I loved going “upta” camp at Sebago Lake in Maine with my family as a child. We always went for the weekend of Labor Day to celebrate the Hall Family Reunion. We would get to see all of my father’s family and would play, swim, boat, canoe & fish on Sebago during that time.
Sometimes we’d also go up in mid August to celebrate my father’s, Grandpa’s and Grandma’s birthdays. The evening before the birthday celebration, she would gather up all her present grandchildren and give us each a coffee can, then lead us out around Murch Landing to pick wild Maine blueberries. She would laugh at us, as we all tended to eat more blueberries than we gathered to collect in the coffee cans.
The next morning, we would wake to the scent of pine wood smoke from Grandma’s wood burning kitchen stove, along with the enticing aroma of her homemade blueberry muffins and a blueberry pie. The pie would be her birthday dessert contribution for Grandpa because he always liked blueberry pie instead of a birthday cake.
The lake was there for us to swim and enjoy. We would be scolded if we stayed in the water too long, until our feet and hands turned blue and shriveled up, and our teeth chattered. Grandma would have us come out of the water to warm up in the sun, only allowing us to wade along the stairway and lake’s edge to pitch 100 stones from the lake. This was always the toll for swimming (or for staying in the water for too long). The larger children of course, managed to get a little deeper and pitch the bigger stones.