To The Daily Sun,
I kissed my first girl on Bear Island.
I learned to swim on Bear Island. So did all of my siblings, my nephews and niece, and one or two very unhappy cats.
I've been on the lake on nights so still I could see the stars reflected on the water.
I once went an entire summer without having to get into a car. Everything can be done by boat.
I got my first job on Winnipesaukee. My commute was a 20-minute boat ride followed by a short walk up a hill and through a golf course. Not a bad gig for a gangly teenager who had absolutely no idea how lucky he was. He does now, though.
I was taught to "live off the land" one summer by picking blueberries, catching fish, and boiling milkweed. I lasted until lunch time.
I've seen it rain on one side of the cottage and be bright and sunny on the other, because that's just how the weather rolls on Winnipesaukee, yo.
I got married to one of the most amazing people I've ever known on the shores of Winnipesaukee. The fact that she still tolerates me enough to be in her life is just further testament to the person she is.
I've learned to water ski on Winnipesaukee. I learned how to snorkel, how to drive a boat, and how to slow down, too. That last one is the most important I think. And I think most people would agree.
I've anchored off shore and surreptitiously sneaked into the girls camp on the island. Daring, dashing and exciting? Nope. Cold, wet, and waterlogged is more like it. But it's something I'll never forget.
I spent countless hours exploring almost every inch of this magnificent lake with nothing more than a 13-foot boat, a towel, and young boy's imagination.
It still holds that magic today. And I think it will for quite a while.
Every time I'm here I'm with the best friends I'm ever going to have.
I eat more than I should, laugh louder than what's socially acceptable, and nap just for the sake of napping. It doesn't get much better than that, in my humble opinion.
I also realize just how unbelievably awe-inspiring this world can be.
Bear Island is just one little corner of that world, but it's our corner, and it's more than enough. It's more than anyone could ever ask for.
When the time comes for my body to expire, my ashes will be spread on the water out front and that's just fine with me. I wouldn't have it any other way, actually.
- Category: Letters
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