Summertime in the country

March 31, 2022

By Joy Lynn Clark

Throughout my life I have always had a weekend trip or sometimes a weeklong vacation in the country. By country I mean right around the lake in Michigan. I have been there many times. On mom’s side we would travel to our favorite orchard to pick apples and grapes. This orchard is the kind where patrons buy a wooden bushel basket and fill them up. I always wanted a really special thing with the apples but we mainly just eat them for a snack. Grandma‘s real specialty was wine and vinegar. As a kid, I had had plenty of vinegar to put on my greens. I never even had a taste of grandma‘s wine until I was much Older. On the other hand, I used to marvel at grandma’s wine room full of lawn and leaf container sized, “wind bins” that was sit for months. All year everyone will collect and save bottles for grandma’s wine.

My first and last wine bottle was at 20. I was not yet 21 and I promised grandma that I would wait.  I figured that I could age mine for a year. On the stroke of 21 I popped open my bottle and shared it with a buddy from college.

On the other side of the family grandpa had a Lakehouse. I have been going there since I was in diapers. Great grandma lived there three seasons Of the year before she passed. However, she always stayed with grandma and grandpa during the winter.

In the summertime my stepbrother and I played with the lake kids. There was a three legged dog that everybody loved. He could run fast and swim even better. My stepmother thought that he was a mangy old dog but we loved him and we like the kids that I think that he belongs to.

We were really impressed by the rich people across the lake. We would ride around in the boat just to look at the pretty new houses being built and we would try and surf when they land in their airplane on the water.

Every year we learned about the boats. Dad and uncle would do the boat thing. They would charge the battery and carry it and the gas out together and then they do a test run and maybe we could take a ride after the grown-ups. Sometimes dad would impress us with his good water skiing also.

When I was a kid therebwere also snapping turtles in the lake. I always just stayed away from the reeds and Lily pads but every now and again you could see the big turtle walking by near the road or swimming by in the lake. Once we finally saw the big guy, he wasn’t really that scary at all and he is super slow when he’s walking on the road.

In addition to hanging around the lake we also visited the local farm shops and Amish store. It was nice to get local produce, homemade items, and check out their farm animals.

Finally, after I had my son I got to visit my great aunts awesome disco party house just kitty corner from us but still a boat ride away. Their house had an awesome gazebo and cool metallic Wallpaper. They even had a Firemans pole. All of the furniture was not cheesy at all, it was really nice and I thought that it still looked cool to this day. I bet their parties were wicked back then.

Joy Clark is a writer, producer, vocalist, and publisher. Lexington, KY

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