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Summertime Magic

For a few years, my high school sorority rented a cottage at Turkey Point, Ontario. While summer is epitomized by the Beach Boy's Surfin' Safari, we were content with the ripples and lazy swiggles Lake Erie provided right outside our door. At night, an Erie, Pa. radio station across the lake sounded so exotic beaming rock and roll for our beachy gyrations.

Despite the iodine infused baby oil we swore by, a blistering sunburn was normal on day one. We talked most of the night, raided the kitchen for snacks, made popcorn, and shared deep, dark secrets on the sunporch staring out at the moon over the lake. Our routine was simple; sunbathing side-by-side, nudging one another to rotate occasionally, rousing ourselves to run up and slide down the sand hill, explore and collect shells for souvenirs. We tested our skills in the kitchen alongside our chaperone, my mom. We felt miles away from home and so independent. Mom was great finding ways to include us all, fixing suit bottoms that gapped, sewing buttons or mending straps, providing a sympathetic ear or whatever any of us needed.

Of course, meeting cute boys and dancing at the community center with the mirrored ball sending sparks throughout the darkness was a highlight. I'm Sorry by Brenda Lee made me think of all the boys at home and what they were missing, while Patsy Klein's I Fall to Pieces made you cling just a tad tighter to your partner. My favorite by Roy Orbison, Only the Lonely reminded me that time was fleeting and thinking how many days remained. Those handsome, suntanned boys provided us with rides in motorboats, waterskiing, and were welcome guests at our bonfires and picnics. While our brief crushes might end with a chaste kiss, the memory of a special summer romance would stay with us forever.

What summer cottage memories do you have? Did you go to a sleep-away camp? Tell about it in this journal. Keep the memories alive because they represent who you are and your life growing up.

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