“God I love to turn my little blue world..
..Upside down” — Tori Amos in Upside Down
There’s a place I dream about every now and then..
It’s a winding lake town in northwest NJ, centered around the largest lake in the state. I grew up near there and for so long I wasn’t impressed with the splendor, but now six years gone and I see it beautifully. Differently. During two summers of my college career, I delivered pizza. That alone can be a whole blog post, heck a whole book, but I’m not here to talk about pizza. (I think?) I worked in my hometown, for the most part. Every now and then I’d get sent out to towns that were not part of the township I grew up in. Both were lake towns, not even near each other. I suppose this lake really is bigger than I thought. One of the towns in particular was alien to me. I had never really found myself there previously, and I was only sent there once or twice a month. If even. I think they had better pizza options out there, honestly. There were winding roads and marinas and sunsets so grand, you couldn’t help but hum:
“When the day goes down on the
When the sun sinks low all around
That’s when I know I need you now
You’re what I miss” — Bruce Hornsby
I don’t know why it made such an impact. Maybe it was the winding roads or the golden hour sunsets. Something about it. I find myself dreaming about this place a few times a year, more than ten years after I’ve been there..or thought about it in waking life.
Two weeks ago we attended a wedding in New Jersey and we decided not to take the kids to the ceremony or reception. They spent the entire day with my sister, who took them to a Cinderella-themed party and pretty much loved on them like crazy for hours on end. It was great. They showed no signs of missing us, and we had a great time celebrating the love of an old friend of mine. We stayed at the wedding long enough that my sister had already brought the kids back to her lake house – a house I had yet to see. As we followed the GPS ever closer to pick up the kids, I gasped aloud to find myself back on these crazy roads of my long ago pizza days. The strange roads of my dreams. And of course I wondered, “Why are they in my dreams so much?” The world may never know.
I also hadn’t previously connected that her lake house Is in this town. No clue why. I’m oblivious sometimes.
So we got out of the car and ran onto her dock and onto her upper deck and into her house and back out again, all the while marveling at the beautiful weather and impending sunset and amazing views. You can see the wonder (and refection) in his eyes:
I saw a quote today in which someone said, “Summer, where the livin’s easy.” And I would probably amend it to, “Summer, where the livin’s easiER.” You cannot deny certain things, though. Getting into cars without hats and coats. Socializing. Sun-dazing.
Oh, look – it’s me! Self-portrait-chasing.
Golden-hour is AMAZING..
And so we drove home on winding, golden-hour roads, with two pajamas-clad kids and I thought about my upside down lake pictures and my upside down thoughts of weddings and friends and family, and how quickly it can all pass by when people aren’t as close as you’d like. Both geographically and emotionally. Here and there. Odd places in my dreams and odd dreams in my places.
Even the most exquisitely planned and executed days, with perfect weather and perfect sunsets and lake dreams and dream lakes..
Even the most smoothest of big days, of separated children and separated hearts when you leave these golden lake towns..
It’s all a bit upside down sometimes. It’s all a bit of give and take. It’s all a bit of wonder and beauty and fabulous joy. Just love.
“Well I found the secret to life
I found the secret to life
I’m okay when everything is not okay” — Tori Amos in Upside Down