It’s 1970. Or 1969.

I have a POW bracelet and I lose it trying to roll the log with my coolest cousin, who by the way, can roll this thing all day and get massive 3rd degree burns and still go out the next day. I’d like to know where that thing is…stuck here in the sand, under layers and decades of childhood.

And we give Bill $5 if he will be the first one to jump off the dock, into the cool refreshing water of summer. And he does. And we all follow him in.

There is my Mom sitting on the third dock. Watching, always watching, supervising our comings and goings. Up to the cabin where my Granny sits playing cards. She sees us and we have potato salad and chips with ketchup and chocolate cake.

And it was only a few summers. Maybe five or six. We stayed two weeks, and the other 50 we wrote letters and dreamed about next summer and McDougald’s and the log and Mr. Love yelling from the clubhouse.

But those two weeks. They were magic for me. And I took my first drink here and stubbed my toes and broke my sister’s tooth and snuck out at night with my cousin because my Mom said “don’t go out at night. The Hell’s Angels are here.”

And last summer, my kids told me they were no longer interested in Bass Lake. Because I had been trying to give them the summers I had… and now children are not simply content to eat and swim and play volleyball and horseshoes because they want to do other things that they love. Not what I love. And that’s how it should be.

We did not come last summer because they love Boy Scout camp and secretly I was pleased. Because really. You can’t go home again. Life moves on. Bracelets, while buried beneath the land are meant to stay there. And Granny’s, long gone, are meant to stay warmly in your hearts with visions of porch sweeping…and your favorite cousins. the ones who hold your past… are meant to guard it with joy and remembering.

I sit on this dock because girls I love are coming here to share in a spiritual retreat…and I…I needed to come to this place to remember how very lucky I am.

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