Saturday, August 9, 2014

Playing Hooky



I will be spending several hours at the office today, Saturday. Why? Because of my wife.

She sends me a text Thursday afternoon with this out of nowhere request:

“How about we go to Bear Creek Lake tomorrow? We can pack a picnic lunch and go swimming and make a day of it. It’s supposed to be beautiful weather.”

Although I had a load of paperwork to complete on Friday, I immediately punted it into Saturday. So, there we were yesterday leaving the house at 9:30. I had inflated two of those pool lounge chairs, and thrown a couple of beach chairs in the back of the car. My wife had filled the cooler with sandwiches, chips, watermelon, cantaloupe, scotcharoos, water bottles, and because she is Pam, a tablecloth and summer-themed plastic plates.

Bear Creek Lake is a place from my childhood. My Uncle Jim and Aunt Sylvia used to take me there to camp and fish. The last time I was there was with Pam when we were dating. She wore a pink one-piece and had the undivided attention of every male on the beach that day. On this day, she wore a bikini with the same result.

We paid a total of $9 for the privilege of entry into the park and a day of swimming, and the use of shower facilities. The place was beautiful, and extremely well maintained proving that of all the things that government does, preserving and maintaining our National and State parks is one of the few things it does well.

Don’t get me wrong, Bear Creek Lake is no Megunticook. It is a tiny little thing. By Maine standards it doesn’t even qualify as a lake, more like a pond. The water is murky and filled with debris of the natural variety, sticks, grass, and various slimy things. But, on the positive side, the water doesn’t give you a heart attack when you get in and you can stay in for longer than ten minutes without losing a toe to frostbite.

We spent nearly six hours there, floating on the calm water, talking, remembering. There were lots of families, three generations, Grandpa in the water with giggling grandchildren while Mom and Dad relaxed on the beach, a comforting and encouraging sight.

When we were done, we drove home in a mere 50 minutes, thanks to the greatest road to hit Richmond in 50 years…288. While it certainly is true that Bear Creek Lake is no Megunticook, a 50 minute drive is no 13 hours either!

So, as a result of my wife’s great idea, I am now off to work…on a Saturday.
Soooo worth it.