Well Prospecters, this is it. The very pinnacle of summer. Sultry, steamy, sticky summer. After a month of high humidity the whole world feels like it was rolled in cotton candy. Time for our annual sojourn to “the lake.”
As I’ve said before, we weren’t lake people growing up. This probably had as much to do with the fact that in the early 70’s you could actually walk across Lake Erie, as it did with our economic station in life. No one I knew had anything like a cottage or a cabin somewhere. If we wanted to escape the heat it usually required a bike ride to the city pool, or a garden hose and a lawn sprinkler. When I was a wee little one, my folks had an old aluminum above ground pool. It died before I was old enough to swim, and they didn’t get around to replacing it until after I had left home and they had retired. Which probably explains my decided lack of buoyancy.
I read once that Western N.Y. has more backyard pools per capita than anywhere else in the country. If you ever fly into Buffalo or Rochester in the summertime and look out the window, you’d have to agree. The ‘burbs of both cities are full of pools. Both of my Uncles had them, and in the summertime, we’d always come up with reasons to go visiting them on the hottest days so that we could swim in them.
Then of course there were the lovely Clark girls two doors down, who’s folks installed an in ground pool. The only inground pool on our block. Sitting in my bedroom on a hot summer day it was torture to look out and see that cerulean blue water, and hear the giggling and splashing coming from their backyard. My only other complaint was that the window screen made the view through my binoculars kinda fuzzy. (I kid!) Sadly they moved before I hit puberty, so my only trips over to swim with the mermaids were before I truly knew how lucky I was to have two sisters arguing over which one was going to marry me when we grew up. But I’ve told that story before…
Out here in the Upper Midwest lakes are plentiful, so lake cabins are within reach of a lot more people than in New York. (Although even that is changing) Mrs. 20 Prospect’s family didn’t own a cabin, but they owned a boat, and rented a cabin for two weeks each summer. That was there annual vacation. The only boat we ever owned was a Chrysler, and our vacation involved sailing it around the country in search of amusement parks, train & plane museums, and Civil War battlefields.
Since having a family of our own, we have rekindled Mrs. 20 Prospect’s traditional week at the lake, and we rent a cabin at a little Mom & Pop resort the same week each summer. All of her immediate and extended family rent cabins at the same place for the week, and we overrun the resort. I can’t begin to tell you how much I look forward to this week every year, even though I know I will spend the next month in a funk for having to leave the Northwoods behind for the fluorescent confines of my cube farm.
The original Mr. 20 Prospect loved water. He would have really enjoyed a vacation like this had we ever had one. That’s him up there in the banner, diving into a lake in Garmisch-Partenkircken during his Air Force days.
So, I will be posting sporadically during the next week. Some short mobile phone posts, and some longer repostings from days past. Stay gold.