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.

MY LIFE AT THE LAKE | Lake Arrowhead, CA |

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.

MY LIFE AT THE LAKE | Lake Arrowhead, CA |

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.

MY LIFE AT THE LAKE | Lake Arrowhead, CA |

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.

MY LIFE AT THE LAKE | Lake Arrowhead, CA |

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.

MY LIFE AT THE LAKE | Lake Arrowhead, CA |

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.

MY LIFE AT THE LAKE | Lake Arrowhead, CA |

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.

MY LIFE AT THE LAKE | Lake Arrowhead, CA |

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.

MY LIFE AT THE LAKE | Lake Arrowhead, CA |

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 @ and may not be reproduced without specific permission. 


  • What a sweet story. Thank you for sharing that. I grew up in SoCal and have always loved the mountains, whether Arrowhead or Big Bear for the refreshing change it offers.
    Enjoy the cooler months ahead. I envy you the snow you will undoubtedly enjoy as winter arrives.

  • Thank you for your kind words Karen. As a SoCal native you know what I’m talking about. And yes, the ability to enjoy 4 seasons in California is so nice. I am looking forward to snow!

  • diane

    Lovely story that brought back lots of girlhood memories with my best friend, Janis. But we grew up in Monterey so we were always seeking the sunshine! Enjoy the upcoming winter. I look forward to seeing your photos of snow!


    Thanks for the election break! I am very nervous this year! I have never been before! Have a Good Day Celia!

  • It’s fun to look back on fond, childhood memories. How lucky you were to grow up in Monterey, 17 mile drive is one of my favorite places! Yes, let it snow!! We need it so.

  • I think we are all on edge so you are not alone. By the end of the day we will have a lot of broken hearts but I wonder how much true jubilation there will be with so many people voting for what they feel is the lessor of 2 evils. It will nevertheless be a fascinating day. Thanks for your comment Kathy.

  • diane

    Lived on the drive on what was referred to as the country club side i.e. Pacific Grove gate. The forest was divided into three parts, Pacific Grove, Carmel and Monterey and depending on where you lived was where you went to school. Long time ago!!!

  • Maureen Stratton

    Beautiful storytelling Celia. It transported me for a moment to my own childhood memories. ❤️

  • Oh, thank you Mo. I had hoped it might bring a little peace on a difficult day.

  • What a pleasant break from the election —- I grew up on a lake in Indiana and have very fond memories so similar to yours!!

  • Hi Cindy. Yes, life on a lake is really special. You are lucky to have grown up full time at one. Mine was only a part time escape to a place I loved.

  • Joyce Bedrosian

    Lake Arrowhead has definitely become our happy place …. our family loves our time spent there! Maybe one day we’ll leave OC permanently too!

  • Hi Joyce, I moved here and never looked back. I highly recommend it!

  • Kathy Lewis

    Hello. I just recently discovered your blog posts and really enjoy your website. My husband and I are planning to move to Lake Arrowhead in the next couple of years. Can’t wait! Thanks for all the nice posts and tips!

  • Hi Kathy, so glad you found my blog. I will tell you, Lake Arrowhead truly is a very special place. I have traveled the world, always thinking the grass might be greener somewhere else. But ya know what, it just isn’t. I think you will be very happy here. Do let me know when you make the move.