In elementary school we began our year writing about our vacations. Because we owned lake property, my summers were always the same. Six of us, plus at least one large dog, plus suitcases filled with everything we were sure we needed, plus food, headed north shortly after school let out. The cabin was rustic, the lake was appealing to the “fisherpeople” in the family and to me. I spent all day in my swimsuit, in and out of the water, more often in than out.

The only other big memories were our treks to “blueberry country,” a wooded area about 5 miles from the cabin. The bugs were irritating, but the wild blueberries and strawberries were such a treat that when I wasn’t in the water, I was in the woods – a net over my head, long sleeves, long pants, lots of bug repellent – with an ice cream pail I filled with berries. On weekends Dad made blueberry pancakes, and Mom made pies.

Dad left us at the lake during most weeks in the summer, but he always left the office early on Fridays to join us. It was a 3 1/2 hour trip; he couldn’t wait to get back to the family. During the week we were there without a car. If we needed something, we took the boat across the lake to a landing from which we walked to a little store.

Those early summers have been on my mind this week. I realize that my love of being in the water had its genesis in my childhood summers at the lake. We just got back from a wonderful week of swimming and reading. I told my tennis player that I am as happy in the water as he is on the tennis court. I think he believes me.