Monday, August 17, 2009
The way vacation should be
For years - generations, really - my family has spent summers at Lake George in the Adirondack Mountains. It is, really, the most beautiful place in the world.
We have a tiny little cabin that is called the Jenny Wren. The Jenny started as a two-room cabin on the original camp (what this place was when our family acquired it) down by the water. Pop-Pop had the foresight to move the Jenny up the hill and add on some bedrooms and ThankGoodness a bathroom. So, now it is technically big enough to sleep a large family, although it is still quite small.
Pop-Pop and Grandma also had the genius idea to retire up here and build an actual house across the little dirt road from the Jenny. They broke many long-standing rules when they brought television and a washing machine to Lake George, but no one complains because we all have clothes to wash and broadband to pirate.
So, now we have a teeny little (adorable) cabin and my grandparents are nice enough to share some guest rooms for our growing extended family.
This means that a handful of bedrooms, one tiny bathroom, a "rustic" kitchen, and an overflowing storage shed are being shared by Grandma and Pop-Pop, their four children and spouses, their thirteen grandchildren and their almost-fourteen great-grandchildren.
That's a lot of sippy cups, bottles of sunscreen, and wiffle bats crammed into one place.
But, it is SO worth it. This place is amazing. The Lake is large enough to be spectacular and grand, making our corner of it remote and "ours." But, it's small enough to be hidden and secret - and some of my crazier cousins even swim across the thing.
The trees are large and old and lovely.
The flowers that Grandma plants are beautiful, all the more so now that Grandma also hired someone to weed them (That used to be our job).The water is clear and chilly, and drinkable-clean (but we don't drink it - because those 14 great-grandchildren swim right over our water pipe, and apparently swim diapers only hold in poop. Who knew?).
Our family isn't wealthy. When we marry, we only really bring two things of significance into the marriage: massive amounts of student loans and Lake George.
We bring prospective spouses here, and they are tested. Back in the day, the test involved meeting the matriarchs that sat out in the Adirondack chairs. Today, there is less of that, and there is really just one question to be answered: Will you love this Lake and cherish it and honor it? It sounds an awful lot like a wedding vow, and really it probably should be included. It is THAT important.
The Lake. The Jenny. The Point. The General Store. The Loop. The Post Office. The North Wind. The Dirt Road. The Mountain. Rock. The (forbidden) Sandy Side.
It's good to be back at home, but hard knowing all that beauty is there and I'm not with it.