Thursday, June 27, 2013

Life on the Water article.....

This is the article I submitted to the magazine.  Please let me know what you think by leaving a comment.
Life on the Lake….with “The Griffin Adventures”

As I write my first article, I have to reflect on our humble beginnings and our chance to start over and raise our own children.  We had adopted three children from Guatemala when they were 15, 22 and 34 months old and moved to Guntersville from Lewisburg, TN a little over three years ago. They are all 10 years old now. 

My parents had bought us a lot at Mountain Lake Resorts on the lake to come and visit Lake Guntersville and bring our camper.  Like many families we worked all the time.  There was no time to rest and enjoy our children, much less use the camper.  We were just trying to manage a house, a business and sneak a little family time in now and then.  We made the big decision to sell our business and home at a loss and move to our camper with a chance to do it right this time.

With that said, have you ever tried to live in 200 square feet with three children and a service dog?  We will never forget that summer.  The summers seem to just keep getting better and better as our children grow older but the first one will be remembered as the one that changed us forever.  We had a harder time starting over than anticipated because my husband couldn’t find work.  He was either over qualified or under qualified.  If there would have been old fashioned interviews instead of online applications, they would have seen the great man he is and couldn’t have snatched him up fast enough.  We have since opened our own business named Curls and Pearls.  We created a place where our children could come to work with us.  Bubba makes Lucky Buck Jewelry in the back and I cut hair up front.  He is an artist and it shows in his jewelry.

The opportunity that moving to the lake gave us is immeasurable.  We have grown as parents, citizens and so much more.  I think it has been a time to reflect on how we want to be remembered and were we the hands and feet of Jesus.  We volunteer for Blessings in a Backpack and currently we are feeding almost 1000 children each week during the school year.  That is a program that gives children food over the weekend that might not otherwise eat until they get back to school.  We would have never had time for volunteering in our old lifestyle.  For me this journey has been about being a wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend.  I had been so caught up in being a successful business owner. 

There were very humble beginnings here at the lake.  We have had our share of egg sandwiches and even accidentally had butter sandwiches on one occasion.  Our family has less than it has ever had, but more than we will ever need.  We have been reminded more than once that all you need is “just enough”.  We often play the alphabet game at the dinner table while feeding extra kids in the neighborhood, load up in the van to go on a Sunday drive admiring the beauty here and accept any opportunity to make a difference in someone else’s life. 

There is so much beauty here in Marshall County that some of the residents even take for granted.  My prayer is that we never take time or the beauty of our surroundings for granted.  We are never guaranteed tomorrow.  Life is short and it is up to us to make a difference in the lives of others even if it is one person at a time. 

We could have never planned a better life for our children than this move gave them.  What a blessing for us and them.  We enjoyed that first summer so much that every year we move to our camper over the summer.  It is filled with bike riding, swimming, basketball, fishing, game room activities, putt putt golf, ice cream and so much more.  Most children pay to go to summer camp, we live in one.  The benefit of a campground is that you don’t care where the other campers are from, who their parents are, what they drive, where they live, what they do for a living because you already know you have something in common, camping. 

We have a special needs son Brody and he likes to watch the cars, golf carts and bicycles go by.  He is safe there and we have let the other two children, Ian and Atlee have a little more freedom this year and ride their bike to get pizza or ice cream by their selves.  Can you remember when your mom let you do that?   We enjoy seeing the turtles and chipmunks as we see an occasional eagle fly overhead.  We have so much fun making memories with our children.  There are so many firsts with our adventures that we like to affectionately call them, “The Griffin Adventures”.  We have a family blog and you can read more about us there. 

Wendy Griffin

June 26, 2013

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