The Mayflower

Friday, May 31, 2013

You guys, June starts tomorrow. This is blowing my mind. Summer is here!

We are settling on our house in four days! I don't know where the time has gone but all I can say is: I. AM. SO. EXCITED.

We have all kinds of awesome plans for our new home sweet home and I can't wait to get my hands on that place!

Last weekend, we took a trip up to Maine to visit with Mike's extended family and work on their family cottage. Every year, members of the four branches of the family get together to complete projects and officially open the cottage for the summer.
The cottage, named The Mayflower, was built back in 1910 by the four Whittaker brothers. Lyman, Bob, Ray, and Norm. Lyman was Mike's grandfather.

I feel so lucky to have married into such a wonderful family. I've only been up to Maine a few times but every time we visit, they treat me like I've been a Whit for years. Even when Mike and I were only dating, they were so welcoming and so much fun.

There are not many families that I know that get together every year to help preserve a part of their family's history. The cottage is literally like a museum. There are photos and artifacts hanging all over the walls. Most of the furniture was built by members of the family and it's incredible to see the care the family takes in maintaining the place.
A photo of Lyman and Trudy - 1945
We drove up on Friday afternoon and didn't arrive until 2:00AM. We caught a few hours of sleep and then it was straight to work the next morning.

There were not really any major projects this year. They usually have a large project like replacing the railing and columns on the porch or rebuilding steps or something like that but, instead, we focused mainly on cleaning and organizing everything this year. I am certainly not very handy when it comes to woodworking and power tools so I always stick to the painting and cleaning anyway.
We worked hard all throughout the day and then joined everyone for dinner that evening.

Since Mike's 28th birthday was Monday (the day we were leaving) they decided to celebrate with us that night. The kids in the family worked hard to make Mike a cake and they were so adorable when they presented it to him.
Then, just after dinner, we got a bit of a surprise. One of the neighbors in the community who is a member of a local barbershop quartet stopped by with the other three singers after one of their performances and sang us a few songs.

It was probably one of the sweetest things I've seen in a while. Being up in the cottage in this small town in Maine definitely makes you feel old-timey as it is, but being serenaded by a quartet? That was incredible.

The rest of the trip was pretty easy-going. We got most of the work done on Saturday so Sunday we went to the beach to relax a little. It was cloudy and a little chilly but still so peaceful.
We took up some of Grammy's hair and released it into the ocean. The cottage and Maine were very close to her heart and we wanted a part of her to remain up there as well. Since she wasn't cremated, we didn't have ashes so we thought this was the next best thing. We read a few passages from God Calling and reflected on the events of the last week.

Before we left, we made sure to hang the lobster we had brought with us on the cottage walls. This lobster was one that hung in Grammy's kitchen for many years so we thought it was appropriate to retire it to The Mayflower. We hung it just above a wood carving of her husband Lyman.

It was a wonderful Memorial Day weekend. We are planning a trip back during the summer for a week vacation. I can't wait to visit again!

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