July 27, 2011
A place I've always known
When I called Kindergarten Friend to wish her a happy 50th birthday, she was at her family's summer home in the mountains, where the nights are cool. “We’ll be here all week,” she said. “Come visit.”
So the next morning I drove up to the mountain lake I’ve visited since childhood. Kindergarten Friend’s kids were there, and her husband, and her mother. And her oldest sister. And her niece. Plus a whole herd of little dogs who mistook me for someone who likes dogs and kept licking me and climbing onto my lap.
The camp has two buildings now instead of one, and I stayed in the new place which has big windows and a deck that overlooks the mountain lake. When I went next door to visit the smaller, older camp, I found everything the same, from the knotty pine ceiling to the dark red linoleum on the counters and floor.
Kindergarten Friend’s mother kept waiting on me, just like she did when I was a little kid. “Want me to make you a salad? Are you hungry? Do you want some leftover birthday cake?” Kindergarten Friend’s husband bought portabella mushrooms for the grill since he knows I don’t eat meat. I’ve known Kindergarten Friend’s husband for almost as long as I’ve known her: he went to elementary school with us. But I didn’t talk to boys for most of my elementary school years so it doesn’t count.
We went swimming off the dock: the water was lovely and warm. I made an ungraceful attempt at water skiing with some child-size skis that were clearly not long enough. When storm clouds moved across the lake, we retreated to the camp.
Kindergarten Friend and her mother pulled out their knitting, and then her daughter and niece began knitting as well. Her niece said that her plan was to make a scarf that looks exactly like the one that Dr. Who wears. A noble goal. I’m not someone who had the patience to knit — I made one sweater once just to prove I could and haven’t picked up needles since — but I’ve always found it relaxing to be around folks who knit. I found the book that Kindergarten Friend had brought, a book written by a woman who was as obsessed with the Little House books as we were, and read the funny passages aloud.
Posted by jo(e)