When I was a kid, growing up in Minnesota, my grandparents had a trailer on one of the 10,000 lakes. When you live in the Minneapolis suburbs, it is common to have a summer life at a lake. Any lake. Ours was Ossawinnamakee. My grandpa had a great speed boat that we would use for tubing, water skiing, fishing…you name it. It was at the end of this long dock that would make the same sounds every time you’d walk on it. It started with a metal grid-like piece, then wood slats, a solid wood plank, then normal dock. Clink clink clink, thud thud thud, thump thump thump…I can still hear it in my head today.
The trailer sat on top of a hill overlooking the lake, and our spot was the best. The woods parted just perfectly offering a prime view of the glimmering lake. My grandma would cook up whatever we caught during our fishing expedition and at night we’d have a bonfire and camper pies.
There was a beach a few feet from our dock and there was a floating dock that we’d do flips off of. Sometimes my Uncle Matthew would drive the boat past while my cousin Chris and I would be on it and it would make awesome waves.
At night you’d hear the call of the Loon, one of the most beautiful, eerie, calming sounds. We’d fall asleep with the windows open and listen.
When I was a teenager, the owner of the land sold it and my grandparents had to move their trailer to another lake. Just like that.
I have moved a lot in my life. Between states, cities, a few blocks…I’ve moved a lot. That trailer had been there since the year I was born. It was a constant. It was gone.
Last summer Matt, Claire and I travelled to Minnesota on vacation. We spent a few nights “Up North” (as us locals call it) and stayed in my grandparent’s (now my Uncle’s) trailer on Lake Edward. It’s a pretty lake. It’s round, it has a beach, it’s clean. It’s not Ossawinnamakee. So on request, Matthew took us to Ossawinnamakee. We stopped at the beach where we used to have our summer home and Carly and I walked around up the hill where the trailer used to sit. It looked the same, just over grown and no trailers. It was quiet and not what I had expected. The guy who sold it said that it was going to be home to new condos. Now, it’s vacant and up for sale. What a waste. The trailer could still be there. Lots of people’s trailers could still be there.
It was a perfectly sunny day. We swam, went tubing and Claire got to ride on a boat for the first time. Matt got to see a little piece of where I came from and I really couldn’t ask for much more.
But, seeing the sight of the old land, with no docks, no cabins, no trailers…it made me so sad. Still does to this day.
It’s still for sale.