Sunday, August 15, 2010

My own little slice of heaven

Many of you have asked me about our vacation to Mayleville (pronounced My-lee for those of you that were not fortunate enough to know me before I became Matt's bride). We had a fabulous time... 

What is Mayleville, you ask? It is a little piece of land located on Lake Erie in Port Clinton, OH which was established by my great-grandfather about eight decades (and five Mayle generations) ago.  

My great-grandfather (GGF), Louie Mayle, and his wife Minnie, had seven children, and on this piece of land along Lake Erie, he built one cottage for each adult child, along with one for him and Minnie. Four cottages along the lake, and a driveway between the next row of four.

The cottages were built during the depression, and they were done so by men my GGF employed. He didn't have enough work for them at his company, so he put them to work creating "Mayleville".

Along the way, as Louie and Minnie's children grew older (two of them are still with us at 90 - twin girls - and going strong. They both live at their original cottages all summer long.), the next generation assumed the responsibility of the cottages. Some have changed hands... but they are all still in the family.

There are currently hundreds and hundreds of us in the "Mayle family". We are all cousins. We all are connected and share a bond. Some we may not have seen in years, but we are Mayles. There is nothing like it.  And, every five years, we have a family reunion. At Mayleville, of course.

Growing up, in my generation, we spent much of our summers at Mayleville. We were there at least every Sunday, and spent at least two weeks renting one of the cottages. It was my favorite place growing up, and it is quite possibly still my favorite. It is where I swam in the lake during thunderstorms (because that was THE BEST!), smoked my first cigarette, built mud pies by the dozens, dug for clams with my feet, painted rocks and sold them to my relatives, caught fire flies, played hide-n-go seek for hours on end... I could go on and on...

Now, we get to spend a week there every summer, sharing the history and the lake with our own families. Where else can you play, fish, ride and swim freely, day in and day out? Many of us also share Mayleville with our friends during the "off season". I wish I could take you ALL there.

First day of vacation. It was HOT and there was lots of Mayleville (and non-Mayle) activity in the water. Many, many Bloody Marys were drunk on the dock that day.  Oh yea, the alcohol flows alittle too freely at Mayleville. There is a saying hanging in our cottage that says, "Giving a Mayle champagne is like putting a tie on a pig." Still makes me giggle.

One night, I found Lucy, my neice, fishing on the dock alone. All of the kids have a pretty good grasp of fishing. Although, I did have to bait one hook this vacation. YUK.

Aaron, my brother-in-law, and Griffin, my sweet nephew. This is what your feet look like after a day on Mayleville turf. Double YUK.

And, this would be a friendly game of ladder ball-while mooning the photographer. If you are in my family (by blood or by marriage), chances are, anything is fair game. Even your bum.
This is the BEST part of Mayleville. My kids are able to meet their cousins, who are like 10 times removed, but they are still Mayles (in this case, literally) as these are the Mayle boys playing with the White boys. My boys had such a wonderful time with their cousins, and they will not forget this summer.

I know, because I remember them all.

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