When I was 8 or 9 my dad and his dad built a cabin in a gated community out of Yelm called Clearwood. It is really a vacation house, but it is on a beautiful forested and private peninsula, overlooking Clear lake and Mount Rainier. I always thought it would have been cooler to be going to Disneyland on vacation, but looking back I have nothing but the fondest memories and I feel really lucky that my parents gave me that, much more lucky than if I'd been to Disneyland.
There we hunted for tiny green tree frogs in the sinks, swung out on rope swings over the water wearing boots that got filled with water, (my grandpa jokingly accusing me of "walking on water") rode in canoes and rubber rafts and looked down at the eerie huge logs that had fallen below the water, spied blue herons and bald eagles and ran from snakes, relaxed during summer afternoons in the hammock, walked to the store with my brothers to each spend a dollar, planning what we were going to buy on the way, did the penny dive and the jacuzzi jam at the pool, boogied with friends we'd brought to the labor day dances, swam in the lake and jumped off the dock onto boat cushions, explored the smaller lakes teeming with swimming salamanders, rode bikes everywhere, played tennis, hunted for pollywogs, rode our little scooters around, (our very very loud scooters). The memories go on and on.
In what was a perfect last hurrah, we went to Clearwood for the day this weekend. My parents, my husband and my kids and I were all together walking the trails and swimming the waters. There were the same frogs jumping into the water when we approached, the same logs extending mossy over the lake, the same huckleberries sprouting from stumps. When we went to the cabin bonds were strengthened with family and with nature. I want my kids to have that. It is one thing I was given that I want to give them.
Someone is renting our cabin, so we didn't get to experience THAT, but what a way to end our summer! I even got a bit of a sunburn, something that hasn't happened all summer. My parents talk about retiring there, and I would love it. It would truly feel like coming home.