Sunday, May 28, 2017

The Eternal Search

I've just spent the last hour and a half doing the same thing I do every year about this time. As soon as  the Memorial Day weekend comes around, something draws me to my computer, where I find myself Googling Mid-Coast Maine lake houses. I blame my wife. If I had never met her I would have had no reason to ever set foot in Maine. I could have avoided this obsessive compulsion to be there when warm weather arrives.

A couple of years ago I made the decision that buying a lake house in Maine was a stupid idea. Even if we lived there all summer, (which we would), it would still be a stupid idea because my kids and my future grandkids wouldn't be able to afford flying up every summer. They wouldn't be in a position to visit for a month at a time, like they do in the fevered dreams of my imagination. No, we decided that renting a place for a month every summer was a better plan. Last year it was a beautiful house on Hobbs Pond, this year it will be an even more beautiful place on Quantabacook Lake. And yet, every year, I search the listings. Maybe I'll find the place that has my name on it, the place that I can pass on to my family when I die. Every year, they will all gather there for a couple of weeks in the summer and sit around the fire at night telling stories about me. In this way, I will live on, never leaving their hearts and minds. It would be the Dunnevant family compound and we would all vote on an awesome name for the place. The Bush's have the Bush Compound in Kennebunkport with 24/7 secret service protection. We would have the Dunnevant Compound on Megunticook with major plumbing headaches and a really annoying caretaker. But would be ours.

But, it's just too far away. The trip from here to there is too long, hard and dangerous.

So, we rent a place every summer, which belongs to someone else, and is full of their memories. We Dunnevantize the place for a month and pretend that it's ours, and it actually works quite well. Then Memorial Day comes and I type in Mid-Coast Maine lake houses, obeying some primal urge within my heart which will not be denied.'s one, three bedrooms, two baths, on Frye Island in the middle of Sebago Lake accessible only by absolute steal at $475,000.