Monday, July 20, 2009
THESE ARE A FEW OF MY FAVORITE THINGS
Pinecrest, as I have said before, is one of my all-time favorite places. I have been going there since I was a child. For me, it has a special smell, a special look, and a special feeling that is permanently ingrained in me. This year, we took our brand new special dog with us there. Bodhi was such a great dog the entire week. He was quiet, he was calm, and he was dirty. What were we thinking getting a white dog? We live in an area of California that has red clay dirt instead of soil and camping? Well, have you ever gone camping and NOT gotten dirty? I don't think that it is possible.
This is a picture of the campground one early morning before everyone was awake. It is a nice time of the day to walk around because the entire campground is so still and quiet. By the afternoon the place is really crowded. There are group camps close by and lots of kids filter in and out of the main campground on their way to the lake. This year we made reservations so late that there was only one site available with six nights in a row so we snatched it up not really thinking where it was located. Well, turned out that it was the major thoroughfare for everyone on their way to the lake, to the store, to the post office, to the outdoor show at dusk, and that made for a lot of fun conversations to over-hear. Plus, a lot of noise. But, I told myself (and B) that we were just going to have to make the best of it and look for the silver lining. We met lots of people as they were walking past our camp site and the majority of them stopped or commented on Bodhi. He was a hit with everyone. B said "You know what's good about this dog? He makes everyone smile". Now---isn't that a good reason to have such a wonderful dog? And, wasn't the name we picked for him so appropriate?
Bodhi is a Sanskrit word meaning enlightenment. The word "buddha" means "one who has achieved bodhi". Also frequently (and more accurately) it is translated as "awakening". It is an abstract noun formed from the verbal root budh (to awake, become aware, notice, know or understand). I feel like we were led to find Bodhi and that he is with us now to help us understand things about ourselves and others. He definitely helps us become aware, notice, know and understand things. I feel like he is truly a gift to us.
This is a photo of the lake one afternoon. Each day we would put our walking shoes on, grab the dog leash, and go for a walk. We walked every day, multiple times. It was good for us and good for the dog. And, not bad scenery either!
All around the lake there are cabins that date back to the 1920's. These are currently owned by the Forest Service and when you buy a cabin here, you only own the cabin. Not the land. In fact, the Forest Service used to give one hundred year leases to the owners of the cabins but have recently changed it to twenty year leases. I have always coveted these cabins and the life-style that they provide. I could imagine myself packing up my clothes and staying there the entire summer if I owned one. They are currently very high priced and highly sought after. Despite the horrible housing market and the prices that things are selling for in foreclosures, the "cabins" have held their value. I don't think that I will ever own one of these cabins considering what they are selling for. About the closest I could get to my "dream" is to rent one some year. My sister and I have been considering that and it just might happen one of these summers.
Each cabin is unique. Each holds a special place in my heart as I look at them and imagine what they look like inside, what kind of furnishings they are decorated with, what kinds of people live inside and what their stories entail. I imagine myself sitting out on the decks reading. Perhaps it is sitting around the rock fireplace that I have images of. Whatever the case might be I feel like I am at home when I am in Pinecrest.
Here is an excerpt from "The Namesake" by Jhumpa Lahiri who says everything I feel so eloquently. "The house is dark, a bit musty, full of primitive, mismatched furniture. There are exposed pipes in the bathrooms, wires stapled over doorsills, nails protruding from beams. On the walls are clusters of local butterflies, mounted and framed, a map of the region on thin white paper, photographs of the family at the lake over the years. Checkered cotton curtains hang in the windows on thin white rods...Hairy unfinished logs hold up the roof, and there is a gap between where the floor ends and the wall begins, so that one can see a thin line of grass." These images are what I have had in my head all my life when it comes to "the cabins". Whether they exist or not, I still have to find out for myself.
But, I met a husband and wife who own one of these cabins while I was walking around taking pictures. I will tell you about them, their cabin and their unique story another day. Suffice it to say, we had a connection or two.
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