MY LIFE AT THE LAKE
MY LIFE AT THE LAKE
Today, on election day, as this crazy period in American politics comes to a close, I thought I’d take you away, away to a place where life is slower, where Washington politics is 3,000 miles away, and where you might just escape a bit from the craziness of it all, if only for a few minutes. Today I bring you, my life at the lake.
I have lived in Lake Arrowhead, California full time for 12 years now. But Lake Arrowhead has lived in my heart for as long as I can remember. Growing up in Southern California, the San Bernardino mountains were where people I knew went to play. It’s a very manageable 2 hours drive from Los Angeles or Orange County, making it accessible for weekends away from the hustle & bustle of what lies below. And it’s where my friend Marsha had a lakeside cabin.
It was good to be friends with Marsha. Some of my earliest and fondest childhood memories are of times spent in Marsha’s rustic Lake Arrowhead cabin. It’s where I first ate a Bear Claw (the Danish pastry kind of Bear Claw) that Marsha’s mother, a true Southern Belle, had slathered with butter and warmed in the cabin’s old oven. It’s where I first made a snowball and spent hours building a snow fort from which to engage in a day-long snowball fight against Marsha on a very cold winter’s day. It’s also where I learned that I liked steak, hot and sizzling from the wood burning grill on Marsha’s back porch.
For me Lake Arrowhead runs deep, deep in my childhood roots. I remember Marsha and I sitting in the back seat of her mother’s Cadillac, asking over and over again, “When will we be there?” Driving up the mountain, where the narrow, 2-lane winding road hugged the cliffs on one side and dropped perilously off on the other. It was as thrilling as it was a challenge to make it to the top without getting car sick. I remember making this journey before the idea of seatbelts or car seats had ever occurred to anyone. Yet we lived through it, unscathed and better humans for having had this opportunity to get a little closer to nature. As we were the kids who most of the time lived in the smog-filled suburbs of Los Angeles, where school playgrounds were often off limits because it was too dangerous to play in the noxious air outside.
Yes, Lake Arrowhead left an indelible mark on my childhood. It was in Lake Arrowhead that LA smog was replaced by the pungent, sweet smell of the pines. Marsha’s mom’s cadillac would arrive at the small, wooden cabin and we’d fling the car doors open and breathe in the fresh mountain air, anxious and joyful to be at the lake.
We’d rush to build a fire to take the chill from the old cabin that had sat uninhabited for longer than we’d have liked. Soon the beautiful sunset would light up the sky in the deepest shades of yellow and orange, and we’d watch the sun slip behind the mountain ridge that framed the other side of the lake.
In the summer we’d swim in the sparkling, pristine waters of Lake Arrowhead, so deep in places that it appeared to be almost black. It was always shockingly cold when we first plunged off the end of the dock. But our bodies would soon adjust and we’d spend hours alternating between dips in the refreshing water and working on the tans that now send us to the dermatologist with regrets, but of course we didn’t know any better back then.
In many ways my life has been shaped by Lake Arrowhead. As a young girl I grew up loving this place, but back then I never would have guessed that I’d marry a man who loved this lake as much as I do.
Today Brad and I will take a final spin around the lake before we pull our boat out of the water for the winter. It’s always so bitter-sweet. We will spend the next 6 months looking at the lake from a distance, as we embrace the next chapter of life on our mountain top.
So there you have it: MY LIFE AT THE LAKE
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All opinions expressed in this post are my own. All photos are the original property of Celia Becker @ www.AfterOrangeCounty.com and may not be reproduced without specific permission.