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Jessica Benton Jessica Benton
Recommendations: 2

Blue Mountain Lake, New York

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soul mates

When I first arrive into town
I see the lake, the corner store, the boat livery and always check to see if
Uncle Billy’s sea plane is at the dock.
The humid summer air floods through the open car windows.
When we reach the cabin,
the gravel crunches under the wheels as we roll down the driveway.

When we first get there we unload, then
I run upstairs, claim my bed and quickly change into my bathing suit.
I run to the dock and dive into the icy water.
Once I’ve cooled down
I hop into the tin boat with mom and motor off towards Town Bay
to see who all is on the lake so far.

We take a trip to the boat livery for our favorite ice cream
The cool chocolate crunch of “Mint Ting-a-Ling” and the
delectable mix of coffee and chocolate in “Bittersweet Symphony.”
We catch up on all the year’s news visiting with the infamous Booth brothers
and my clan of cousins gathering for the start of summer rituals.
As it gets dark we make plans for sleepovers and bonfires.
We roast marshmallows, tell stories, swim endlessly, and warm up near the fire.
It’s late when we finally get to bed.
We sleep hard and fast in anticipation of all the fun tomorrow will bring.
When I first wake up
I wake to the smell of crispy bacon, warm moist muffins, and deliciously stuffed omelet.
Outside the sweet pine scent, mist rising over the lake and the longing call of the loon
signals a new day.
After breakfast, I go upstairs. I put my bathing suit on under my clothes, throw a towel into a bag, get in the tin, and zip down to the other end of the lake to see who else is up and ready.
The day is packed with fun.
I join cousins old and young to go tubing, water skiing, hiking,
and of course swimming in West Bay.

While we are there we spend lots of time with the Booths.
We can spend the whole day together, if our parents will let us.
We scoop ice cream, dog sit, swim and warm up in the hot tub
then go jump back into the chilly lake.
We also take the boat to Loon Brook to go fishing with Uncle Michael
and listen spellbound to his storytelling.
There bare foot adventures through the woods
and rock hopping through and across the many streams and tributaries to the lake.

Every year the high point of the summer are
the Boat Livery Games.
We  have pie eating contests, jumping off the dock contests, sand castle building contests,
fireworks, cookouts, everyone gathered,
and of course, even more swimming.
As long as there is no lightning we dance, sing, and swim in the rain.
However if there is lightning we always sit on the porch and watch the rain till it passes then all the fun continues like nothing happened.

An island called Rock Island provides a rite of passage.
It has a 20-25 foot cliff at it’s highest point.
It is fun to climb and even more fun to jump from.
But there’s a catch.
You have to push out when you jump or else you’d hit the little underwater jut of rock.

On only a few nights of our stay we take an evening cruise down the three lakes.
As I look over the edge of the boat I see fish, turtles,
and the occasional loon swim gracefully through the water.
Every once in a while if we are lucky
we catch sight of the Blue Heron still among the Lady’s Hat pins.
Sometimes we go tubing on one of those sundown cruises.
Through the channels we clutch to stay on the tubes
trying not to fall off and become snapping turtle bait.

As the happy summer days pass quickly,
the time to return arrives.
Leaving makes my heart heavy and sometimes
brings tears come to my eyes.
I remember that next summer will come again but not soon enough.
Home puts such a great distance between us.

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