The lagoon beckons me. Just arriving at the resort I see the sight that will never be forgotten, a large lagoon setting in front of an azure blue lake separated only by a partial sand dune. Raft anchored in the center of the lagoon currently being used by a pair of kids, possibly a brother and a sister, jumping off the pontoon as far as they are able, only to swim around to the small three step ladder to climb up and do it again.
Cabins lined up along the west side of the lagoon, one after another, each looking like the one before. Small boats anchored to the docks, each numbered, one per cabin. Each with outboard motor, with oars laying in X formation within the boat. Dirt paths leading from the doors of each cabin to the larger perpendicular path adjacent to the lake. Fish tables, clean for now, just waiting for that first catch to come back. Chipmunks and squirrels scampering back and forth among the trees, they live here, it is their home. We are just visiting this secluded paradise.
Just past the dock, up towards the main resort house is the largest swing set EVER. Top bar had to be 20 feet off the ground, which made for some seriously high swinging and jumping, and occasional sprained ankles. Picnic table, horseshoe pits, grills, and those tiki torches that they lit at night which supposedly kept the bugs away.
A wooden dock protrudes into the lagoon on the South side, long grass all around it, doesn’t seem to be used very much, but is a perfect place to catch that pet turtle that you get to keep near the cabin, name it, feed it, and then let it go on that last day swallowing that little lump in your throat as it disappears into the murky water. So attached in such a short time, just need to make sure that your sister doesn’t see you tearing up or you will never hear the end of it.
Early morning was fishing time, Dad would get our life jackets out, grab his all metal tackle box that only got used once a year, forget to make us put sunscreen on, check his lures, and grab the warms that he bought the night before because “I’ll be damned if you kids are going to lose my lures out there!” it’s OK, worms and a bobber work just fine Dad.
90 degrees outside, all of us severely sunburn and yet we sit with all the other guests at night around a roaring campfire, listening to the grownups tell stories about…..well…everything. Making plans for the next day and what time we are all going to meet out on the raft. Walking as far into the woods around the resort in the pitch black before chickening out and high-tailing it back to the camp fire. Laying down on the cold sheets that felt oh so good on the red hot skin that burns no matter how much lotion Mom puts on you. Listening to the crickets chirping and the birds singing….was that a coyote? Glad we didn’t go too far into the woods, huh?
That was 40 years ago….that was innocence….Thank you Tomahawk, Wisconsin, you will never be forgotten