- Family and Parenting
Remembering the Lake House
Where some of my best memories come from.
I am generation four and my kids are generation five for the lake house. My wife and I were the first to get married out in the backfield but not the first to homey moon at the cottage. I should also let you know that even though I am focused on our lake house my other grandparents also had a cottage just down the beach from us. They were # 6 and we were # 35. I am letting you know this now as some of my memories are on one or the other and sometimes both of these cottages. You will also notice that I don't talk about the lake house but about things that help me to remember this wonderful place.
Picture taken by my son around Easter time.
A walk in the woods
There were many times that we walked and played in the woods. There were many types of trees and hills that they were growing on. We had paths carved by others before us and new trail that we helped carve.
One of the main paths led to a large circular area where people could pitch a tent. My dad had taken us there for overnights. We would help him set up the tent and lay out the sleeping bags. Gathering wood for the hotdogs for cooking over. The nice thing was that this was near a creek that had water so that we could put out the fire when done
Our grandpa would take us exploring expeditions. We would put on the bug spray and off we would go. climbing up the hills but not the trees. We would spot birds and squirrels, frogs and toads. I remember seeing a fox - once. The one thing that we never saw were deer. What we did see was the places where they would sleep. Grandpa would always say not to touch anything so as not to disturb their place of rest. My sister and I never did because grandpa said not to.
There were some other kids in the cove that had built a tree house in the woods. OK they built two. The first one was small and they wanted another one. The second one was much bigger and up further on a hill. This gave them a good view of the forest around them. They would share with others but asked that it was only when they were there.
When I was by myself I just went for walks in the woods. It was nice just looking around at everything.
Now to move from a walk in the woods to a campfire. There were many times that we would go into the woods for old dead sticks and wood for the campfires.
We would have many campfires at our cottage and at the grandparents. The grandparents also had a fireplace at their home. Year round we could have a nice fire to warm up with. S'mores year round so to speak. But I digress. Or do I? The answer is no I don't. Its amazing how sitting in front of a fire is relaxing. This is on the beach or in front of a fireplace. To be able to sit and stare at the flames. Starting with the bright red embers to the flames around the wood to the sparks that would jump up and fly into the air. Drawn into the flame and stare for what seamed like hours as the flames seamed to dance before you. Even today when my wife and I were looking for our first house there was one thing that I wanted and that was a fireplace. And that we found in our home. A front porch would also have been nice but it was not as important.
Sun sets on the lake.
Watching sunsets on the lake.Its sometimes amazing how the sunsets will project across the sky and in this case the water. My hours are later in the evening. In the good news there are lots of windows to look out of. This means that looking out there are many colors to see as the sun goes down especially if there are clouds for the light to reflect off of. Seeing the light reflecting reminds me of what I was able to see at the lake. It was almost as if the family would all meat on the beach as the sun started setting. We would gaze at the lights and the colors as they faded into darkness replaced by the lights of the nighttime. The stars and the moon that is.
Watching Shooting Stars.
A nice thing about the lake house is that there are no street lights. This means that seeing the stars is easier than in town. Growing up we were able to go into the field and watch the stars streak across the sky. Or we could go on the beach and watch. One thing that I enjoyed was going and laying on the dock and just looking up. It was amazing how many stars would come zipping across the sky. Even watching them go and then in another direction. It was like they hit something and redirected.
Much later in life I was driving home and had a large meteoroid come flying over head. The sky was light up with a bright blue. Almost as bright as day light. Needless to say at the lake or elsewhere watching the shooting stars is always enjoyable.
Now my middle child and I will go out with his telescope and view the moon and stars. It's a bit brighter here in town but we can sometimes see the shooting stars.
Let it Rain
Its summer vacation why would you want it to rain?
Rain on the roof top.
Its amazing how listening to ran hit the roof top can help you relax. But every time it would cloud over I knew that I would have a good nights sleep. I could open up the blinds and see the raindrops on the windows. Lightning would be flashing and thunder would get louder but for me these were relaxing. To watch the lightning flashing each time they were different patterns in the sky.
Watching the rain coming down or across the lake.
It was amazing how you could see the the ran coming towards you. In general there were to main ways that the rain would come on the lake. The first was across the lake. This would be coming from west to east. To see the rain moving across the lake just like filling in one row at a time. Also you could watch the rain coming down the lake. Where the water would go from the inlet = South to the outlet = North the rain would go from North to south. Its almost like watching one row at a time filled in while using a weaving loom.
Swimming in the rain / looking up at the rain drops on the water while holding your breath.
As long as there was no thunder or lightning in the sky we would be in the water. Just like being in the cottage you could be under the wooden dock. And the sound of the rain hitting the wood was like the sound of the rain hitting the roof top. Also with a mask or a pair of goggles you could hod your breath and lay under water. Look up and see the rain drops striking the surface of the water.
Let It Rain - Michael W. Smith
I realize that this song and video were not available when I was a kid but it is a great song to help me remember the rain on the roof top of the cottage.
Ice cream truck. Ice cream barge. Potato chip delivery?
Now a days you will hear the ringing of a bell coming down the road and the kids will call out ice-cream ice-cream. I know my kids will sometimes do the same thing. But if you go back a few years say about 30-ish I would do the same thing. Always amazed to see an ice-cream truck on the lake road. But during the summer they would go where ever there were kids. And there were many kids at the lake. Go further into the future and there was an ice-cream barge that Uwould come motoring down the lake. The would see the kids come out on the docks and move over. But if you want to go back in time there was something even more amazing in my mind. There was a potato chip delivery truck that would bring chips to my grandparents cottage. This is the image that's used for this section. I only remember them twice but the memory is still there.
The go-cart with grandpa.
In regards to this cart I am not sure when or exactly how old it was. What I do know is that our grandfather had it and he shared it with the grand kids. It was a green slab of wood with four wheels. You would steer it with the front two wheels and see how far you could go. The lake road was curvy and sort of steep. This said grandpa would not let us go past the first curve. The goal was to see how far you could go and not fall over. Yes we could use it by ourselves but it was not just the same without grandpa with you. Needless to say if he was not available the go-cart stayed in the garage.
This picture comes from a web site that says "Make Stuff With Your Hands while everyone else is watching TV..."
This was grandpa. The only time I saw him watching TV it was the Lawrence Welk show. And to this day my kids wonder why do you watch this old stuff?
And now a word from our Sponsors
Ok its not an actual sponsor.
This is my way to move from one section into another. In this case these are things that help remind me of the lake house. Grover is my favorite Muppet. Growing up my stuffed Grover would come to the lake house every year. And yes I still have him. Currently at the parents house and my youngest will have Grover on the bed with him. The video ties the two together. Its Grover and it takes place over, on and near water. The two could not have been brought together better.
You too can have the best muppet. - Grover
First is the stuffed grover and the second is the book that I read to my kids. Both I thought you would enjoy for you or your kids.
Styx - Boat On The River
I often times will listen to this song because it helps me think about two things related to the lake house...
First is the inlet:
There were many times that my grandfather would get the grand kids loaded up in his boat and then go for a ride on the lake. This included fishing trips, water skiing or teaching us about the boat and how it worked. Some times we would go for a slow trip down the inlet to the lake. He had to move the outboard motor up a bit because the inlet was a bit more shallow than the lake. But one thing I did know about the inlet is we could follow it all the way back to the town we lived in. Sorry to say not via boat because of how shallow it got in certain places. But just knowing where it was and where it led to meant a lot.
Second is a walk up to the falls.
There were several smaller creeks and streams that also fed into the lake. These were not a places for a large boat but, the number of times kids would play with their toy boats on this patch of water made up for it. As you were following the path of water it would take you to five different sets of water falls. One thing I learned is climb up the side not the middle. And each set of falls had a better side to climb up. Right or left it was a learning experience. There were a couple of spots were you could also go in and do some playing in the water as it was a couple of feed deep and a few feet wide. After you got to the top of the last set of falls you could then walk back down the lake road to return to the cottage. Depending on the time of year the blackberries would be out. If this were the case we would usually have to go in for a swim to get the juice stains off our hands. This was a sacrifice were willing to make. And for those of you wondering yes I have made jelly out of those berries.
As you can tell by just saying the words or listening to the song of "boat on the river" it will start one memory and lead in to many others.
There are ways you to can get this tune stuck in your head. - In my opinion this is a good tune to have stuck in your memory.
The first song listed is just the Boat On The River as an mp3.
The second is for the album as a CD or as downloads.