My Grandparents’ Adirondack camp is and was a very special place to me and many of my family members. In the summers of my younger years, my family and I would road-trip from salty Newport, Rhode Island “up” to the quiet lakeside town of Essex, New York. Here, was the camp my Grandmother and Grandfather officially winterized in the early 90’s so they could call it their home year round. (Although snowdrifts somehow still made their way into the maids’ quarters). The property was dusted by tall cedar trees, black-eyed Susans and the incessant chirping of yellow finches and crickets. It was a haven among a landscape already so still and majestic.
Before my bedtime, which usually coincided with the commencement of adult happy hour, I’d sit on the covered porch with my Grandparents admiring the mountains through a tattered pair of binoculars. Once, I sat at my Grandmother’s side while we were greeted by a family of hummingbirds amidst a raging thunderstorm. By day, I’d help the grown ups clear the rocks by the lake’s edge to help keep our “sandy” beach in tact. My Uncle Greg would entertain us with sensational tales of “Champ”, the notorious sea monster in our beloved Lake Champlain.
Time spent at Cedarside always evoked a carefree mindset. The only “time” that was monitored was when the local ice cream shop closed. The camp was always abuzz with visitors that would drop by – both human and animal. One morning, we woke to find raccoon prints on the kitchen windowsill from a visitor who helped itself to our flour and sugar, and a serious rescue mission was made when my Mother discovered a poisonous snake lurking under my crib during a mid-day nap.
Adventures at the camp, on the mountains and in the lake were conquered and memories were formulated throughout many decades. Till this day and for always, the Adirondacks will continue to have a piece of my soul. Below, a quote I admire:
Give me the islands of the upper air,
and the towering mountain trees.