Our Last Summer At Forest Lodge

July 28, 2009

There is this family – who  have this inborn – natural quality –

like hummingbirds do that know to fly thousands of miles a year from Alaska ….to South America ….and even to ….Tierra del Fuego

to GIVE…..so quietly facelessly (sp?)   – to disappear into the mist …..not seeking any recognition…..it is a Rare  Magical Quality that has been passed down for generations from Father to Sons……and now to daughters…..(the original family had only sons)

Most people that “give” expect something in return….

But their joy is just the happiness in the smiles of eveyone they encounter….. like sunlight beaming off the smile of 16 month old babies…..naive….Loving.just the BASIC joy of Life……

Mom had that quality…..she would say “Oh Pshaw!!!” and change the subject if you tried to compliment her …..

It is a Magical Gift that is given to a  few Wise People ….it is the stone that is thrown into a  be-calmed  Lake Namekagon

that causes ripples from one shore to the other one a mile away…..

This summer at Forest Lodge    our last …

intensely crammed into such a few emotional days….lingers …. in the sawdust strewn icehouse of my magical memories …..preserved forever!!!!

….the intense scents …of the forest…of the bogs ……of the flowers…

of the rooms we have known since we were born……the old needlepoint rugs…the four posted beds…. ….the initials on the bath towels …” MLG” – Aunt Mimi’s 60 years ago…..Mary Livingston Griggs

the wonderful cold water coming from the underground wells…..pouring through the unusal spout  that was built into the porcelain of an unusal soft green  bath sink of many many years ago….

the miniature doll house….built to scale – 3 floors….with running water for the baths that Aunt Mimi use  to play with as a child…..

the stuffed Owl – who use to watch us eat dinner…in the Grand be-logged Dining Room with a table that seats 20 comfortably….

…looking down at the lake through  the rippled glass  windows made over a hundred years ago in the dining room…….

The white servants – in their starched white uniforms – serve from the left – pick up from the right….vegetables freshly picked from one of the gardens (there was the upper one and the lower one near the lake)  – freshly caught Trout….Aunt Mary then Aunt Mimi (her daughter) at the head of the table….the bell she rang when she wanted to signify that the starter course was over…the finger bowls served I think before the desert course – or was it after the soup course (Help Daidie)….that some thought was to be drunk out of …rather than to wash your fingers in….…the priceless Meissen china – that was her daily plate with her Tiffany Silver – stainless steel was unknown on that table….I mean growing up I had NO idea what Meissen meant – or Tiffany – and Aunt Mary did not care if we  broke a dish….as it was just her everyday china…..

The silky feel of diving into the warm waters of Lake Namekagon….swimming out toward Champagne Island…..floating on one’s back doing the back crawl – Aunt Mimi’s favorite way to swim…..

This year the  voices of all those passed – came back to us at “cocktail hour” on the screened porch that looked down toward the boat house and the lake….Uncle Sumner’s laugh…..Aunt Mimi’s….elegant essence….Dad’s CIA inquisitiveness…Mom’s effervescence……Tony leading theSwiss  cows down at the end of the day from the upper pasture across the road  to the lower pasture and the barn……for the evening….

Aunt Mary  was another one that gave…without wanting anything back but a smile….it was her Father  who started Forest Lodge….over a hundred years ago….she had this innate magic – in her designs of the flower gardens…the stream with the frog pond ….her magical Fairy Treasure Hunts that she provided for us kids (shoot knew that was something we left out for Teo & Finn)……through the pachysandra….the maiden hair ferns to the Fairy Stump – the prizes ..for us small people …were totally magical…..

The gift Aunt Mary and Aunt Mimi gave us was a life of memories of magical happiness….that will live as long as we exist…as no one can rob  us of them

Like the magical family I had started talking about….they might see our smiles but they will never know how profoundly they have touched our small lives….

One Response to “Our Last Summer At Forest Lodge”

  1. ricci said

    Beautiful, Robby…I love you and the sweet time we all had together!

    I look forward to more of such times in the future!

    much love,

    ricci

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