In fact, Rick and his family camped at the same campground that we did, even though we didn't know each other then. Laying eyes on this lake? Felt like coming home, like all the way, completely home. For over 20 years, I spent summers at the lake with my family in and around the Detroit Lakes area.
When I was really young, we started out in a pop up camper and rented a weekend spot at Lost Valley Resort, for the summer. For vacation, my dad would take a week off from work and we would spend all week at the lake. I was in heaven. It didn't matter to me that we used an "outhouse," I could pinch my nose closed and hoist my nightgown all in one swift move... Laura Ingalls had nothing on me.
Oh the things that stay with us. Like trips to the resort store for maple nut ice cream, and jolly ranchers for a penny. The distinct smell of hotdogs and s'mores made over the fire. The way a sunburn stings and how my mom would let us cool it off in the lake late at night sometimes under the glow of the moon. I can still hear the laughter of my cousins who camped nearby, and the roll of the Yahtzee dice as they clacked against the picnic tables.
Its abundantly clear, I have and will always be a water-loving, lake-swimming, sand-digging, rock-skipping, sun-worshipping, boat-riding, summer girl at heart- who has longed for a week at the beach. We've been spoiled with Rick's parents lake up by Park Rapids, but we never have much time to spend. By the time we start to unwind and relax, its time to go home.
So I decided to ask for help in making something happen for us this summer. Maybe in our network of friends someone would know of a place we could rent ? Less than 24 hours later we had an offer that took our breath away.
So we've become a lake family, in a whole new way. We have packed a few things and jumped in the car and in 40 minutes or so we feel like we are lightyears away from home. The cabin is cozy and has every amenity-you wouldn't need to leave it, but then the loons call from the lake and you can't help but go out and explore.
I don't know how to begin to say thank you to our friends. To first of all have the generous and giving spirit to turn over their lake home to us, but also to trust us with something so special to them, is very humbling for us.
AnnVoskamp mentions her "soul holes," in her book "One Thousand Gifts." Cancer may be my soul hole, but I feel so "alive" and am busy filling my gratitude journal with oodles of new gifts through my lake-filled eyes. It indeed has been the patch to any hole in my soul.