The Writing Mamas Daily Blog

Each day on the Writing Mamas Daily Blog, a different member will write about mothering.

If you're a mom then you've said these words, you've made these observations and you've lived these situations - 24/7.

And for that, you are a goddess.

Sunday, August 05, 2007


Nature's Family Traditions

Step back in time? Is it possible? For what reason? What purpose will it serve?

I think it is worthwhile to try and we have done it now for almost forty years.

Each year we spend a week in the Sierra living 1920s style. There is plumbing and electricity,
but no telephones (except one for emergencies), no central heat, water comes from a pure
unpolluted spring, and there are miles of hills, lakes, creeks, waterfalls, and mountain
entertainment that one must be willing to discover and create for herself.

Computers and electronics are left behind.

Three generations of one family have built and operated this complex of cabins and lodge for
the past eighty seven years. They have served the natural surroundings as well as those who
come to experience mountain adventures with a true pioneering spirit.

The lessons learned each year are not from a book. They are lessons of nature that are
gleaned from experiencing the annual return. Such as how things differ after a rainy, snowy winter compared to a dry drought year. The change in vegetation or the depth and course of the creek and its pools.

We have taken our children for years and we now return with them and our grandchildren.
This year the newest generation numbered eight discovering the world that their great
grandparents, whom they had never met, lived in.

Each generation explores for themselves The same jumping cliffs, meadows of wildflowers, where the creek’s pools are, and what waterfalls carve good swimming holes. Nature provides more rides and thrills than Disneyland and they constantly change as trees fall, or the creek alters it course. The unpredictable variances teach alertness and acute observation, skills that keep one safe so the joy of adventure can continue. The first jump off the cliff into the ice cold lake is preceded by checking out the landing field. Has anything changed since last year? Are there any new rocks below?

No! Let’s go! This is fun, but it is the real world, and we are the ones who row across the lake (no motors), climb the cliff, make the decisions and take our risks. We are our own life guards and we plan accordingly.

For a year our six-year old twin granddaughters were determined that this was the year
they’d climb to the top of the signature mountain in the area. The first day there they
put their feet to the trail and off they went. Not a complaint, just determination. Yes they
“made it to the top” and gloried in their triumph all the way back to their cabin. All week
long, new areas were pioneered, lakes traversed in rubber boats pulled from back packs and
cooperatively blown up. A recent new creation is Forest Frisbee Golf, and Pine Cone Bacci

Of course, one option is to just stay at the cabin and visit the lodge. Ping pong, a player
piano, puzzles and board games contributed by four generations of guests, and at night a
fire in the fireplace enhanced by popcorn or marshmallows roasted on a stick. Never get to
stay up this late at home but there is so much creativity going on and make-your-own-fun
times to get to know cousins from afar, that no one is ready for sleep.

Having twenty-four hours a day, day after day, creating new games, often with rocks, leaves, whatever nature provides allows you to know people in a completely different way. No real supervision just hang out and find some new creation to make, such as “mud pie” and “rock soup”garnished with “staghorn lichen." Learn to differentiate a golden mantle ground squirrel
from a chipmunk. Hike to the deserted mine that is almost impossible to get to now, and
yet when it operated was accessed and built with mule teams, no roads, no power tools
to dig shafts or excavate ore. One gains admiration for the early pioneers and appreciation
for the modern world and the inventions that have made tasks easier.

So we will return again next year, three generations of Scotts to relax and challenge ourselves, and teach the youngest generation that you can plot your own goals, create your own fun and share, for a week of truth and self-made adventures, teaching that oneflourishes by strength and support of family. Ah, the power of traditions!

By Ruth Scott


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