fourteen years ago, my parents bought a cabin on lake pend orielle. over the past decade they have made changes to the little house: they hung photographs on the walls and put in a stone fireplace; they built a bunkhouse out back with a tiny porch and a view of the lake and recently, they installed an outdoor shower. last year, they bolted a water slide to our floating dock, and this year, they bought an enormous inner-tube with seats to sit in and handles to hold onto, so that we can all get towed in the wake and bounce behind the boat. friends visit and camp in the yard; we celebrate birthdays with nine layer ombre cakes and we barbeque enough meat for twenty-three people. in the mornings, my parents make coffee and we sit out on the deck and talk about whether the water is calm enough to ski. in the afternoons, we sit down by the shore under the polka-dot umbrella and drink cold beverages. sometimes we float in the sunshine, or we kayak over to the secret lagoon or take the paddleboat out into the bay and try and count the fish swimming underneath the surface. indy drives the speedboat and sawyer gets lost in the tall grass and we play corn hole in the shade. the kids pick cherries off the tree and try and collect enough to make a pie and every night, we watch the sky turn different colors at sunset. at the lake, my kids are free to play and run wild and be barefoot all day long. their skin gets brown, their hair turns blonde and instead of getting dressed in the morning, they just put on their swimsuits. when we are there, our days are long, lazy and non-productive and we live on watermelon and sunshine. at night, i always sleep hard and have dreams about diving into the water, swimming though the weeds, touching the bottom of the lake, then looking up through the depths to the surface, towards the diamond light. our time at the lake always seems like it will last forever. i always imagine that our summer is endless, that we will never have to pack our bags, that we will never actually have to pull out of that driveway. but the day always comes when we have to hug my parents, breathe in the summer air one last time and wave goodbye to the cabin. on the long ride home, we cruise down the idaho highway, the warm wind rushing in, music blasting through our open windows and i am always immediately nostalgic for our weeks on the lake. i wonder if my parents truly understand just how much magic they have created.
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