it's my dad's birthday this weekend. he's on vacation so i'll be leaving the usual area codes and going up catawba island for a weekend of total relaxation. i'll probably spend most of the weekend in a folding chair next to the lake reading a huge pile of books.
this is probably our last summer up there, since my grandparents aren't doing as well as they were. they've rented this place since my mom was in high school, and it's been a special place for me and my cousins. we built forts down on the rocks, climbed all the trees, swam in the lake, played ghost in the graveyard, ate grapes and underripe pears from the overgrown wildness behind the cottage, dug through the rocks looking for fossils (found some amazing ones), shoot off fireworks bought in sandusky, or lay on the rocks and watch the stars. there are so many stars.
it was one of those great childhood places to be because there was nothing to distract you from being outside. no air conditioning, no internet, no sales calls, up until recently, no tv except the black and white set that my dad and i would stay up late and watch bad westerns presented by big chuck and little john.
my mom once asked me if we ever felt like we missed out because we never went on really big vacations and i told her that with what we had up there, there was nothing to miss out on.