The story holds a lot of great memories for me since my mom, Darleen in the story, took us to visit Aunt Margie at the cottage when we were kids.If you are interested in reading more of the book or purchasing it then click the book cover over on the side. (Underneath my profile.)
I hope you enjoy the story.
Margie and Clarence owned a mansion on Keuka Lake. Okay- it didn’t start out as a mansion. It began as a little piece of lake front property, a trailer, and an out house. Eventually, it grew into a little two bedroom cabin with an indoor bathroom. Before they were finished, the little cabin was transformed into a five bedroom, two bathroom, amazing home, complete with two-story decking and a breathtaking view of the lake. On the other side of the road, down the steep stairway, rested a boathouse and bathhouse, connected by another beautiful deck. I daresay that nearly every nail that held each building in tact was carefully put in place by Margie and Clarence themselves. They worked tirelessly throughout the course of many years designing, then implementing the design. The finished product was a haven.
The only thing more inspiring than the work itself was the reason for the labor. Margie and Clarence wanted a place for all of their family to enjoy — they built it for us! I’m not sure that many enjoyed the little piece of heaven on West Bluff Drive as much as Darleen and I did!
Once we had moved to Canisteo, we had the privilege of tagging along with Margie nearly everywhere. In the summers, when school was out, we would walk Margie’s mail route with her, probably not giving her even a minute of silence. Then, when she would finish her day of work, we would head to the lake. It seemed like a far drive, although in reality, I believe it was only about forty minutes. We would get into our swimsuits as quickly as we could, and then make our way to the water in a flash!
Margie didn’t just leave us to swim; she was the best part of the swim!! She would race us to the dock, dive in, swim to the float, and then wait for us to catch up.
Margie would often go to the big trucking company in Penn Yan and get the huge inner tubes that they had there. The innertube was our favorite because the three of us would sit in it, rock it as violently as possible until we would all eventually tumble every which way. We’d come up coughing and spitting out mouth fulls of water, usually laughing as we’d try to catch our breath.
Eventually, we’d have to get out and eat a little dinner (which was always a feast at the lake). As soon as we were allowed, Darleen and I would jump back in the water for as long as we could. Everything about the lake was our favorite. The weeks when Margie and Clarence took vacation there, they would always invite us to stay the whole time with them. We’d water ski, float on the innertube, go shopping for new swimsuits, get ice cream, watch the fireworks over the water on the fourth of July, water ski again…it was perfect.
On rainy days, Margie would pull out puzzles and Yahtzee. We’d eat chips out of the big can or pop popcorn. We never grew bored at the lake.
Life with Margie was always exciting. Sometimes we would wash our hair in the lake just because it was fun to suds up, molding the craziest hairdo possible. Then, at the count of three, we’d all jump in, leaving evidence of our dive everywhere. I guess that there would be some environmentalists that would object to our idea of fun. We, however, were only concerned with our hairdos.
Margie once heard about a new way to lose weight. She decided to drink a little glass of cider vinegar before every meal. This was supposed to burn fat or something. I think back and wonder why she wanted to diet. A mail carrier, who swam, walked for fun after dinner every night, and water skied everyday in the summer, I doubt that Margie had even an ounce of fat on her! Not wanting to be left out, Darleen and I decided to join Margie’s new diet.
The taste of vinegar is pretty rancid, but watching Margie plug her nose and chug it down was hilarious! We would laugh and laugh as we’d try to stomach our thrice-daily swigs. Needless, to say, our fad diet ended as most fad diets do; we might have been successful had we made it more than three days! At least it made for a great laugh and a long-lasting memory.