Whiskeytown Lake, my home away from home.
Where a canopy of leaves is my rooftop
deer are my nieghbors
the fabric of my tent the only walls.
Where all of my extended family lives together,
and dines daily with a lakefront view.
Where chasing your own shadow through the trees is a perfect pastime,
on your to do list is snuggling with your babies in the hammock,
and you can literally hang with your cousins
It is a place where lazy afternoon naps are expected
and smiles are guaranteed!
Its one of the few places I go that I envy the boys care free hairstyles
Hours are spent splashing in the lake where the kayak and canoes are almost always in use
It is a place where some of the best conversations happen while floating on your back or sharing an inflatable raft.
This is where we perfect the art of rope swing diving and creative original moves
This is one of the only places where so many of my family members will get together for a run.
The trails around this lake are where the love of running has been solidified for so many of us, and are the paths of some of our best childhood memories
It's a place where our relationships are strengthened
As I watch the rising sun over the mountains I've spent years scrambling through with my family it tugs on my heart strings and I am filled with gratitude
I love this lake that almost every cove holds various memories from as far back as my mind can remember.
This is the place that I learned to water ski at just 7 years old and first started driving the boat when I was 12. It came full circle watching my own son pull the younger kids on the boat as I sprawled out on the back to tan or curled up in the front to read.
As Jessica took over the bow of the boat I remember easily the years her mom and my two oldest cousins and I would occupy that same spot on my grandpas boat when he would take us across the lake to the Whiskeytown Store to get a special treat.
This is a place where my only job for the day might be to drive the boat so my boys could be pulled behind it.
This is a lake where the water is almost always smooth
So much so, that you don't even feel guilty for cruising through glassy water only pulling a tube.
This is a place where your only reminder of the real world is the crazy prices you pay at the marina gas pump
It is a place where I get to relax and just be silly with my crazy kids
and I know that every year Sterling and Katie will have come up with some kind of creative activity to challenge and entertain them all
This is where age is irrelevant and family fun reigns
Where no one is too cool to participate
and everyone gets in on the action
Balancing acts are perfected here
and an unlikely group of synchronized swimmers can practice
gearing up for the big competition
This is where my sons hang out with eachother in the same places I grew up hanging out with my sisters
It is where family lake baths are the norm
Its the only time that battling mosquitos is a regular hazzard of bathing
This is where a good foot scrubbing can never be turned down
and private lake front property has never felt so priceless
Hours can be spent under the light of a lantern with two decks of cards
Math skills are sharpened through a good game of dice
This is where I can sit around at the same campfire with my grandpa that I did when I was a little girl
where nightly marshmellow roasts are a must
and blackberry cobbler can be made from the berries the kids have picked from the bushes along the shore
This is where mothers and daughters get to reconnect
Sisters get to tease each other like they did when they were teenagers
and our aunts can tell us what our moms were really like!
This is where I get to see my sons hanging with my brothers and goofing off like a bunch of friends!
This home away from home is a place of laughter and games, snacks and treats, naps and runs, beauty and dirt. So much dirt! It is a place full of memories and love. It is a place for family. It is a place my heart calls home.