Print Blog Article

Where Summer Once Belonged

Tue, Aug. 15, 2017 Posted: 11:15 AM

My earliest vacation recollection was the kerosene lantern on a red night stand. My mother sat reading in its glow.

I was bundled on a cot next to my sister. I couldn’t see the lake, but through the screened porch, I could hear the gentle lapping of water along the shoreline.

Every summer thereafter, we traveled back to my grandparent’s cabin in Northern Idaho. No electricity, telephone, or bathroom.

Cooking and heating dishwater were all done on the woodstove. It was the kind of rustic living a kid dreamed about—at least back then.

Life happens and so does progress. First it was a road, making it possible to reach the cabin by car instead of a boat.

Soon power lines crept along, mile by mile, until in the early 1970’s it reached the cabin. The kerosene lanterns retired.

A new water system eliminated the need for the outhouse—the final adios to our summer experience.

My sister and I are headed to the cabin now. Progress brought modern ease and it’s been renovated some over the years, but the original cabin is almost 100 years old—our aunt who is there for the summer is now eighty.

My sis and I, along with my aunt, are some of the few still living that remember it as it once was.

Those memories are tucked in my heart where I still see the glow of a kerosene lamp, hear the gentle sound of water lapping the shore, and feel the peace of a place where summer once belonged.

Karen Farris