Sunday, July 22, 2018

Sunday Nostalgia

We unearthed a forgotten box of photographs the other day and I lost myself for a good hour going through them.
We have any number of albums and the pictures in them are as familiar to me by now as my right hand. In this box, though, were extras or shots that must not have made the cut to the albums.

          First day of school, favorite pets, cars (do you have a picture of every car you’ve ever owned? We do.). Birthday parties with long-ago friends of my kids, holidays, vacation snaps of places I’d forgotten we went to.

          It was the lake pictures that really got to me. 

          We owned a house on a lake for twenty years, buying it when our kids were the perfect ages – around 9 and 12. We afforded it by renting it out during the fall, winter and spring, and then took it over again come Memorial Day. That first summer weekend we were outside whether it was cold or hot, rainy or sunny. We braved the cold lake water as soon as we could stand it. Our friends learned over the years that an early invitation to the lake usually meant helping to drag the docks out, losing all feeling below the waist.

          My kids became intrepid swimmers, and our boats evolved from a rubber raft to a rowboat to a canoe to a sailboat to kayaks to a motor boat.

          Every Friday night the lake neighborhood would gather by unspoken agreement at one house or another for a potluck. Or I could be out in the backyard grilling, and Fred from next door would stroll through, flip the burgers for me and wander off. We were out of ice cream one night and our daughter slipped next door to check the freezer there.

          Local dogs drifted over to spend the weekend sociably in our yard. Skilled water skiers would put on impromptu shows in front of our house. We’d explore silent coves at the other end of the lake in the morning, or take the sailboat out after a long day at work for a quiet cruise before dark.

A boat was sunk (too many people, an open bow, and a sudden wave), a tree house was built, a water balloon war was waged from one boat to another, and our daughter was married in the back yard.

          Finally, though, the neighbors moved away one by one, the septic system failed, and kids grew up and headed off to begin their lives in other states. It was time.

          If only it were possible to return to a past time without giving up all the wonderful things that have happened since.



  1. Great memories. I agree with that last paragraph, in every way. :-)

  2. I know what you mean. My parents bought a lot and built a beach house (narrow island, we were on a canal on the bay side but the beach was a short walk away) when I was about 13 and we spent all our weekends and summers there and then weekends and vacations with our kids. eventually my parents retired to the house and that was the end of the fun since it was no longer a casual vacation house but their permanent home which came with all sorts of rules about sand and wet clothes and towels and no crappy furniture to just hang out on, etc. After they died we sold it as the upkeep and taxes were way beyond what my sister or I could afford but yeah, I would love to be able to live some of those days again.

  3. Oh what wonderful memories. And echoing DJan.

  4. Those are some wonderful memories. What a great childhood for your kids. -Jenn

  5. Life goes on. I sold my recreational property 4 years ago...the same reason as you.

  6. What fabulous memories. I like the idea of living on a lake, but the icy cold water doesn't sound at all appealing.

  7. The one thing that has surprised me as I age is that I actually can outlive places!

  8. but oh, what wonderful memories. I always wanted to live on a lake, listen to the loons at dawn, have my own rowboat...I spent two weeks with a friend and her family one year, and I can remember all of it. Some things are like that.

    You can't go back, but you can remember. Sometimes that's the best part.

  9. Sounds like a great spot at a great time in life.


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