July 27, 2011

A place I've always known

Mountain lake

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.

Knitting

14 comments:

Wendy said...

I read that book! (and I just read Little House in the Big Woods to my 4-year-old. Another gheneration starts.)

Sounds like a great visit.

liz said...

I read that book too! And all the serious knitters I know knit to have patience. "I knit so that I don't kill people" is a very popular button.

Bardiac said...

What a lovely day!

(I have to confess, though, that the picture reveals that "camp" means something very different to you than it does to me!)

jo(e) said...

Liz: Oh, I like that button! Maybe I should give knitting another try.

jo(e) said...

Bardiac: Yeah, it's funny how people here use "camp" to mean everything from gorgeous summer homes to places where you sleep in a tent ....

kathy a. said...

how wonderful! that second photo must be the new place; not so many lofts in our childhoods.

i have yet to knit, but anyone can crochet. just sayin'.

jo(e) said...

Yeah, the second photo is the new place, which (as Bardiac pointed out) isn't really a camp, but an incredibly lovely summer home. It's beautifully designed, with a high ceiling and a loft where a whole bunch of kids can sleep.

Cindy said...

Add me to the list of peeps who fell in love with the Little House on the Prairie books.

jo(e) said...

What's funny is I keep thinking that the girl in the first photo is Kindergarten Friend because that's what she used to look like. But of course, we're grown up now: that's her daughter.

Marilyn (A Lot of Loves) said...

That looks like an amazing cabin. I try to knit, but I have little patience as well, so I knit with huge size 50 needles and four strands of yarn at a time. It's way faster.

ChrisinNY said...

Well, I WAS reading that book. Until my mother was rushed to the emergency room and then admitted for obervation. I was not there so somehow the reading glasses and current book(s) were left at her place. So I sacrificed my current read so that she had something to while away the hours in the hospital. (It was a library book so I am pretty sure she will return it and maybe I can finish it then. )

lizardek said...

What book? Title, please!

jo(e) said...

If you click on the link, it should take you to the book. It's The Wilder Life by Wendy McClure.

julieunplugged said...

I love the perspective of the living room! Such an inviting space and well captured by you.