Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Love Shack

The Love Shack sits on the edge of the woods that surround Walton Lake and form a natural border for the Flats -- the lower level of Rosmarin's, the Catskills bungalow colony we've attended for the past sixteen summers.

Rosmarin's and our bungalow, #10B, has been the subject of many blog postings and articles of mine; indeed, it inspired the name of this blog.

I've written about the joy of opening the cabin up for the season, the magic of the open vistas -- especially for space-starved urbanites -- the peculiar society of the bungalow colony, our summer friends, our children's and dogs' country adventures, the quiet of a bungalow night, the glory of Shabbat in nature, the privilege of having nursed Little Babe beneath a great and leafy oak, my watchful, worshipful relationship with the summer moon, the scary thrill of walking outside in the middle of the night, bungalow intrigue, bungalow memories, bungalow dreams.

In the late nineties, a visiting Manhattan friend -- more at home in the Hamptons than Monroe, NY -- noted our happiness and wryly dubbed our bungalow the Love Shack.

About seven years ago, the designation became official when HOBB surprised me with a beautiful wooden sign, which now hangs on our front door.

So the Love Shack it is and we have taken to referring to our summer abode as such in the copy of invitations to friends and even between ourselves.

Although this appellation is tongue-in-cheek, the Love Shack functions as a greenhouse for my nearly 27-year-old relationship with HOBB, nurturing our private, shared life, cocooning us from the swirling drama of the outside world, sheltering us, providing us with a sanctuary for that which is private and closed to others.

While our summers are enhanced by friends who visit and friends who have bungalows of their own in other sections of the colony and sweetened by the presence of our kids and their friends and beloved family members, there is nothing quite like our Shabbat breakfasts in tandem on the porch or reading together outside in the shade of the woods or walking for miles along the country roads or our intimate embraces in the velvet darkness or optimistic sunshine, the duet of our heartbeats echoing within the wood-paneled walls.

Since my very first bungalow summer in 1995 when I was the 34-year-old mother of three young children, I have been moved by the sight of those couples of advanced years whose summer memories are built of an unbroken chain of bungalow memories. I like to imagine that after a certain number, say twenty, the summers blend and tumble together like heedless children rolling down a great, grassy hill.

Stand strong, Love Shack! Be our Eden, our secret clubhouse, our steady ship in an often-turbulent sea. Nurture and protect us and those we love. Surround us with the sweet memories of tumble-together summers and strengthen the bond that only we two share. Inspire us to be the best we can be for each other. Reveal to our children that great bungalow secret -- that nothing begets intimacy like simplicity.


Unknown said...

Inspiring...and wise...right on the mark. Thanks...Len Muroff

Marilyn McLaughlin said...

I love this. My dad has had a house in Woodridge since I was in high school. He had spent his whole childhood and teen years up in that area. Unfortunately my mother didn't share his passion for the beautiful air, the quiet and all that you speak of it never got to take on the feel of what you speak about here. Now that both of my parents are gone, only my one sister goes up there on the weekends. If I lived in NY I might take advantage of it more.
Anyway, I love the sentiment of what you write here and I know it was something my father so wished for. Thanks for writing it.

Anonymous said...

I do like ur article~!!!......................................................................

麗芬 said...


David Elsner said...

You have beautifully captured with emotional precision the spectrum of connection from the inception of your relationship to the longevity of the more mature relationships as we progress in age.I can feel the beauty, simplicity, yet stirring complexity of your bungalo moments.
Jeannette posting under my son David's account