I’m sitting here lakeside today, our last full day here at the “compound”. My husband and much of his immediate family are scattered around enjoying this beautiful summer day.
In a couple of cases there are three generations present. Currently two nephews, a niece and her friend are out playing together in the paddle boat.
There are horse shoes and ladder golf games under our belts, as well as a few beverages. The gorgeous lake has cooled us off, as well as bathed us clean.
Several four wheeler and Jon boat rides have been taken…and no one got lost, either. Also, some rousing card games have been won, and lost, before bed, too.
Last night we had a beach fire, toasting marshmallows and making s’mores, then even a few fireworks on the sand!
But really, what’s a vacation without food?
We’ve had some first rate meals, without a doubt. Our two big breakfasts and three amazing evening meals were, well, just that…amazing…plus more treats in between those. And we’ve celebrated not one, but two birthdays, too!
When you live away from your family you really hope to pack everything in when you do get together. You want as many memories made, laughs shared and photos taken, as you can fit into your time together.
There’s reminiscing, too, since my husband has been coming here his entire life and I’ve been lucky enough to partake in these weekends for the past two-ish decades.
At one point some camp photos were passed around with exclamations of, “Look how young he was!”
…followed by peals of laughter, of course. And more than one, “Hahaha, look at her hair!” or “I remember that shirt!”
Waking up at the lake is a seasonal treat. At this time of year there’s mist rising before the sun warms the air and water, and earth.
Early morning is the perfect time to photograph it, it’s breathtaking.
(*The fall leaves around the edge of the lake, usually at Canadian Thanksgiving, are unbelievably stunning!)
I remember the very first time that I came into the lake. It will never be forgotten, as it was the very first time that I met many of my future husband’s immediate family.
We arrived after the lights had gone out for the night, so we didn’t really get to see anyone or meet them until the next morning.
It was a little unnerving, meeting them after the communal sleeping arrangements in the, at that time forty or fifty-plus year old, cabin. Sleepy, messy and shy, that was me. Robust, lively and friendly, that was them…and there were about a dozen of ‘em!
As I mentioned earlier, this was twenty-ish years ago…already. Much has changed, and much has stayed the same.
That’s one of the constants of life…
There’s an old pine tree about five hundred feet from the porch that has initials that were carved into its trunk over fifty years ago. Many were etched before any of the current family had ever set foot here.
There used to be benches at the old main dining table that had been there as long as my husband could remember, gone to a cousin just in the last year. They had many engravings from his whole life covering them, including his own initials.
Even now the same built-in bunk beds that came with the camp, which once upon a time was a hunting cabin, are marked up. They have the names and initials of both my husband’s siblings (“+” their true loves) and now also his nieces’ and nephews’, too, written, printed, and scrawled in marker or pen.
So much history here for this family.
But really, let’s get back to the food! Over the years thousands of meals have been prepared on first a wood-stove, then later, and currently, propane stoves have been brought in and upgraded.
Depending on the number of guests at any given time you can almost guarantee homemade pizza, usually on Friday nights. And also depending on how many guests is the number of pizzas to be made.
Some of us cannot imagine baking between four and seven 15”-18” pies with various topping combinations for anywhere from 12 to 24 lucky people! This, however, does not faze the lake crew, and anyone who wants to, is welcome to help.
And the pizza is so…darn…good!
I’m only going to say this once, my husband is correct when he says that bacon tastes best when it has been cooked in a cast iron pan. And it’s even better when it’s done at the camp on the gas range.
Breakfast at the lake is pretty divine…and this year went to a new level with the addition of homemade waffles from scratch.
We had amazing steaks grilled to perfection, and delicious Maritime Hodge-Podge with fresh, market veggies. Such a summer treat!
Not to mention beautiful shish kabobs and a macaroni salad, as well as a casserole made right there. There was no shortage of great meals, snacks in between and hot dogs & sausages on the grill for lunch.
And as mentioned, we celebrated two birthdays with an old fashioned “Poke Cake” baked in the propane stove, complete with Sparklers from Virginia. It was delicious!
Never a shortage of things to do at the lake, from swimming in the cool clear waters, to exploring the rocky shores of the lake by kayak or paddle boat. Ladder golf is really fun (as I found out this trip in) to play on the beach, as well as horse shoes or washer toss. Next time we’re bringing a corn hole set from Virginia.
A four-wheeler ride out on the bumpy, woodsy roads can bring you in contact with a wide range of wildlife from bears to moose…or as (un)luck would have it, a partridge and a coyote waaaay off in the distance. Don’t get me wrong, I was glad to see those two, but was hoping for a bear or most especially a moose! Not just moose flies…
*Actually I think it was deer flies on the wheeler.
We were able to take the Jon boat out to the island to see a huge Eagle’s nest. That was really, really cool!!
And there’s always some frogs sittin’ & chillin’ in a mud hole. Taking pics of the millions of dragonflies proved harder than you’d think, but I did manage to get one biplane looking one.
Being at the lake has been one hell of a good time! Perfect weather and a lot of laughs…what more could you ever ask for?
In the summertime when the weather is hot
You can stretch right up and touch the sky
When the weather’s fine
You got women, you got women on your mind
Have a drink, have a drive
Go out and see what you can find…
Sing along with us
Dee dee dee-dee dee
Dah dah dah-dah dah
Yeah we’re hap-happy
Dee-dah-do dee-dah-do dah-do-dah
Raina K Morton July 29 2014