Monday, June 28, 2010

Lake Milton Summers

From left to right,
my sister with her sweet swimsuit; my cousin David;
my grandmother, Emma (Bickerstaff) Meinzen, with her wonderful red sandals; and
me and my cousin, Belinda

Oh, the joy of spending a whole week - an endless string of glorious, carefree days from a child's view - at Lake Milton! What fun to wake up, run down the steps to the beach, and jump or wade into the water. Did I live in my swimsuit? Probably.

There were only several summers when we went to the lake instead of going on our usual traveling vacation. I was the youngest child and these summers at Lake Milton happened when I was 5 or 6 or 7. I wonder if my parents chose vacations at the lake after having spent previous vacations traveling with a (possibly, probably) whiney little girl in the back seat. A week at the beach was fine with me. I was a girl with energy to burn - and a way to burn it at the lake.

Lake Milton was about half an hour's drive from our home. The cabins had beds/cots, chairs, and a kitchen table, but the renters had to supply everything else. We packed the essential towels, sheets, pillows; pots, pans, dishes, silverware; and of course our clothes and swimsuits, and probably a few extras, into the car, though I don't remember supplies for s'mores.

Just before we got to the turn-off to the cabin, there was a tiny store. My mom always stopped and bought me a coloring book and an 8-pack box of Crayolas. I suppose she thought they would help occupy me if the water wasn't enough entertainment. Perhaps I colored, but I doubt it. Once at the lake and unpacked, my self-imposed mission was to get to the water, with its almost magnetic pull, as soon as possible.

I don't think my mom thought of these weeks at the lake as much of a vacation since she still had to cook, do the dishes, and keep us corralled. At least she didn't have the normal cleaning she would have had at home, so perhaps she did enjoy the time at the lake. I don't ever remember her or my father swimming while we were there, though. Not to say they didn't. I just don't remember it.

We often had family visit while we were there. My mother's youngest sister brought my grandparents, and my mother's 2nd youngest sister came with her husband and children, Belinda and David.

In this photo David is standing over Belinda and me. Don't you think he looks a little ominous, as if he's threatening to throw us into the water or take our inner tubes?

The weeks at Lake Milton were idyllic and I loved them, but I have very few specific memories. Playing in the water and the sand; jumping off the little wooden pier; trying to swim; dog-paddling with an innertube around my waist -- they were enough. Those vacations at Lake Milton were perfect.

I haven't been back to the site of the cabin since I was last there as a child. Perhaps the cabins aren't even there anymore... We drive over Lake Milton when we go back to the Ridge to visit, but it seems we never have enough time to stop and explore the Lake and look for the cabin of my memories.

I wonder if my parents realized how much I enjoyed those weeks at Lake Milton....

Do you have memories of summer vacations near pool, lake, or ocean?

This post is a participant in the Carnival of Genealogy Swimsuit Edition, 2010. Thanks to Jasia at Creative Gene for hosting this carnival and to footnotemaven for the terrific poster.

You can view some of my ancestors in their swimsuits and at water play at Father, Daughter, Swimming Hole.

© 2010 by Nancy Messier


  1. What a great post. Some wonderful memories (and pictures) captured forever.

  2. What fun! We should go visit there this summer ;)

  3. Wonderful carnival entry. I enjoyed your description of childhood summers & memories.

  4. What a fun post! I love the picture of you and Belinda and Dave. Your little swimming caps are so cute! And your sister's swimming suit is pretty fun! What is that thing that Dave is holding in his right hand?

  5. What great photos...takes me back to the good old days!

  6. We had some old friends come up to our lake cabin a few weeks ago and they brought their grandson, he wanted to go swimming, and so we got out an inner tube, and he did not know what an inner tube was, he had never seen one before.:)

  7. Love the picture of you and your tube. How wonderful for your grandmother to have been caught in the picture of 'off to have fun'. Enjoyed reading your post. Thanks


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