(Well, that’s kind of a lie, since I’ve never fished for anything but compliments.)
Keith’s family has been going up to Little Sebago in Maine for over thirty years; we’ll join them for a few days. While I don’t have the same history with the place as Keith does, I’ll say this with absolute certainty: there are few things in the world like lying in bed on a summer’s night in front of an open window overlooking a lake, listening to the loons and the frogs and the soft slap of the water against a boat, and feeling the cool and steady breeze against the tiny bits of skin you have purposely left out from the warmth of your many blankets for that very purpose.
I highly recommend it.
Then there was that one summer when:
- Keith dove off the dock and swam such great lengths underwater to come up beneath a duck; he came so close to grabbing her little orange leg. The squawks she made…
- we took the boat to this massive rock at the other end of the lake; we climbed it and threw ourselves off, and I let myself plummet all the way down and ended up scratching the tops of my left foot on the iron-rich lake bottom. When I came up my foot was torn and bleeding and stained yellow.
- we went to the fish hatchery and it was the first time I had ever seen a moose. I was surprised because it looked just like the moose from If You Give a Moose a Muffin, minus the cardigan.
- after a rainstorm, Keith and I took the flashlights and went for a walk on the lake road and counted up to twenty-seven tiny little frogs and toads that could have fit comfortably on the surface of a quarter.
- the night Keith and I brought a blanket out onto the beach and while we were picking out constellations, I saw shooting stars for the first time.
And then there was that first summer, when I first drove up to the house. That night, we went into town to go to Dairy Queen, and on the way back, Keith suddenly turned off the headlights and only the faintest light came from the track indicator on the CD player. Still, it was so dark I couldn’t tell when the car started and the outdoors began. It was like we didn’t exist.