The lake house is one of my favorite places on earth. My parents bought it many, many years ago. I remember the day when we went to check it out back in the early 80′s. We were all loaded up in mom’s wood-paneled conversion fan with the awesome couch that folded down into a bed and a refrigerator! Man, if vans didn’t have such a child-molestery, gas guzzley vibe these days I could really go for one of those. But I digress (as usual).
We pulled up to the lake house on our recon mission and there was a big fence with a sign that said “Beware of Dog”. The gate was locked so my dad hopped the fence to go check out the property while we watched from the van. I waited in abject fear for my dad to be viciously mauled by a large, rabid dog. Much to my great relief, there was no actual dog, just a warning sign. I probably shouldn’t have watched Cujo at such an impressionable age.
The lake house is decidedly not fancy, but I’m comfortable in not fancy. I’ve had some of my best days ever out there on the lake water skiing with friends—my own personal version of heaven. And it’s been my refuge several times in transitional phases, like during my divorce. I’ve had some of my lowest and loneliest moments out there, coming to grips with my own mistakes, simultaneously tearing down and rebuilding my life. But even on the lowest of those days, waking up in the morning to look out at the smooth-as-glass lake and hear the chirpy stillness of nature, always soothed my soul.
It is the place where our whole family gathers, where we can spread out. Poppi, my dad, happily tinkers around on his endless projects, around the action, but not actually in it–just the way he likes it. We play while he hangs a metal beam from a 2×4 or builds a deck addition or does something on the roof. That’s Dad relaxing on the weekend. And I love him for it.
The kids can play outside and have trouble controlling the volume of their voices–like kids will do–without driving us all crazy. For hours at a time, they don’t watch TV or play video games. Instead they
fish send as many minnows as possible to a slow, oxygen-starved death in a bucket, and they swim.
They are inadvertently learning to be the kind of people who aren’t afraid to get a little dirty and jump in a brown, mucky lake. I think that will make them cooler adults–not so precious, and up for adventures. But maybe that is some sort of redneck philosophy I’ve developed from my own time spent on the lake. In any case, I hope that, like mine, some of their fondest memories will be of days spent out there.
This weekend we had some new toys added to the mix. A paddleboard and a kayak. The enjoyment of the lake house goes up exponentially with the ability to get out on the water. Thanks to Poppi for the fun-time additions.
I’d have to say that my least favorite part of the day was when I felt the unmistakable sensation of the many legs of a spider clinging to MY EAR in the lake. UGH! That was an unpleasant first, but other than that completely skeevy moment, it was a great day at the lake house. I hope for many more.