A classic Watervale sunset over Lower Herring Lake.
I've been procrastinating officially making this announcement, but it simply can't wait any longer because I'm supposed to be headed to Watervale in less than 18 hours.
For a variety of reasons, I'm not going to Watervale this summer.
Yes, I know. I've spent at least part of every summer at Watervale for three-quarters of my life. That's right, I've been going to Watervale for 30 years. And I'm not going this year.
This summer has flown by and although I haven't been able to get away, I have had quite a bit of fun. An awesome Cubs game rooftop party on Memorial Day. A great dinner cruise on Lake Michigan on my birthday. Colbie Caillat and Gavin DeGraw concert at Ravinia. Kenny Loggins concert and fireworks in Lake Forest for the 4 of July. The Blues Brothers movie at Wrigley Field. An amazing evening at Place de la Musique where I even rode the carousel! James Taylor concert at Ravinia. Fabulous lunches, dinners, and movies with friends. This weekend I'm going to the Roy Lichtenstein exhibit at the Art Institute and next weekend I'm hoping to see Tony Bennett at Ravinia.
It's been a good summer. But it won't feel complete because it lacks Watervale. Watervale is my touchstone. It brings me back to me. I arrive stressed out and leave rejuvenated. I sleep. I read. I write. I swim. I hike. I play in the surf of Lake Michigan. I lay on the beach and let sand run through my fingers. I drink wine with friends. I watch sunsets. I kayak. I stay up late hoping to see the Northern Lights. I count the meteors I see each night during the Perseids Meteor Shower. I swing on the swings. I eat good food.
So why am I saying all of this tonight? Am I complaining? No. I'll take a vacation later this fall, but it won't be the same as going to Watervale in August.
I'm writing this tonight because I need your help.
How can you help? I'm glad you asked.
You can . . .
- hike Baldy
- watch the sunset
- swim to BooHoo
- kayak daily
- play in the surf
- see a movie at the Cherry Bowl Drive-In or at the Garden Theater
- savor the creme brûlée
- read, sleep, write
- drink wine
- lay on the beach
- stay up in hopes of seeing the Northern Lights or the Perseids Meteor Shower
- enjoy an extra piece of John Hultman's Honey Oatmeal Bread for me (preferably toasted with cherry jam and no butter)
- hug your Watervale friends and family for me
- tell ghost stories about the Watervale Woman
- visit Sleeping Bear Dunes
You can also do one more thing for me . . . send me some Watervale Mail. That's right. Fill my snail mail box with Watervale postcards. Need my address? Ask my dad for it or send me a message on Facebook and I'll send it to you.
Above all else, savor your time at Watervale for all the poor souls (like me) who can't be there this year or who have never experienced it for themselves.