Yesterday, as I reclined in my zero-gravity lounge chair at the lake, I tried to clear the chatter from my head and concentrate on the “now.” Eyes closed, Yankees game humming softly in the background, I became aware of the noises I associate with the lake. There was some great bird chatter, made me wish I knew more bird noise other than chickadees or cardinals, the faint whirring of the gentle breeze, the snapping noise of fish plucking insects from the water’s surface, an occasional frog, dog’s barking. These are typical of the lake. Other constants are any of the following: chain saws, hammering, lawn mowers, tractors. Contrasted with the suburban noises I’m used to hearing, I decided I much prefer the sounds of the lake.
I was reminded of summers I spent in Burlington, Vermont. Burlington was a great place to be a kid. We were lucky to have friends who had camps on Lake Champlain and one family who had a summer house in the mountains near Mount Mansfield. One summer my friend and I ran into the teenaged boys from the nearby farm. They had a team of draft horses harnessed and invited us to go along while they went to drag some wood home. Now we didn’t know these boys but we didn’t think twice about going.
My friend and I were both horse crazy and it was a whole new experience to ride astride the huge draft horse. The young men were polite and got us back in one piece. Our moms were not happy that we had wandered off with these boys (we were fourteen) but times were more innocent in the 1970s.
Looking back I realize I’ve had plenty of interesting experiences. Many of them serve as the basis for the behaviors of two characters in my book. Throughout the book, events occur that trigger memories of youthful escapades. Draft horses and rough cut logs will make an appearance.
It brings me back to the sound of a chain saw in the distance. It makes me smile.