Supper At the Lake
We had a most enjoyable visit with friends at the lake yesterday. They invited us for a swim, supper, and a moonlight boat ride. Needless to say, we declined the swim. Goodness knows what that would have done to Josiah's rheumatism and I didn't want to spoil my hairdo. Besides, I couldn't find the stockings to my bathing costume and the moths had eaten the shirt of Jos' suit.
Supper was cooked and served on the shore. We had steamed clams, a red and green circle salad (a circle of lettuce followed by one of tomato slices, cucumber slices, red onion rings, green pepper rings, radish roses, and centered with cottage cheese and chives sprinkled with paprika), sweet corn roasted in the husks, foil wrapped potatos baked over the coals and chicken, spicy with barbecue sauce and done to a turn.
The water lapped gently at the shore and an occasional cicada sang out as we ate. And ate. And ate until Josiah said, jokingly I hoped,
"I trust you got something light for dessert for I doubt I can manage too much more."
Dessert was light, delicious, and served very elegantly for a beach picnic. It was melon balls, watermelon, cantalope, and honeydew, with gingerale poured over them and topped with sprigs of mint. each serving was nested in a bowl of cracked ice.
We sat watching the lake traffic, sailboats, speedboats, waterskiers, and fishermen, as we digested our delicious suppper. Citronella candles burned in colored glasses and the coals of the cooking fire were dumped on a pile of driftwood, which soon crackled merrily in the gathering dusk.
Presently the rattle of a chain hoist announced the descent of our host's boat into the water. The scramble from dock to gently tossing boat was almost too frightening to face but I made it and found myself most comfortable on a foam padded seat.
We swung out into a slow traffic lane and began our cruise. Cottage lights reflected in the rippling water and dock lights winked at us as we passed. A jumble of sounds reached us; a news broadcast, an amateur guitarist, a group singing around a campfire, the blare of the amusement park as we rounded the point.
A fish jumped nearby and a late-flying gull made an unsuccesful dive at the spot. The sightseeing launch passed us, rocking our boat pleasantly with its swell. A speedboat roared from shore, cut in front of us and shot rapidly toward the far side of the lake.
Bonfires appeared here and there along both shores, stretching dancing yellow fingers into the sky and over the water. Red and green lights marked fishing boats still anchored over a favorite spot or trawling slowly over the black glassy water.
Damp-woodsey smells mingled with fishy-water, steak, hot dogs, burning wood, and toasting marshmllows. (We ignored the gas and exhaust fumes.) Late swimmers splashed close to their docks, safely out of the way of boat traffic. A lone canoe slipped by carrying a girl and boy, with a transistor radio for music instead of a mandolin.
The air was cool so I appreciated my scarf and coat. The water felt soft as rainwater when I dipped out a piece of floating weed. We picked up speed to cross the lake, heading back to the cottage. The boat settled deeper into the water at the stern, sending up a light shower of spray.
The stars and moon winked at us in duplicate from the sky and water as we sped along. All too soon we slowed to coast up to the dock, the boat rocking in a cradle of its own waves. The dock seemed to roll under me as I walked to the beach. My chair, too, was bewitched, pitching and tossing unseen, as my inner ears struggled to recover from this unaccustomed experience.
I felt exhilarated, tired yet strangely refreshed and young. All my senses had been assailed by new experiences. I would have liked to plunge into the water and feel it lift me as it had the boat. I wanted to sit there on the shore all night to watch the lake change with each hour, grow quiet, sleep, and wake again at sunrise.
All the comforts of home did not call me as strongly as did the siren lake. Some primordial memory stirs within me everytime I set foot on a beach. I'm sure I must have been one of the first to ooze out of the water onto dry land and have been regretting it ever since.
The evening ended with me in a muse, ("Aunt Katy's tired from the boat ride. Too much excitement for the dear old thing.") Josiah beginning to suffer for his over-indulgence in clams and corn, and Martha having to carry the burden of conversation with our hosts. She finally shepherded us home to hot milk, alkaseltzer and bed.
And a wonderful time was enjoyed by all.