Sunday, October 19, 2014

Echoes of Summer - At The Camp

Long before I was born, back in a time when life was slower and easier and far less complicated, my grandparents, my dad's parents, acquired a small house on Lake Winnipesaukee that came to be called The Camp. No one seems to know how this name came to be, but when we tell family members we are in New Hampshire, we always say, "We are at the camp."

The camp is a rustic white cabin with forest green trim.  It sits barely fifteen feet from the water's edge. The garage sits only a few inches from the road.  

There are so many things about this cabin that didn't change for years and years. A tree grew through the edge of the roof over the kitchen. It was finally taken down when I was a teenager. The refrigerator sat on the porch - outside. It was the kind that kids could get trapped in as it had a pulldown handle on the front and latched shut. It was not replaced until the mid 1980's. The cellar was terrifying with a sand floor and all kinds of creepy crawly creatures. A real floor went in sometime in the 80's as well. The potable water came from a well.  My brother and I would take a bucket designated for this purpose and walk the twenty feet from the back door out to the well. We would open the door (the well was inside a tiny little shed) and shoo away the spiders and skeet bugs and even the occasional frog, dip the bucket inside and haul it back to the house. It was the most delicious water I have ever tasted and I swear it stayed cold for hours. I do not recall when the well was connected to the house, but I mourn its loss.

There is a bedroom accessed through an exterior door from the kitchen. You go out the door after unlocking it with a skeleton key, go up the stairs and into what we called the annex. It was a terrifying place, but my brother loved it. Now it is plush and comfortable with its own bathroom. It still has no hot water, though. All the beds were wrought iron with rope supporting the mattress instead of a box spring. There was no shower in the downstairs bathroom, just a tub with a hose from the spigot for those who just had to wash their hair. The upstairs bathroom, just a sink and a toilet, had two doors - one into each room. It still does - and it still has the same sink and toilet. 

My mom had six brothers.  Many came up to the lake - to the camp - with their families. Together. Some summers, so I am told, a dozen or more people managed to fit themselves into the four bedrooms. One or two might end up sleeping on the screened-in porch on a bed that did not vanish until sometime in the 1970's. When things got too crowded, my parents bought a very rustic camp well away from the lake at the top of a dirt road for the overflow.  We called this tiny cabin filled with bunkbeds the Eagle's Nest. I cannot even find it anymore although I visited it many times.  
My mom's parents came as well. Until recently, my grandfather's hat still sat on a hook in the downstairs bedroom they used. I do not know when it disappeared, but I wish I had taken a photograph of that hat on that hook. It is just that I figured it would always be there.

I figured many things would never change. I had hoped some, like the well with its bugs and frogs never would though. But, of course, they always do.

Layout and Photo Notes:

Photo Postcard: The technique used to make this postcard was described in the post just preceding this one. Technique courtesy of Chris Peters.

Camp: I created the template or stencil for these tree many years ago, cutting it from a piece of sheet plastic. I have used it many times since. 

Supplies: patterned paper - unknown; cardstock - The Paper Company, Coredinations; ink - Ranger Distress Ink, Versamark; film letters - Heidi Swapp; paint- Plaid; alcohol ink: Tim Holtz/Ranger; rub-ons - Basic Grey; marker - Ek Success, Y&C Gel Extreme; trees - handcut; drangonfly - handcut based upon a stencil from The Stencil Collection; Pearl-Ex: Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist.