*My posts have been less frequent as I have been traveling and working on submissions. This is a busy time of year and I’m having a difficult time managing my time. A lot of my short stories are tied up in the submission process. But, on a side note, another short story of mine has been accepted by Edify Fiction. “The Forest Fire”, will appear on December 29. I’m working hard and hope to be more attentive in the future.
One Last Moon Rise
by Kristy Gherlone
When I started dating my husband back in 2013, he told me that his parent’s owned a lake house in Schroon Lake, New York. It didn’t mean much to me, at the time. I had no idea of where Schroon Lake was or how much time we would even spend there. I was still recovering from the loss of my own childhood cottage in Maine, we both had kids about to graduate, and life was busy.
However, he wanted me to go and see it, so during the summer, not too long after we’d starting dating, he brought me there. Now, if you you recall a past story of mine, “Road Tripping”, you will remember me talking about my yearly trips to visit my grandparents in Upstate New York. Imagine my surprise when on our three and a half drive up to Schroon Lake, I started to see and recognize some of the places I visited on those trips as a kid. Fort Ticonderoga, Lake Champlain…All those old familiar names and destinations zipping by as we drove along, bringing up a whirl-wind of memories. Fort Ticonderoga was one of my favorites. I still recall the museum there; the blood stained table, where the Native Americans had slaughtered a family of settlers. Gruesome, I know, but it stuck with me, and I’d always wanted to go back and see all of those things again. And now I could. Fort Ticonderoga was only about a twenty minute drive from the Lake House.
That first summer, we went up to the Lake House as much as we could. I was hooked. The nine mile lake was gorgeous, sitting right below the Adirondack Mountains. The loons called all day and night, a sound so familiar to me, if I closed my eyes, I could imagine I was home in Maine. My husband’s parents had a boat and a wave runner. Both were fantastic for exploring the lake. The houses dotting the shore ranged from multi-million dollar estates to one room cottages. Schroon Lake was a hub for outdoor recreation and the town, small and quaint, was something out of a magazine, with it’s old-fashioned theater, town square, and Adirondack shops. We fished in the morning and evening. Dined out, barbecued, shopped, and on the Fourth of July, my husband’s father put on a fireworks show worthy of a New York City celebration. Family and friends gathered there. We had our own company up, when his parents were in Florida and sometimes even when they were not. The main house had three bed rooms, and there was a private apartment, with an additional two bedrooms. Board games, drinking, fishing, and boating, brought us many hours good times and laughter. We even visited the Natural Stone Bridge, just down the road.
We even went up in the winter to watch the ice-fishing, and to sit by the fire and just relax and read.
The camp itself, sat high above the water. Two long stair cases led you to the shore. It was an old-fashioned place, appearing as though it was decorated in the 1950’s, but it had charm!
The views out front were incredible. All mountain and sky, with occasional treats such as these:
It was a retreat. A place to escape to. Not too far away, but just far enough that we felt as though we were a million miles away from our responsibilities. I had come to think that it would be a place that would always be there, but life happens, and as it turns out, my husband’s mother became gravely ill in Florida over the winter. We didn’t think she’d survive. We made the trip to Florida to care for her, and she told us of their decision to sell the house at Schroon Lake. We understood. The up-keep on a place like that could be daunting. The stairs alone, to the lake, were steep and unsettling for even a youngster. She couldn’t do it anymore.
We thought we’d have some time, but as it turned out, the place sold in less than a month. This last trip, in October, would be our last forever. My husband, not prone to nostalgia, took it in stride. His family exchanged houses quite often when he was growing up. He was used to it, but I sensed a sadness in him that made me tear up, when gazes out at our last moon rise over the lake.
People, places, things; they all come into our lives and then they are gone. Sometimes too quickly. We do plan to go back, maybe at a rental, but it won’t be the same. It never is. We have plans to buy our own cottage, but it will be a few years. I will miss that place, though it wasn’t with me very long. I hate goodbyes and I’m not good with change. My heart hurts a little today for myself and for my husband, who had many more memories there than I. Goodbye, Schroon Lake. Thanks for the good times! Until we meet again.