Up until two years ago, I was considered a summer person. The village I live in, mostly agricultural, has around 250 local residents. The population swells to over 20,000 in the peak of summer because it's also a resort area with second-home dwellers and bungalow colonies. Over the past decade or so, I extended my stay to eight months a year until I permanently moved in all year round. I love the quietness of those off-peak months. With no summer people in sight, it's nice and quiet. And private.
All that's shattered from Memorial Day until Labor Day. For I live on a lake. Yes, it's beautiful, it's great to have access, but it's far from private. The lake's used 24/7. There's no privacy when you live by a lake: it's filled with boaters. Boaters who are curious to see what the landowners are doing. They slow down in front of the houses and stare, sometimes with binoculars! And very dangerous: the boaters don't believe in adhering to NYS law to keep 100' from shore. They ignore buoys, especially the boat renters. You risk life and limb to even step a toe into the water because you're a moving target.
Then, there're the fishermen. During the dog days of summer, I sleep in my panties. In the early mornings, when I walk into the kitchen which has giant windows, I'm greeted by boats anchored in front of the house. It mystifies me why these men want to see my middle-aged almost nude body. I can barely look at my own reflection! It seems as if the same men sit and stare every day. But I'm not going to change my habits - I'm in my own house, goddamit!
The little roads where I live get clogged with cars and pedestrians. The summer people are curious and stop and stare at the houses lining the streets, trying to catch a glimpse of the residents. Why? I have no fucking clue.
All I do is sit on my deck at my table graced with an umbrella and write on my laptop. The warmer months I mountain bike and kayak, activities that aren't done by the summer people, gauging their size. Over the past twenty years, I've only seen one other biker.
I customarily bike past the 1969 Woodstock Festival site. It's a 10 mile loop that I like to do to keep the heart pumping. During the 40th anniversary, I stopped for a moment. The place was packed. What made it morbidly fascinating was the huge size of the people - men, women and children. I watched them lumber from their SUVs in the parking lot to trudge to the main entrance, panting the few hundred feet. What a travesty!
Just the other week, I attended a pot luck dinner at The Bakehouse with my contribution, a giant cheese organic lasagna that I purchased. (Ok, I'm not a cook!) Jane, the proprietor and baker par excellence, hostesses this bi-monthly event during the off-peak season with a group of locals. It's informal and the food themes change as do the attendees. With each new guest, Jane greets with a hearty, "Welcome to the Family!" During that meal, I slipped out, "Ugh, the summer people are arriving!"
That's when I knew I crossed over.
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PS: I googled "Summer Bungalow Colonies" to find pictures for this post. Imagine my shock, horror and surprise to see it populated with photos of MY FUCKING TOWN! That was definitely an eye-opener!!
This is a work of fiction. Names, character, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.