When I was growing up, my family spent our summers living in a tent on a piece of lakeshore property my parents owned. The day after the last day of school, we’d make the 400+ mile drive from Long Island to Maine in the family van pulling a wooden trailer my father had built and painted green.
For three months from the time I was three til my teenage years, my mother, father, brother and I lived our life in the Maine woods. For many of those years, our shelter was a canvas tent and our bathroom was an outhouse. We had no running water and had to get our drinking water from a natural spring several miles away. Kerosene lanterns provided light after dark. Mom cooked every hot meal on a Coleman stove.
Because having summers like that had been a dream of both my parents, they planned the rest of the year accordingly.
Every decision was made in light of that one big goal: to have three months at the lake. It never was questioned. Mom managed our only source of income — my father’s teaching salary — with acuity and precision.
Growing up, my brother and I didn’t have all the latest whistles and bells of the day like some of our friends. But we had something far more precious.
We had time.