cake lover?

Saturday, August 30, 2008

an ode to summer's end (part III of III): star lake revisited

ever since I can remember my family has been celebrating labor day and the close of summer at my grandparents' log cabin on star lake in the middle of nowhere in the adirondacks. usually we are bundled in jeans and sweatshirts around an inside fire, but in the last few years, global warming has provided us with a warm, sunny final weekend.

after an extended-birthday goodbye breakfast with uncle arthur in new jersey, our family started the 7 hour trek to our favorite place in the whole wide world.


jennie, derek, and the kids went on a special mission into the city to obtain the most coveted cupcakes in the world – magnolia’s cupcakes. jennie and the kids wanted the cupcakes. derek just wanted to use the GPS that he’d “borrowed” from his parents (D, does borrowing become stealing once you’ve had the item over a month?). once said cupcakes were obtained, back and forth text messages went like this:

from D’s cell: cupcakes! (3 dozen of them)
from suz & julie: magnolia’s cupcakes got all the bomb frosting.
from d’s cell: GPS rules! we are invincible!
from suz & Julie: i prefer mapquest, but google maps is the best. true. double true.
from D’s cell: cupcakes in mouth – I mean hand – with this accompanying picture:from d’s cell: 90 bucks later mission cupcake successful. sweet – with this accompanying picture:from suz & Julie: double sweet.

sadly, jennie and derek had never seen the snl skit/song to which julie and i were referring. please educate yourself now about "lazy sunday" and understand why magnolia’s has all the bomb frosting.

mom & dad headed up to saratoga to pick up pepper, wilbur, and oli at the doggie spa.

jennie, derek, and the kids headed to jeremy and steph’s (derek’s brother and sister-in-law) in schuylerville to pick up ella and cocoa. (if you read derek’s blog, you’ll hear his take on magnolia’s and on dealing with ella’s catastrophic escape).

julie and i continued north, meeting up with mom and dad to transfer oliver to his mother’s waiting arms, though he gave her the silent treatment for the first 24 hours (and even slept on my feet & couch the first night. oh was he mad at her for abandoning him for a week).

we all stopped for pizza an hour from our mecca. we were going stir-crazy by that point. i attempted spelling pizza backwards and drew a large pepperoni slice, though my backwards/rearview mirror writing skills are lacking, and mom & dad only knew that i was trying to send them a message, though they had no idea what AZZIP meant.

the 3 car caravan eventually made it. the crackle and pop of the stone gravel driveway under our tires was like a sigh of relief.


it's hard to put the experience of being at star lake into words. it's like how you feel when you've finally come home after a long trip. it's like putting on that favorite too-big sweater that has been in storage all summer. it's like cuddling up with a good book on a rainy day. coziness & contentedness all rolled into one.
not much has changed about star lake. the marlin fish is still on the wall above the dining room table. the bear skin, deer heads, and moose head still overlook our evening antics in the living room. the old-fashioned jars of toxic fire-extinguishing chemicals still sit in their orbs. the kitchen still can only fit 2 people comfortably (2 and a half is pushing it jennie). the kitchen is open for breakfast from 6-8:30 per grandma's rules, and lunch is served promptly at 12 when the noon siren goes off (the local fire station lets the whole town know when it is noon, and then the lowell posse of dogs reminds everyone with their howling). dinner is served at about 6, and if you want a snack in between you've got to sneak it. even baxter knows where the good graham crackers are kept, and since grandma's hearing is going, we've even gotten away with popping a bag of microwave popcorn right in front of her. after dinner there's always dessert and after dessert there's almost always s'more.

our log cabin at star lake has not gotten any bigger, but our family has. grandma still has her bedroom and mom and dad still have theirs, but paige and baxter have taken jennie, julie, and my place upstairs in the loft. derek and jennie now sleep outside in a tent and julie, ella, oli, and i claim the 2 couches. uncle mark still gets the boat house, and unexpected visitors bring their own tents. lord knows that one bathroom cannot accommodate all of those guests, and the toilet has overflowed on more than one occasion to prove it (we managed to keep that flood from grandma as well). there used to be a plaque in the bathroom with this sage motto:

"in these lovely isles of sun and fun, we never flush for number one."

once the guest numbers became too large, and grandma made the switch from well to town water, that plaque resigned its place of honor and we can actually flush every time now. grandma's toilet however, was still not keeping up (or down as the case may be). uncle mark managed to switch the old one out with the monster "toto" brand (again, without grandma being the wiser), and we have yet to have a problem.

there's much more i could say about camp, many more stories to recount, and pictures to share, but camp is my family's sacred place and something i don't share with just anyone. you have to be invited to camp. and when you come, you fall in love with it.

years ago, mom and dad bought the land behind and to the left of our log cabin with dreams to expand & build. plans have been slow-going. mom and dad, this is my plea: so that we can enjoy many more years of sun & fun in our lovely isles, please please lay the floor & the tiles!


DP said...

oh Star Lake, how I love thee! If only we could place that awesome Weasley "increase the house" charm on the cabin. oh well, guess we'll have to rely on muggles and their tools.

Quick Ella update-Jeremy & Steph neglected to mention until this weekend that Ella also vomited in their kitchen and living room (both times on rugs). They neglected to mention because they're good sports and said it was no big deal. Oh Ella and your gastronomical woes!!

Mr. Benchly said...

Star Lake sounds like a great place. And regardless of how your summer began, it sounds like it ended on the perfect note, which, considering the three parts to it, was probably more like a chord. Cheers to that.

Q_Monroe said...

uh oh. i guess ella and i owe them a care package and some carpet cleaning supplies. ella probably should travel with her own doggie barf bags and carpet cleaning supplies wherever she goes.

thanks benchly!

moun'ain girl said...

i just want to point out that toto still clogs - Baxter had the honor of clogging it this labor day weekend. however, given his lack of self-consciousness (ahem, jennie, perhaps we could learn something here) he proudly proclaimed to Uncle Mark, "we need a plunger, the toilet is clogged!"

Q_Monroe said...

i have such a selective memory. thanks jules.