Be Forewarned, I am a Fey and Quixotic Creative Writer

Be Forewarned, I am a Fey and Quixotic Creative Writer
And in the End was the Word, Amy's Word

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Monday, July 27, 2015

Two Homes

During my childhood I had two places to call home. One was Keuka Lake where our little cottage on the beach was located. The other spot was 64 East Main Street, Clifton Springs, NY. Our seasonable weekends and summers were spent at the cottage. My mother did not have to work and my father commuted to the Clifton Springs Hospital from the lake all summer. Our house in town was very nice, built in a Frank Loyd Wright style.

 The beach front house was designed and built by my parents. It was a shoebox style with a dormer on top.

Socially, I lived in two different worlds. The lake people were more fun and interesting. I looked up to the lake friends. But the main family friendship was not always nice. They seemed competitive and would banter a one upmanship flavor to interactions. They had a sophistication as they lived in Rochester. My mother had known the mother of my friend's family since high school. Their relationship was tumultuous at times. Both women were artists. Dora painted with oils my mother painted with watercolors. Where ever we were, my mother was known for her parties. When there was a party us kids helped out with serving and cleanup. My mother has a Danish heritage so there was often a Scandanavian flavor to the singing and food. My personal life with my girlfriends was spent hiking in the woods, eating wild black berries, playing Monopoly or Sorry, swimming, and building miniature communities with small stones and matchbox cars. We were very free during our childhood summers. The lake air was special. The wind comes off the water and I believe it has a charge of some sort which is very healthy.

The village life was not nearly as interesting as the cottage life. I was a fairly good student. The air in Clifton Springs is flavored with sulphur. The local hospital was founded on the sulphur springs cures in the 1800's. I did not feel as though I fit in with the Clifton Springs folk. Even after raising my family in that town, I still do not feel like it is or was a true home. It may be partly because my father had a high status position as a doctor. One gets treated a little different and it is not a feeling that I am comfortable with.

In 1974-75 my parents built a house out in the Clifton Springs countryside. I spent one semester attending school in Penn Yan while we lived at the cottage. The building of the house was the end of the era of spending summers at the lake. My mother started raising chickens and sheep. If you have animals one does not have the time to take care of a cottage. The cottage was sold in 1978. Wow. That was a great loss. I had spent ten years embracing the lake experience as the epitome of satisfaction and all of the sudden it was over. The secondary Clifton Springs experience was what I had to call “real” from now on. I was interested in my mothers farm animals so I sort of slid into the farming experience. We got to know the neighboring farmers. My father grew buckwheat. I rode my bicycle to driver's ed the summer of '77. Then that following winter I met my boyfriend who would become my husband.

When the cottage was sold, it was a cultural loss. I lost a whole social group which I had really enjoyed, (most of the time). The people from the lake were talented and funny. With the sale, they fell away from my life. The selling of the cottage was physical loss. I loved the little redwood house my parents had built. I loved the feeling of the beach stones under my feet. I loved the sound of the waves lapping at the shore. I love the sky scapes and the sunsets. I love the fragrances of the trees in bloom and the little black ants scurrying about. I never prepared myself for the loss. I thought that we would always own the beach house because it was so integral to my identity. It is no wonder that my life spiralled into actions without sufficient fore thought during the next few years after the sale.

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