Sunday, August 9, 2009

Donner Lake

Haven’t blogged in forever. Sorry. I haven’t been able to snatch a minute on the computer: whenever I have downtime either my sister or dad is using it. Plus, I always have little things to do, errands to run, and I think, “Okay, I’ll start the Donner Lake post just as soon as I finish this,” but then I have to go do something else and forget, which to leads to some other thing, and days pass without me ever starting the post. Plus, I have been spending just about all day in my mom’s classroom, helping her move around desks and shelves, stapling piles of papers, arranging lesson plans and filing various little bits of information. It sounds boring, but at least it gives me something to do.
ANYWAY. Donner Lake. My aunt/uncle/cousins are the kinda people that have enough money to rent out a cabin nestled in the foliage surrounding Donner Lake, so about a week ago, that is exactly what they did. My family and I drove up there to stay the last night. Several small boating docks jutted into the water, and we chose one nearby the cabin to dump towels, folding chairs, and coolers full of fresh fruit and cold drinks. We got there around lunchtime, and snarfed sandwiches on the dock. Small ripples textured the lake, sending gentle waves of water lapping softly up against the shore. The lake was in constant slow-motion. After eating, I sat in my bathing suit with my feet swirling little patterns into the water, watching my cousins and sister sitting in their bathing suits swirling little patterns in the water, wondering when one of them was going to go ahead and jump on in, because the water felt cold between my toes and the rest of my body was starting to sizzle a little bit from the sun but I didn’t want to be the only one swimming while they sat there un-swimming, watching me. They said they didn’t feel like swimming. I didn’t believe a word of it. Here they were with a giant stretch of fresh cold water on a blazing hot late-summer afternoon, in their bathing suits and ready to swim, and they tell me they’re just not “in the mood.” I swallowed my scoffs of disbelief and jumped in. After stroking and paddling and splashing and kicking for an hour or so, I hoisted myself up onto the deck. The cuzzies and sis were in the cabin. My dad was on the deck. So was an inflatable canoe my uncle had brought, without my knowledge. We canoed.
We canoed across the lake, then over to some private beaches that you were supposed to pay for, which was pretty dumb, then looped back around and to the dock. At that point I was tired, so I changed into a fresh set of dry clothes, drank a glass or orange juice, and sat on the dock with a book. I didn’t get too much time to read, though, because it was just about time for early dinner. Spaghetti. Yum. After dinner my mom and I walked around the lake. It was a longer walk than we had expected, so it was pretty dark by the time we returned. I was too tired to shower but did anyway, then clambered up the ladder into the small loft I was sharing with my sister. I fell asleep quickly, but was awoken by
Which scared me so bad that I lost my breath a little bit as I half-climbed, half-tripped back down the ladder. I don’t usually get scared of lightning or thunder, but the thunder especially was hardcore. It was so freakin’ loud that the cabin literally did shake a little (though it might have been in my head) and every time lightning flashed, it would stream through the big bay window in the front room and spill a shock of blinding light into the cabin that made you blink to get rid of the spots it left hovering in your vision. Everybody else was awake in a flash. (Ha-ha. Flash, lightning, get it.) I wanted to close the curtains, and so did both of my cousins, but everybody else wanted to watch the lightning. They wanted to watch it. I wanted to run away and bury myself underneath seventy miles of blankets and hide in an underground burrow twenty kilometers deep in a room with a quadruple-locked door. But the lightning wasn’t even half as bad as the thunder. I can’t even begin to describe the horrible, eardrum-crushing cracking noise it made. It felt like a mild earthquake and sounded like a thousand redwood giants crashing to the ground at once. I made one daring trip back up to the loft (Which I’m pretty proud of, considering how much courage I had to muster up in order to make the six-foot climb) to retrieve my pillow and blanket, then got two more blankets from a linen closet and nestled deep into the coach, wrapping my gatherings around me tight, pressing a pillow over my eyes. Beside me, my cousins did the same. Rain beat against the roof, a sound I usually love to lay in bed listening to, but the thunder interrupted every couple of seconds and made my bones rattle.
Eventually, all that commotion must have stopped because I fell asleep there, swaddled up in blankets. I was awake before anybody else. My first emotion upon awakening was relief that the storm was over. I decided to make a fancy hot breakfast, and eventually people started waking up at the smell of hash browns and scrambled eggs. We had to leave that morning. It was sad to drive away from the lake so soon, but I’d had a good time the day I was there to enjoy it.
Except for, you know, the thunderstorm.

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