Go jump in the lake


Summer, as we know it, has come and gone. I think it lasted maybe a week.

We used our pool maybe four times? I’m being generous here. So short was the swim season that I never even had to refill the Tiki torches! That, my friend, is a First World Problem.

Now is the time I am so grateful to be so bad at math. I simply cannot bear to figure up the “per use” in chemicals and energy to maintain a swimming pool that offered swim hours that are tallied on two hands.

Tadpoles be gone!

I started fighting that pool in May. What began as a haven for tadpoles and toads was finally crystal blue (at no small cost) by mid-July.

Then the summer temperatures dropped, so we added a solar cover. The pool turned around and turned brown from the added heat. Admitting defeat, I put the cover on and left the darned thing alone. Clearly that pool just doesn’t WANT to be happy.

Headed to lake

We didn’t let the serious lack of summer weather keep us from our favorite place: the lake. “The Lake” to our family and friends is an inland reservoir 40 minutes from home. That’s close enough to make it back for practices and hot dates (kids) and far enough to be free of bills and home maintenance (adults).

We love our home and hosting family and friends here. I hope we have created a haven that is warm and inviting. The amount of groceries I go through and number of teenagers who have thrown themselves down on our fluffy shag rug to make “carpet angels” tell me I’m doing something right. Home is where our heart is.

It is still wonderful, however, to get away. For us, the lake is a haven. A place to stick who we want and what we need in 21 feet of camper space, random tents and endless acres and meet up with friends.

Our group has grown and morphed and changed over the years. Old friends are dearly missed and spoken of fondly. New friends are cherished and embraced. We have hosted family and friend reunions and long weekends with regulars.

At home, we spent hundreds keeping 24 inches of water clean and clear. At the lake, we have watched the water rise and recede and never once had to dump chemicals in to make the lake more “blue.”

Despite our love/hate relationship, I do like our swimming pool. It’s had great summers and not so great summers, but I have never regretted owning one.

When it’s good, it’s very, very good. When it’s bad, it is column fodder (see also: very good for frogs). Who doesn’t want to host their own ecosystem?
Still this summer in particular, we found ourselves drawn ever more regularly to the lake.

Weather joys

We have boated in two serious storms (we didn’t plan it, but this summer it just happened, repeatedly). We have been pelted with raindrops that stung like pebbles, and flung ourselves out onto docks slippery with driving rain. We have watched three strong men try to wrestle a boat onto a trailer in heaving waves.

We have learned to trust your eye more than the weather report since through it all my weather app said “Clear Skies.” We have taught Cute Boyfriend to never accept an invitation to ANYTHING with us without first checking the weather first.

When life got busy and full at home, we headed to the lake. Some days it was too cold and we simply cruised around, wrapped in blankets. A few times (rare, but blessed), it was too hot. We anchored in a shady cove and dove repeatedly into water with so icy in some pockets that it took your breath away. We climbed out, dried off, heated up, and did it again.

We ate too many (probably) carcinogenic hot dogs. We fished (in most cases no fish were harmed). We skipped rocks (or in my case, sunk them).

Life metaphor

As I ponder the packing away of memories of Summer 2014, I realize there is a metaphor in the summer fun we had.

The manmade is sometimes more a struggle than it is worth. The swimming pool fought me every step of the way and yielded very few good times in exchange for the cost. Meanwhile, Mother Nature was quietly offering thousands more of what I was micromanaging at home. It was mine to be had for a song if I just took a deep breath and dove in.

The best advice I could give anyone fighting to clear up a problem, figuratively or literally, is to go jump in a lake.

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