If you’re anything like me, you have a daily/weekly/monthly planner that you write your entire life in. Maybe it’s on paper, maybe it’s in the calendar on your phone, or maybe just one of those dry erase boards. But whatever you use, I’m sure it is chock full of appointments, meetings, celebrations, all the things that we do while we spend our sweet time in this world. I have mine set up as a month at a glance, and it can get pretty overwhelming. The day to day isn’t so rough, but when I look at it all at once, it can make me feel stretched pretty thin. So, what do you do when you need to step away from all this for a minute? You take yourself to the lake! Whenever I hear someone say, ‘I’m going to “The Lake” this weekend’, I have no idea what lake they’re going to, where it is, or who’s going to be there, but I know that I.want.to.go. Right!?! Something about any lake vacation evokes so many images of boat riding, dock sitting, fish catching, campfire enjoying, cocktail sipping, and most importantly, distancing oneself from appointments, meetings and work…what part of this does NOT sound amazing? SO! When I looked at my calendar and saw that there was one leeeeetle spot in between the craziness of labor day weekend that I could jet away from the city, you’d better believe that I was ready to go! My friend invited me to the family’s cabin on Big Lake in Mount Vernon which is in Skagit County, about 1 hour north of Seattle. I packed up my car and my dog, and was on my way in the blink of an eye.The lake is so beautiful, surrounded by the huge evergreen trees that Washington is so well known for, and there is an instant sense of calm that you get as soon as you arrive. Ahhhh, I made it.
The minute we arrived, it was time to get a cocktail in hand. Doesn’t matter what time it is, we’re on lake time now! One hour in, I had met everyone, changed into my ‘relaxation clothes’ and it was time to get on the boat. No time to waste! My friend’s aunt wanted to go water skiing, so we got to go along for the ride! Even Finley got to test his sea-legs.
What is it about being on a boat, with the wind in your face, your hair blowing back and the scenery whizzing past that makes you feel so carefree? If ever there was a thing to make me feel on top of the world, this is it. If you need a little pick me up, get on a boat. Even a dinghy. Heck, even a paddle board will suffice! Just get out on the water. As we watched the sun go down, reflecting it’s warm glow on the still water, it was time to grab a jacket, the first time this summer, and get a campfire going.
The best part about campfires is not only the great conversations that are had, but also the stillness that can be experienced. Silence is never awkward as everyone is watching the flames, listening to the popping embers, hearing the sparks that fly as the burnt log is nudged back and forth. Crickets are heard from a few feet away, the water is rippling along the pebbled shore, trees are gently swaying with the breeze…ahhhh, we’re on lake time. Anyone need another beer?
Waking up the next morning, I could smell the campfire in my hair, on my jacket, even on my dog! And. I loved it. A mug full of hot coffee, and it was time to head back out to the dock.
My normal routine includes making my coffee in the morning, checking emails, sending texts, making a few calls, but today, uh-uh. Just me, my coffee, my dog and the dock. Staring out across the water, feeling the gentle rocking of the dock, smelling the fresh lake air and listening to the water lap against the wooden planks under me, I naturally fall into a contemplative state. So healing for the soul.
Soon enough, after we clean up after last night’s shenanigans, get all the bedding cleaned up, and the cabin’s belongings back in order, it is time to pack up and ship out…back to the city I go! It was a quick trip indeed, but just enough to help me reset, and ready myself for the upcoming busy weeks. Sometimes all you need is a brief trip away from the norm to get your feet back on the ground and re-energize your senses. Summer is dwindling, the days are continuing to get shorter, the leaves are starting to change, and that crisp air is making it’s way back into the Pacific Northwest. Now is the time to finish up those last minute summer activities and get the very last doses of warm sunshine. Take a trip to the lake, enjoy one more overnight at a campsite, and forget about what your planner says you have to do next week! Enjoy your time away, and worry about life’s appointments when you get home. And most importantly, don’t forget to bring home that campfire smell with you. Happy last few weeks of Summer!