“Let’s go out to the lake,” said my father. “I bet the ice is finally gone.”
He and my mother picked me up sometime before noon. We drove past fields just beginning to turn green, past woods where bare trees stood in pools of snowmelt. The wind at the lake was still cold, but the sun beat down on the shore.
In the familiar bar, we took the booth by the window, where we could look out at the whitecaps on the lake. “Just last week, we were looking out at ice,” my mother said as the waitress brought us plates of food.
The young waitress nodded. “I think it went out on Monday. And then on Tuesday, we got that snowstorm. Weather’s been crazy.”
“Where does it go?” I asked.
“Oh, it’s piled up down on the other shore,” my father said vaguely, waving his arm.
He’s known this lake for more than 80 years. While I ate pasta cooked with peppers, tomatoes, onions, and mushrooms, my father talked about his adventures on the lake. My mother chimed in with the story about the time she and my father and another couple took us out sailing — us being six small children — and the weather turned rough.
“I remember how relieved I was once we got passed the point,” my father said. “That’s when I knew we were going to make it.”
When we done eating, we walked outside to look at the last of the snow melting on the banks. I could hear the waves smacking against the shore. Despite the cold wind, it was pretty clear that spring had arrived.