(n.) lit. “place of wild strawberries"; a special place discovered, treasured, returned to for solace and relaxation; a personal idyll free from stress or sadness.
(Thanks to That Kind of Woman.)
Lucky me. I've got two, and I visited them back to back:
Heidelberg Lodges, New Braunfels, TX
Snazzy, it ain't. But it feels like home, down the the distinct smell inside the A-frame cabins. I think my father's family started coming here in 1941 and has continued to do so with some regularity since. I know we visited without fail every summer of my childhood. This summer was my first chance to bring my children, and I don't think any of us were disappointed. The faded cabins, the hot asphalt, the cold Comal, the familiar shallow swimming pools, and the lovely, lovely smell of the sycamores welcomed us in. The best part as always was spending time with aunts, uncles, and cousins I don't get to see far often enough.
|A new generation of cousins|
My other sacred place? Lake Okoboji, Iowa
My family lacks some originality in vacation spots. We've been coming here in 1980 when my aunt and uncle bought a small, bright red lake house right on the shore of Lake Okoboji. You know the line in Field of Dreams, "Is this heaven?" The answer, of course, is, "No, it's Iowa." That applies to Lake Okoboji. Perfect temps, swimming any time of day, boat rides, walks to the park, relaxing on the dock, and games late into the night. Not the mention the amazing food and drink. The people in my family can cook! The small red house has long been replaced by a roomier one in a milder hue, but we still had nine children five and under so outdoors play was a not only desired, but needed. A grand time was had by all and, again, mucho quality time with aunts, uncles and cousins dear to my heart.
|More fine people|
|The beauty of controlled chaos|
|A new generation celebrates the Fourth|
How about you, readers? What's your smultronstalle?