by Fr. Walt Wainwright

Many people look forward to spending at least a week or more engaged in what we call our ‘summer vacation’.  Some have been blessed with a family cottage on one of our beautiful finger lakes, and that sort of guarantees some delightful summer vacation time.  Others may plan a trip to another part of the country or even a trip to another country.  I used to look forward every so many years to being part of a group of parishioners and enjoying a delightful trip to Italy or Ireland or one of the other spots in  Europe that fill us with great memories of our experiences in those places.  Well, that was then, and this is now.

My travel days are part of my history now; I haven’t taken a trip like that since I went, together with my niece and nephew on a memorable trip to Italy five years ago.  I had been there a number of times over the years but it was a first trip for them.  Now I revel in the memory of that special trip as well as my earlier trips visiting several different countries and adding to the storehouse of my vacation memories.  Do I miss not being able to undertake such a trip anymore, of course, but I am blessed with the memories of those trips and especially the experiences enjoyed.  A few of them included several members of our parish family, especially the 2003 trip to Italy when 28 parishioners joined in that best of all trips.

Why do I mention this today?  Well, for me reliving those memories provide a very rich history of places and people who enjoyed summer days with me and now in these latter days of my life I enjoy simply reliving those experiences.  No regrets, just blessed memories.  Perhaps I might offer you a suggestion.  How do you spend your summer days?  Whether you can enjoy a cottage at the lake or simply visit a park and spend some peaceful time sitting at some lakeside resort you can relive some of the memories you have made.  Perhaps too, maybe it will give you some ideas for a future vacation.

You know, as my years seem to fly by, as I’m sure yours do too, I find that I have been blessed over the years both with memories of foreign travels and by spending time simply basking in the beauty of our blessed part of New York State.  The Finger Lakes area is truly a gift from Mother Nature and ultimately from the Good Lord who created this part of the world.  Come to think of it I don’t need to travel anymore, but simply to enjoy what I have here and thank the Lord for it.

Even in the travels I have enjoyed to different parts of our own country, and we are blessed with enormous beauty in just about every part of the country:  the south like Charleston, South Carolina and its rich history and Santa Fe, New Mexico with the beauty of its own distinctive culture.  I have loved it all but have always been blessed to be able to come home and enjoy where I’ve been in my travels but enjoy again, simply to be home.

I hope you enjoy your summer days for all that they offer, whether you travel long distances or simply a short ride from home to one of our beautiful finger lakes.  Just be sure to take some time to sit and relax and bring up to the present your favorite memories of times past.  Have a blessed summer!

Fr. Walt