My time spent at the house as a child was not…. great. My mother spent a lot of time there tending to her ailing parents, my brother and I kind of an afterthought. We’d busy ourselves quietly coloring or reading until our grandmother thought the turning of pages was too loud and we’d be sent outside with a net and a bag of molded over WonderBread to catch our dinner. We’d catch 6-8 sunfish and crappies, give them to my grandfather to clean with his sharp knife, so that my grandmother could fry them in salt and oil.
This must be where my connection to water began. It’s funny how unpleasant memories can shape who you become and how you relate to the natural world! I remember the time at that house in vague Vaseline-lensed moments of time.
When I go back to visit, it feels like a different place: my grandparents’ old run-down furniture is replaced with modern furniture we’re actually allowed to sit on; there is central Air Conditioning meaning no other children will have to suffer through a one hundred degree night sleeping in the closet connected to the bathroom; and the lake has been taken over by young millennial millionaires.