We used to ride our bikes down the road to Country Flavors for irresistible ice cream. We took the paddle boat out for a spin around the island (albeit, a slow spin). Sometimes we’d get off on the island and go exploring—pretending we were on unfamiliar land. One time we competed in a paddle boat race on the 4th of July—needless to say, we were completely out-paddled by kids who were probably 4 years younger than us. A group of us snuck into an old abandoned house down the road which gave Theresa and I inspiration for a ghost story that we wrote together. Sometimes we would dress in all black and play hide and go seek or bloody murderer—the latter, of course, probably drove the neighbors absolutely nuts.
When Theresa and I got older we’d take the paddle boat out late at night and tell each other about our dreams, goals, and of course, boys. We both wanted to work with wildlife in some way but didn’t exactly know how—we just knew we loved dolphins. We started trying to raise money for national wildlife organizations by selling lemonade at the top of the hill. Of course we never really raised much money but we had fun together regardless -- and we made cute stationary with animals on it.
I have many wonderful memories from my time at the lake house as a child and teenager—but the memories I create there today are quite different. I don’t get the chance to go every year anymore. Now it means more to me to have good conversations with family members and catch up with their lives. Almost every one of my cousins has a picture of the biggest fish they caught at the lake—and now many of them are accumulating pictures of their own kids with big fish grins on their faces. And I notice all of the wildlife, especially the birds that pass through—the cedar waxwings that whistle softly from the tree tops or the nuthatches that visit the feeder. I spend more time relaxing in the sun and reading a good book, going kayaking, or chatting with a friend on the phone.
“Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some stay for awhile and leave footprints on our hearts. And we are never, ever the same.” - Unknown
This blog entry is dedicated to Theresa Vormwald—wherever you are, I hope you are happy and living life to the fullest. Theresa—if you are reading this, I would love to hear how you are doing and where your journey has taken you thus far. Miss you and love you always. The dead crab bit me, how rude.