We've been coming to this lake for nearly 24 years, making the first of countless journeys with Meghan still in my belly. We had driven down from northern Virginia to help David's parents settle into their new condo, freshly retired from a life in the U.S. government. Their new place was empty except for a few furnishings leftover from the 1960's, but the lake, oh the lake . . .
The sounds of Lake Hamilton are the constant lap, lap, lapping of water against the boat docks down below the balconies of the condominium complex, the gentle humming of pontoon boats and the sudden roar of bass boats or speed boats. Sometimes you can hear shouts of laughter wafting over the water from the passing boats and shrieks of happiness coming from jet skis.
The sound of geese calling in the early morning light as they fly over the water accompany our quiet voices as we drink our coffee and talk about nothing and everything. Mockingbirds and cardinals welcome the new day as the hummingbirds fiercely battle over the feeder dangling from our balcony ceiling. We make tentative plans for the day - - - mountain biking, then jet skiing, then going out for BBQ - - - but they are just tentative. We make plans but we don't always stick with them.
Meghan and Joe have a second home at the lake, Meghan now making the quick trip from Fayetteville to Hot Springs on her own to visit with her PaPaw; Joe can now drive the jet ski by himself, relishing the independence to explore Lake Hamilton all by himself. I find myself in such need of the lake and the water and as soon as I am in it, all the cares, stress and worries of the world disappear. The lake is as much a part of our family as David's father. The lake gives us hope and peace and beauty, asking nothing in return.
It's home to us all.
(This weekend, I brought my underwater housing that I bought at the tail end of summer last year to play with. David and Joey and I had a ball playing with it, and I can't wait to explore this new genre further.)