I for sure am a ‘Lake’ person. This is probably because I grew up spending my summer vacations at my grandparents’ lake house on Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri. I spent my time there water skiing, wave-runnering, fishing, eating catfish and ‘Mississippi Mud’, laying out on the dock while reading a good book, and doing all the sorts of things one does in a ‘Lake’ resort town: shopping at outlet malls, playing putt-putt, going to dinner by boat, horseback riding, and riding go-karts.
In the winter, the little lakeside town was much more quiet, but we still enjoyed many a snowy Christmas with beautiful views of the lake.
I can’t speak of my childhood without mentioning this landmark in my life. It was a special place for all of us, and the memories we made there will last a lifetime.
It continued to be a backdrop to several impactful occasions in our adulthood. My sister and her husband were engaged out on the dock. And pardon the TMI, but our baby boy started his life there when we went back for my grandfather’s funeral.
It’s this magical and enigmatic hallmark of my childhood, and when my grandfather passed away, I knew the lake house would likely leave our family’s possession. When we went back for his funeral, I knew it would be the last time I ever got to visit, and I made sure to soak in every detail.
I went out onto the dock and sat in the sunshine, just reminiscing over all of the good times spent in that exact spot.
I thought of how I’d evolved over the years against this scenic backdrop, and how entwined my family relationships were with this setting. I grieved its loss synonymously with the loss of my grandfather.
After all, he’s the one who taught me to ski; to fish; to drive a wave-runner. He’s the one who drove me to dinner by boat and cooked me the best catfish I’ve ever tasted. Saying good-bye to him and this house full of memories was a double-whammy.
When the house sold back May, I was so happy for my grandmother to have that off of her shoulders. But at the same time, I couldn’t imagine the grief she must have felt packing up her belongings and handing over the keys. How many more memories must she have there than I do?
My parents bought their own lake house in Texas while they were living overseas. For the past 7 years, it served as a surrogate ‘home’ for them and my siblings and we gathered there for engagement parties, Christmases, Corbin and Lucas’ birthdays, and just all important family reunions.
It was a respite for me in college, and I often would seek the peace and calm of Lake Conroe to study for midterms and finals. My girlfriends and I would borrow the house for quality girl time.
We’d use it as a base for attending the Texas Renaissance Festival. We’d go fishing, wave-runnering, water skiing, and out to dinner by boat.
I saw my children growing up and spending summers there. I saw my father teaching them to ski and to fish and taking them to ride go karts.
But life had other plans. When my parents moved back to Louisiana instead of Houston, they decided to sell the Lake House and instead, try to scoop up some real estate in the other direction. Yep, they decided to jump ship and become ‘beach people’. Gasp!
Just this week, they officially sold their lake house and now my family, for the first time in my memory, is lake-house-less. It’s quite disorienting. Even my husband, a bonafide ‘beach bum’, is taking the news hard.
We’ve started saving money with a new purpose. No, not for college funds but for our very own lake house. The goal is still far off, and we’ll wait until we have an idea of what the future holds before we decide on a location, but I think we’re on the same page. It doesn’t hurt to dream…