Once upon a time, I was small. er. Smaller.
… let’s just go with young.
Once upon a time, I was young. I believe I was about 8 years old when I (was) moved (by my older and more useful siblings and parents) to Brighton MA, to the top of this foolishly steep hill in Oak Square. I continued to go to school in Brookline MA, and before you start blowing whistles, we paid to keep me there, unlike those who just use some other family member’s address in the same town.
Because I didn’t go to the local schools, I didn’t meet many other local kids. I did meet a few in the area around my house though, one of whom I became very good friends with. This was great, because the only other company I really had in the area were the dogs that were owned by folks in the neighborhood.
It sounds really strange to say it now, as I’ve never seen anything like it, but that mini-mountain in Oak Square was literally infested with dogs. It was as if there were no leash laws, and perhaps there weren’t, I don’t really know, but people would let their dogs out, like they would their cats. It was not uncommon to see four or five dogs go trotting by in a pack.
It was there that I met the smartest dog I’ve ever known, as well as the dumbest dog I’ve ever known. Both were golden retrievers.
But dogs aside, this fellow with whom I made friends used to take me on his family outings all the time, and his family became like a second family to me. A good measure of who I am today is due to them.
Anyway, they own a cottage on a lake in NH, and they used to bring me along with them. It quickly became one of my favorite places on earth, and I’d spend weeks at a time when on vacation from school there.
Time went on, as it tends to, and I got a lot taller and such. Long story short, I started to date the girl who lived year round next door to their lake house. This went on for a couple of years, this long distance teenaged thing, back before email and cell phones… Doomed from the start. She and I broke up (in another rather long and not all that interesting story) in 1998, and thus ended my extended stays for some time.
I found reasons not to go back up, as I really had no desire to see her, or the places that reminded me of her, etc.
A few years back, (maybe 10?) I started going again, but only for the July 4th get together, where tons of folks from his family would come as well. We’d all pack into the house like sardines, people on couches, mattress pads, the floor, etc. …but it would only ever been for a few days at a time.
The last time I actually spent a full week away was April, 1998. Since then, I’ve taken a week off several times, but never left the house. Any time we ever went away, even our honeymoon, it was only ever for three or four days.
This year, we went back to the lake house, and we stayed for a full week and more. We got up on a Friday, and were actually by ourselves (my wife, the kids and I) until the following Thursday when the second family and THEIR extended family began showing up. This was the first REAL weeks vacation for me in fifteen years. BOY was it great.
I’d have stayed longer if I can, of course. But I can’t say I’m not glad to be back. Looking forward to kicking this blog back into gear though… Hopefully I still have a few readers left lingering around!