Thursday, July 20, 2017

Lake Life

Fifteen years ago I didn't know I was looking for a future husband with access to a lake cottage.  (Weird how that never made my list of ideal qualities.)  But a future husband with a family lake cottage is what I got. 

I remember the first time Matt took me up for the day.  We had been dating about two weeks.  His brother and family were supposed to be coming too but something happened and they couldn't make it.  We went swimming, made mac n cheese without milk (pretty sure we took no food besides maybe some Snapple), and watched a bad 80s movie.  (Somehow Matt got me to watch a lot of bad 80s movies when we were dating.  I've since learned to, generally, say no.)

We made many lake trips over the years but I feel like it really became a thing for us when we bought our first set of jet skis, nine years ago.  All of a sudden we had a way to get on the water (besides wading or canoeing, something that still doesn't interest me much, although kayaking does) and we spent a lot of time out there (bad time to buy a jet ski: when gas is $4/gallon.  Really bad time to buy TWO jet skis: when gas is $4/gallon).

That began our evolution into being lake people.

Now, this was Matt's family's cottage.  Matt's Dad had helped his Dad (Matt's Grandpa) and brothers (Matt's uncles) build it in the 50s.  Matt grew up going there.  He's been making memories there his whole life.  If he were to write this post (hahahahahahahaha) it would be a whole lot different.

But for me, our lake life began with jet skis

Our current "beast of a jet ski".  Legally seats 4.  Longer than our car.
Then we got a little boy who was quickly obsessed (" jet ski" it was one of his first 10 words).  Now we are making memories up there as our little family and it's become such a part of what we do in the summer. 

I was talking to a friend about how we don't "do" anything in the summer.  Luke did three mornings of Vacation Bible School but that's been our only planned activity.  He doesn't play baseball.  He doesn't play soccer.  I avoid most recurring calendar commitments like the plague.  But then she pointed out we go to the lake.  That's what we do in the summer.  It's not an organized activity and it doesn't require my rushing him out of the house before 9am.  So it's perfect for us.

And even though I said our being lake people began with the jet skis, the lake isn't about the water just like Friday Night Lights isn't about football.   I mean it is, but it isn't.

It's where we have lazy Saturdays (we've often said we go to the lake just to avoid working on things at home).

It's where we make special breakfast.
homemade donuts

It's where we do sparklers.

It's where we keep Luke up late to catch lightening bugs.

It's where we have more patience.

It's where we buy the snacks we don't buy at home.

It's where we slept past 9 (even the 4 year old most days).

It's where I can finish 4 books in 3 days (true fact, happened this summer).  (Three of these 4 reading pictures are the same book, read 3 different summers.)

It's where Matt and Luke take time to fish (basically the equivalent of doing nothing).

It's where we get by with one real change of clothes for the weekend.

It's where we spend the weekend in swimsuits.

It's where we put on swimsuits just so we have the option to pee in the lake on a long boat ride, should the need arise.

It's where we get ice cream cones after Mass, if Luke is good.

It's where we go to Mass in a campground pavilion.

It's where we fall into bed at the end of the day, smelling of sunscreen, bug spray, and sweat.

It's where it might be ok to drink before noon.  

It's where I take time to watch the sunset, almost every night.

I mean, seriously gorgeous.

It's way more laid back than home.  We have a lot of family time.  A lot of extended family time.  It's where we've had so much bonding time with his side of the family.  So many laughs and late nights.

Somehow going to the lake became not just something we did but who we are.  As cheesy as that sounds. 

surfing behind the jet ski on a spray painted surfboard
We don't go nearly every weekend but we go often.  We go enough that packing becomes second nature by the end of June. Swimsuit (& coverup), pjs, church clothes, sweatshirt (if needed), and pretty much one outfit (t-shirt or tank top and shorts).  I quickly learned to wear the same clothes all weekend (I do change undergarments, in case you find this gross) because you're already sweaty and dirty, why get more clothes dirty?? 

We just recently got a real(ish) shower, we just recently got hooked up to the sewer (it just became an option).  I could count on one hand the number of sorta showers I've taken up there over all our trips.

And this is a real cottage we're talking about.  We don't have one of those lake mansions with 5 bathrooms and shag carpet.  It's a cottage.  Exactly what you should be thinking when you hear "lake cottage".  We've shared the attic with bunches of other sleeping people.  We've had 40ish people sharing 800 sq feet and one bathroom for a weekend.  You become real close real fast in conditions like that.   One of my drink pictures this summer was taken with a 5 gallon bucket of lake water at my feet.  Filled because the water pump was having issues and we needed to flush the toilet.  This is not glamorous.

But it's awesome all the same.

It's a lake cottage.  I'm pretty glad I "accidentally" married into one.

Lake life isn't about the water, as much as that plays a part into it.  It's about the people.  Making time for the ones most important to me (my husband and my son).  Time with whoever else happens to be up there in a given weekend.  It's created some bonds we probably wouldn't have otherwise.  It's greatly changed our family dynamic.  It makes us slow down and appreciate the best things about life (good people, good food, relaxing, sleep). 

Now I can't imagine not being lake people. 


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