Upta Camp

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There’s no internet, WIFI or otherwise.

In the early days, I wouldn’t even have noticed such a thing. Who cared?

I’ve only set up Facebook and LinkedIn pages in the last couple years, and primarily because I was told I “had to” in order to publish books. Really? Bummer. A sidebar to publishing I didn't necessarily embrace.

But I’ve found LinkedIn is interesting, and Facebook is a ball. I’m learning good things about people I obviously didn't know well enough, fascinated by their posts and their interests. I love the reconnections with people in my ancient past. I also love getting to know some unexpected, now-close friends due to what they choose to write about, giving me a glimpse into appealing aspects of them. Facebook is a fascinating commentary on our society and I’m embracing and enjoying every bit of it.

But at camp, for one week each summer since Ben was 1 and Matt was 5 (18 years ago), we escape to the woods…where there is no internet. And it’s WONDERFUL!

My favorite place in the world is our one week at the lake.

My husband and I become ourselves. All pretenses and false selves disappear. We leave them back in the city…with the internet. Those selves work hard, are responsible, dependable. And what helps sustain that is –

…a week at the lake.

We kayak first thing in the morning, when the lake looks like a mirror. We don’t speak. The quiet is soothing. We listen to frogs, birds, loons. We deeply breathe in the fresh country air.

Or we run or bike. Gotta do that early because it will get hot, scorching mid-summer at the lake. And there are certain times of the day when the bugs are brutal, especially when they smell sweaty bodies.

By late morning, we’re ready for the few hours of massive sunning. Reading. Dreaming. Swimming a bit. Lying on floats, our fingers dipping into the lake as we sun. Then back on the LL Bean beach towels to soak in the rays.

Cocktails and snacks are at 4:00 down on the dock where the breeze has picked up, the lake is wavy and rougher, and the light is something I find hard to describe – the golden hour. I get out of that painful bathing suit, and we sit calmly and chat quietly. Still breathing deeply.

At night, sitting in Adirondack chairs on the dock, looking at the glorious full moon hanging over the tree line, brings tears to my eyes. Oh, yes, Virginia, there is a God. How can I be surrounded by this and think possibly there isn’t?

Or sitting around an outdoor fire or indoor wood fire in a massive rough stone fireplace with rustic furnishings.

My favorite place in all the world – the lakes of Maine.

As we head into fall, it makes me nostalgic. I will forever appreciate the life I’ve led which has included annual summer retreats to the lake all the years my sons have been alive.

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