I spent every summer between the age 7 and 17 in a bungalow in the Catskills. Ever see Dirty Dancing? Lansman's was a little like that. Except with summer camp. And no one who looked like Patrick Swayze. From Memorial Day to Labor Day you could find me playing newcomb, swimming, and making friendship bracelets. After camp we would pitch tents and sleep on porches, have campfires and hunt for salamanders in the woods. What more could you ask for?
Every year there's a dart tournament. Despite the four+ hour drive from Boston, I still try to make the trip. Who am I to buck tradition, right? And let me tell you, I don't go because I'm a good dart player. One year I made it to the semi-finals but usually I get knocked out in the second round (SPOILER ALERT: I didn't win). I got to hang out with my parents, my younger brother, and my cousin -- something I don't get to do often enough. The dart tournament had to be moved indoors and in line with the performance of years past - I got knocked out in the second round. However, my brother and cousin were forced to compete against one another in a three team final. It was BRUTAL, I tell ya. In the end my cousin finished second, and my brother was third. Excellent family showing, not that I had anything to do with it.
I didn't really do much of anything throughout the weekend - except for eat nonstop. It was a pleasant annoyance that it took me twenty minutes to get from the parking lot to my bungalow because I had to hug, kiss and chat with approximately twenty people on the way. That's the way the bungalow is. Everyone knows your business before you do. Within five minutes of arrival I was sitting on my porch and had heard that someone had been bitten by a dog a few weeks ago while walking down the road. BIG DEAL, folks. I did try to do my long run on Saturday, only to be stopped by a deer and then a flash flood. But, up until that happened it was a pretty awesome run! Rolling hills, lots of green, and hardly any cars. But ya know.. flash flood and all of that. My mom actually got so worried about me that she brutally woke my father from his nap (his words) to get in the car to go look for me. Lucky for me I told her my route before I left; unlucky for me, the car pulled up just as I was walking into the bungalow. I was so thoroughly soaked that I was able to wring out my underwear.
What I love most about going to the bungalow is how everything looks EXACTLY the same. It's like the place that time forgot, but in the best possible way. I sort of love that we have the same set of bunkbeds that we've had since 1992. The same pictures have hung on the wall for the same amount of time. Case in point:
Although I do think it's hilarious that people (my parents included) have wifi,
digital cable and air conditioning. We never had any of that when I was
growing up. Days were spent outside - especially in the rain because
that was when we could go mud sliding. Basically, they were the best summers of my life.
Talk to me about your favorite summer memories! Did you go to sleepaway camp? Lakehouse? I want to hear all about it.