Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Every summer of my young life was spent here, sometimes for well over a month. I was here for many winter vacations, fall weekends, and a Christmas or two as well. My great-grandfather, a lumber man, bought the lake about a hundred years ago and my grandmother and her two sisters camped out and had their riotous fun on these shores.
He sold plots of land to various friends and family. Two of the lots went to two more great-grandfathers of mine. And so – my parents both grew up spending their summers here. As I grew and played and swam and developed my being around this lovely lake, I was surrounded by aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, great aunts and uncles, cousins once and twice removed – and a rich sense of history and family.
Mostly, though, it was just heavenly. We had total freedom (at least we felt that we did). We have plumbing and electricity, but until I was grown, and largely (though not entirely) still today, there was no TV, no high tech toys, chipmunks that sometimes shared our kitchen, and a couple of miles drive before hitting a paved road.
We spent the day in and around this 3 mile long, mile wide lake. It has a few small islands, lots of hiking trails, a community area with a big old log building, a sandy beach and two tennis courts called the club, cold springs, lean-tos, and lots of moss, trees, underbrush and wildlife.
Here is where I learned to be in boats, spend hours in the water, associate, negotiate, imagine, laugh, and compete with my peers, concoct adventures, battle deer flies, hang around with older relatives, face my fears of the dark woods, watch the stars from a canoe, sleep outdoors, go berry-picking, stand up to lots of scrapes and bruises, climb really high and dive really deep. This is where I learned how to be.
It has been two years since I was here. It’s nice to be back.