Monday, May 23, 2005

A Trip Down Memory Lane

I had a good weekend. On Saturday morning, Rick and I headed up to one of my life-long summer weekend spots (one of our summer weekend spots since we've been married): Kentucky Lake.

I have been taking weekend trips to Kentucky Lake my entire life. Every weekend between March 1st and November 1st, my friends knew that I could not spend a weekend at their house. If they wanted to spend time with me, they would have to go with my family to "The Lake." Boating, fishing, skiing, kneeboarding, swimming, go carts, mini golf, and the heaven that is Belew's continues to consume my summers.

It is very interesting the looks that I get from some people when I tell them that I spend my summer weekends camping. They get an imagery of tents and mosquitos and showerless days. I get an image of a nice pool, playing on jet skis on the lake, boating, and having an extended "family." We don't tent camp. My parents own a 40-foot long Prowler camper with cable TV (3 cable TVs, actually); hot, running water; sewer; and a big, screened-in front porch equipped with a large grill, big refrigerator, deck chairs and table, and porch swing. Yeah, it's not quite "roughing it." :)

I had the chance this weekend to talk and sort of reconnect with an old friend, S. She's a little older than me, but she was the epitomy of "cool" when I was a little girl. I was 5, she was 16. She taught me to play PacMan, spit watermelon seeds at her little brother (he was 14), and she would spin me and my little sister as fast as we could go on the merry-go-round. I don't get to see her parents or her brother anymore, but her family (husband and two sweet, tough-as-nails little girls) continues to camp.

It's funny how things change so much, but stay the same all at the same time. S's brother, T, had a terrible car accident many years ago and remains in a wheelchair. I've grown up and gotten married, and so has my little sister. A lot of the faces of the people who continue to come to that campground have changed, but some of them remain steadfast. Lifelong campers. But as I sat by the pool this weekend, talking to S and watching her two little girls splash around in the pool, it made me very nostaligic and peaceful.

I talked with my parents about my first memories camping (those I have mentioned above, in addition to S's dad feeding my dog beer and then my sister and me getting very mad at him, and stopping at Hardees every Sunday morning on our way home before church). It made me realize how thankful I am to my parents for sometimes forcing me to go to the Lake when I wanted to stay home and be "normal" like my friends. I really did have the best childhood, and it looks like Rick and I will continue this tradition with our family. That'll be fine with me. I love to go and put away adulthood for a little while and act like a kid playing out on the water, it reminds me of when I was a little girl.

I guess Kentucky Lake is my Neverland.....

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