Sunday, February 15, 2015

A weekend at Bog Lake

Family History Writing Challenge – Day 14 & 15

** NOTE: The italicized font is creative non-fiction. Based upon the stories of my mother and uncle it is my creative writing of their memories. **

The sounds of children’s voices could be heard echoing across the lake as campfire smoke drifted overhead. Splashes and laughter mingled as Mason and Wells played in the waters of Bog Lake. Yesterday, after Daddy and the neighbor man had gotten out of work, the two families loaded up their cars and headed to Bog Lake for a weekend of camping.  Being the summer, the sun shone bright late into the evening allowing time for the campsite to be set up before dark, even after driving from Lubec to the lake outside of Machias. While Daddy made a mattress out of spruce boughs, Mom set about making a fire. The neighbor man strung a rope from his Stutz Bearcat to a nearby tree and hung a lantern as his wife (mom’s best friend) brought blankets and other gear from the cars.

In the morning, as soon as was possible, Mason and Wells took to the water. It was so much warmer than the saltwater they swam in at home. Mason let her body relax and float in what felt like the temperature of a bath. She looked up into the clear blue sky, and even with her ears submerged she could hear her brother running toward her “Mom says it’s time for lunch.”  Mason was hungry, but she didn’t want to get out of the water.
She loved to swim and knew if she went up on dry land to eat it was going to be over an hour before she could get back in. Mommy was very strict about waiting an hour after eating so you “didn’t get cramps and drown,” very strict.  Wells stepped closer and spoke again “Mason, mom says it’s time to come in for lunch.”  Mason lowered her feet to the sandy bottom, keeping everything but her head underwater. Looking at Wells she said “but I don’t want to get out, I like it in here.” Mason looked at her fingers; wrinkled like a prune she had been swimming for hours already.  “I’m hungry too” said Wells, “and I want to stay in the water, what are we going to do?”  Mason thought for a minute, “what about we eat lunch IN the water?”  We can tell mommy we promise we won’t swim, and stay near to shore.  Calling to their mother and posing the question, the two waited for what seemed like an eternity, but was only a minute of thought, Mommy allowed the two children to eat in the water, with the promise they would stay close to shore, feet on the ground and NO swimming for an hour. The fish chowder tasted wonderful! Cooked over the open flame of the campfire, since early morning, and hand delivered, Mason and Wells relished the rich creamy broth with chunks of potato and fish. As agreed, the children did not swim for an hour, but after the hour they were off for the rest of the afternoon.

As the sun began to lower on the horizon, Mason and Wells reluctantly made their way up on to shore. Having changed into dry clothes they sat by the fire and ate supper.  Mason slept well that night, all bundled in her blankets on the spruce boughs. Daddy made such a comfy mattress, and the smell, oh the smell was heavenly!  Sometime during the night, Mason heard Mommy comment to Daddy that she could hear and feel mice running through the boughs in the mattress.

On Sunday morning the two families broke camp and headed home to South Lubec. Tucked into the rumble seat of the Buick, Mason and Wells rode back to the coast, with the Stutz Bearcat following.  Being of fairer complexion than Mason, Wells was uncomfortable due to the sunburn he always got when camping.  As the cars turned on to Rte. 189 toward Lubec, Mason slipped her hand into her pocket, gingerly grasping the souvenir she had picked up and pulled it out. Looking into the small black eyes and twitching whiskers, she stroked the soft gray fur and said “it’s time to go home.”

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