. With the careful care of family and strangers I soon recovered and made it to the upper street where we waited for the strong among us to bring the cars. We saw many of the same sights over and over each day but were also amazed at all the new views we had overlooked before.
One of the great breakfasts were the skillets full of scrambled eggs that Brandon turned out on the bon fires each morning. "O what great flavor and taste!" An old mother coon and one of her young made their way under our table every night to scrounge up some food we had dropped. But their main goal seemed to be our trash bag. We very quickly learned to dispose of all trash as soon as we could carry it away. After a night or two I took courage in hand and started chasing them away. It was lots of fun to keep chasing until they stayed up the tree for longer than five minutes. Not all of us found the midnight trip to the shower house to be of any great fun. We all had good flash lights for that purpose, but some times the light had vanished at the time of greatest need.
The last morning was a bit slow at the start. We had to get the coals left in the ashes of last nights fire dug out and new wood lighted so breakfast could start. But it wasn't long until motion began to pick up. Dressing, packing, rolling bedding, folding cots, emptying the tents, dropping and folding the tents were all in process while breakfast was finishing. Last trips to the wash house, loading the vans and storing the kids in their niche brought us out to the departure point. All was excitement. Kids calling out
good byes to cousins, aunts, uncles, grams and gramps. It might be a long time till we meet again.
Little could we know what sorrow and sadness awaited us an hour over the border. But all in all we'd had a remarkably wonderful and joyful four days with faraway living family here together in the gorgeous Canadian country side.