How is it that when we come to Massachusetts I fall more in love with my husband. His face changes, my face changes, we are calmer, we are more patient, we are happier, all because of a place.
His family has lived here for generations. His grandfather was known in town as Doc. His grandmother was the school nurse. He grew up climbing this mountain and swimming in the lake and now our kids are doing the same. I can hear their voices echoing across the lake form the top of the mountain. It is the most beautiful sound in the world.
If I were a designer I could have a grand time redesigning all the rooms and window treatments and furniture and floors. But this house, "the camp," has gone untouched for 50 years and it will be awhile before it is ever redesigned. Yet each little thing is precious. A picture of a cousin, circa 1970, that has been on the fireplace mantle since then. A jar of oatmeal that seems to never run out. The recipes his grandmother taped to the back of the upper cupboards. The clock that works but is never turned on because I, we, don't need or want to know that the minutes are ticking by and our time here is short enough. (Also, it makes a very old, loud noise!) Even thought there is a large living room with an old brick fireplace built by Grandfather himself, we spend most all of our time on the porch with the daybed and bookshelf and table and chairs and the antique rocker, up close and personal. It isn't much but the view is breath-taking and when we aren't looking at each other, telling stories, we are looking at the lake and the trees and the birds and the fish and the beavers, not the floor or the chair or the window treatments.
All the Places to Love are here and all the places to be loved too.
The kids are almost done their hike up the mountain. The made it down and we can see them on the other side of the lake now. We are helling as loud as we can and are waiting for their answer. We are signaling each other with a white t-shirt and a tall stick - that's how far away they are. Yet somehow they feel closer. That's just the way it is in this magical, mystical, sacred place. As if we own this piece of the world at least for a couple of days. We love this place and it loves us back.
We yell one more time - but really all we hear are the final exaggerated "eeeeee"s at the end - "Charlieeeee," "Annieeeee", back and forth like rocks skipping in the water. It is the most beautiful sound in the world.