Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Family Vacation

We drove there every summer, a 10 horsepower outboard motor packed in the car along with our suitcases and G'ma's red cooler filled with snacks.  Each kid had a suitcase upon which to perch in the backseat, the better to see over the front bench and out into the world.

We stopped at the first rest stop over The Bridge (I'm not sure which bridge) for breakfast, having left home before dawn.  I never knew or questioned why we had to leave so early, it was just what we did.

Timberlane still exists, just as it did when Daddooooo drove down the barely marked rutted lane off Lake Shore Drive in Bolton Landing in the late 1950's and early 1960's.  Richard and Cecilia McCann owned the rustic cabins and dock and fire pit around which we held sing-a-longs and roasted marshmallows and threw kindling in to watch it spark.  For G'ma, it must have been her job without the electric luxuries (washing machine, dish washer) which, added to the fact that one of the kids always got sick when we were there, may have led us to venture further afield at times.  But when I think of family vacations, I think of Lake George.

I had a lot of freedom there.  I could row a boat into the middle of the lake with nothing but my fishing pole for company.  I could take the rowboat with our motor attached (an additional expense to the cottage rental that Daddoooo cheerfully paid) to town all by myself.  I'd tie up at the dock, buy a snack at the canteen, flirt with the boat boy, and motor on home, contented. 

I saw A Hard Days Night in the theater there.  I can feel the pebbly beach beneath my feet as I type this.  There were big trees and sneaky paths amidst them. 

We had a special place, Paradise Cay, where we'd take the boat to picnic.  We were free to wander the small island we anchored on, a freedom I regretted when I looked down and saw a long long long long snake slither between me and my next footstep.  Daddooooo to the rescue - it was harmless and, in famous parenting language, it was more afraid of you than you are of it.  We lolled on rafts in the calm cay, usually unbothered by other families.

I don't remember us every having an argument in Paradise Cay.

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