Haley, Day Care Center - Olathe, KS
A good chunk of my life has been spent at the lake. Every weekend, in the summer, the whole Gilmore clan would pack up and head to the lake. Short weekends were spent at the local lake, or as we call it our little mud pit. For long weekends and summer vacations, we headed south to the clear, sparkling waters of Table Rock Lake. Many of my favorite childhood memories are based around our cozy lakeside campground in Kimberling City, Missouri. No matter what was happening in our lives, this was our safe haven.
Half of our time at Table Rock was spent with my extended family, including my Mimi and Papa. Fishing off the dock with my Papa and swimming off the boat with my cousins were regular summer adventures, but as years went by, my extended family lost interest in spending time together at the lake.
Our trip to Table Rock in the summer of 2016 was smaller than past trips, with only my immediate family and boyfriend being able to make it. It was a trip that added an amazing memory to this cherished place. On the second morning at the campground, my boyfriend convinced me to go on a hike at 5 am to see the sunrise at my favorite point on the lake. After watching the sun pop up, I turned around to see my best friend down on one knee and my dad, mom, and sister hiding behind a tree snapping pictures of my engagement. Garett and I have been together for almost seven years now and have been married since September 2017.
To me, this lake turns my often hectic reality into pure serenity. It is a place where we celebrate memories of my Papa and other family members who are no longer with us. It is a place where we create special memories with special people. But most importantly, it is a place where we can forget about our struggles and surround ourselves with the ones we love the most.
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