This post has nothing to do with my work. It is about a little cabin at a place called Red Bud Lake. My grandparents owned it and it was the most awesome place in the world. In the summers the interior simmered, you could smell the hot wood. We would sleep on cots with fans and usually around 11pm the heat would break. The water in the lake was best in June. The early summer water had a quality to it that seemed to heal. It was soft and cool. By August, it would be warm and mossy, kinda gross.
Winters were equally fantastic. Two fireplaces kept it toasty. If the lake was frozen over ice skating was an option. Whatever the season, many great breakfast were cooked as well as summer sandwiches with big tomato slices and dill pickles, chips with french onion dip, and cucumbers with Ranch dip, the kind you had to make out of a packet.
My Grandpa would cook ribs on the grill out back. By cook I mean burn. Until I moved away I just assumed that’s how they were done. Grandma would swim miles, back and forth to the diving dock out in the middle. When I was little, it seemed to be about 5 miles out. It was actually about 100 yards at best.
Over the seasons the lake would come and go. Many a summer it was a brown pit. The first time I saw it empty was a shock. The deepest spot was maybe 10 feet. I swore it was deeper than that. Jumping from the diving board, if you did the pencil, you could hit mud easy.
A time finally came when it was time to sell. Cleaning the place out was heartbreaking. It was the closing of an era. Even though I was around 35, it was the closing of my childhood. I saw recently it was on the market but knew I could never go back, it would not be the same.
I miss the smell of that place, the sounds of bullfrogs, the buzz of dragonflies, feeding sunfish bits of processed cheese off the dock, the sound of the chain on the rowboat when we would unhook it and how it would rock as we climbed in and burned our asses on the hot metal seats. On a job a few months back, I found myself north of Redbud just a few miles and I could smell the lake. It was like a time machine drug. It was June.