This Fourth of July weekend, my sister Alexa and our father headed up to Lake Bomoseen Vermont to celebrate the holiday with some extended family. I had made a solo road trip the previous weekend and was looking forward to getting back on the kayak.
I called shotgun so I could have a little more leg room and control over the radio, as well as to avoid a long car ride with hot black lab breath on my neck. Alexa called shotgun for the ride back.
The ride was nice. We rode the jeep with the roof down. I sat in the front seat holding the little chihuahua while Alexa sat in the back seat with Roxy the black lab.
The weather held off although great gray columns of storm clouds loomed on the horizon.
On the highway, we saw a number of beater cars with great big American flags tied to their bumper. In each case, there’d be four or five college guys stuffed into the backseat donning cowboy hats and flag tank tops. They went “Woooooo!” at us and we went “Woooooo!” back.
Luckily they held off until we pulled into the driveway. Then the sky cracked open and it began to pour. Over the next several hours the already saturated ground received five inches of rain.
The dirt road became a muddy river and the gently sloping hill down to the lake a mighty waterfall. I attempted to herd my two dogs from the house to the barn where their food was and I was about as successful as a 4-H girl pleading with her belligerent sheep to walk around a cone at the county fair. (The sheep never go around the cone. It’s cringe-worthy.)
The first day was spent huddling around a fire pit in the barn. There were intermittent power outages and a flash flood watch into the evening.
We ate baked potatoes, grilled corn and butternut squash with brown sugar. We told stories, played shuffleboard and some of us got a tad bit rowdy in the barn.
There were pockets of nice weather into the later evening. We were treated to a killer sunset as we roasted marshmallows into smores on the hot coals.
This is Frank, my grandmother’s new puppy. Frank leads a better life than I can ever hope to match.
As afternoon turned into evening, Alexa and our cousin went on a walk to the campground. It was starting to get dark and my grandmother became nervous. She sent my father and grandfather out on a search party along the dark lake. The left (without cell phones) just as the younger pair walked in the side door unaware. The older two were out for quite some time before I caught sight of their headlights and flagged them down.
I almost wanted to send a search party after the search party. But like you hire a dog catcher to chase the dog you bought to chase the cat you bought to catch the mouse who stole your cheese, doing so smelled of a merry-go-round I wasn’t sure I wanted to ride.
The second day was lovely. We took the pontoon boat for a spin around the lake. Alexa went overboard chasing a wayward hat. When she breached the surface of the water she banged her shoulder on the corner of the boat but was otherwise alright.
We went swimming for a while then turned for home. Alexa, my cousin and I took another walk (with charged cell phones this time) to the campground to walk on the beach sand. I’ve been going barefoot everywhere to work on toughening up my summer feet, so I carefully picked along the part dirt, part gravel road for the mile or so stretch. I was glad I did because now I could walk on glass without an issue.
After a quick lunch of yesterday’s leftovers, we made the three-hour trek to home. I regretted not calling shotgun for the way back because our black lab Roxy’s hot, sweaty dog breath on my neck was infinitely more stinky after several dips in the lake.
Bound for New York City tomorrow! Our train leaves at 5:50 a.m. It’s about 9 p.m. now and I have yet to pack. I’m excited to check out the vegan food around the city, the museums, the Freedom Tower on the Fourth of July and see Lion King on Broadway. Lots of Stories for Strangers coming soon. Wish me luck!