Friday, July 17, 2009
Finally, summer: Wiawaka
Anyone who lives in the Northeastern U.S. can tell you that we've been waiting for summer to start. The Fourth of July came and went, the corn has grown from knee-high to over your head, and it's rained incessantly. Yesterday, I took the afternoon off to go to Wiawaka on Lake George, and I am SO glad I did.
Wiawaka was founded in 1903 by philanthropists Katrina Trask and Mary Fuller as a place of refuge and retreat for the women who worked in the collar factories in Troy. Just minutes away from Million dollar beach and the bustle of downtown, Wiawaka's cluster of Victorian cottages and lodges sits upon a hill overlooking the southeastern curve of Lake George. Little has changed to the property since that time, and for a modest fee anyone can go there today for an afternoon or a week, or longer, as a modern-day escape from everyday life. There are cultural programs and creative seminars, but I go, mainly, to spend some time in the sun with friends, have a picnic lunch on the dock, and swim. On this afternoon, I participated in an inspirational sculpting session with Catherine's sister Pam, and Pam's best friend Liz. We were handed lumps of clay and each of us fashioned a unique mini-sculpture all our own. After that, we headed for the dock to enjoy the late-afternoon sun. One afternoon at Wiawaka soothes the soul and suddenly it feels so much like summer! Big boats like the Horicon and Minnehaha pass by in very close proximity as their passengers wave to those of us on the dock.
My friend Catherine treated me to dinner, all offerings home made. Last nights choices were meatloaf (or quiche), mashed potatoes, mushrooms sauteed in white wine, peas and herbs from their garden, and a salad, and three pies--blueberry, banana cream, or chocolate cream. Catherine, Pam, Liz, and Alice joined me on the porch of the main house for dinner, all of us in our own wicker rocking chairs sharing a meal and enjoying our summer evening together.
It was a lovely day.