Finger Lakes . . .

A friend (who I only know through Twitter but I really enjoy - he went to college with a former colleague of mine) Tweeted a photo of he and his family vacationing on one of the Finger Lakes the other day and I got insane with jealousy.

Not because they were going to get some HUGE soft serve swirl cones from a roadside ice cream stand but because I have fleeting moments where I miss "home" and all the happy memories I have from the part of the world where I grew up physically, literally, and metaphorically.

As a kid I remember moving to Groton and driving up the long, long climb from Ithaca up to Lansing along Cayuga Lake. I remember thinking "Eh. That is pretty but I'm going to hate living here." It took me two full years and dozens and dozens of hours on a shrink's couch to change my mind. As a kid we had to go to Cortland or Ithaca for just about anything "commercial" (book stores, movies, shopping, big grocery stores, etc.) and my parents would take us to Ithaca or Watkins Glen or one of the other smaller cities that "capped" the Finger Lakes for day trips.

As a high school kid I had several friends who had family places on "the" lake ("the" lake was always subjective and was never to be argued with - there were five or six lakes that we would refer to as "the" lake at any given time). My first job was working at a Boy Scout camp on Cayuga lake. I went to one of my proms (and first kissed a girl . . . and NOT my date (heyyyyo)) on the other side of Cayuga lake. I almost went to college overlooking Cayuga lake.

As an adult I've had plenty of trips to the many Finger Lakes for various reasons including visiting my favorite over-priced but amazingly wonderful pottery place with an environment that will make you feel like it is worth every penny, every time. Hell. I got married and had my wedding reception overlooking a Finger Lake and last summer I attended, in a bit of irony, my younger brother's bachelor party in the same town where I got married a week before I moved out of my family home. And enjoyed the respite from the craziness and the sadness of it all.

You can't "go home." I get that. But there is something to be said for putting yourself back in a place where you were happy, where you grew and developed, and felt comfortable and empowered. It is great to be where friends and family abound and where the weather (in the summer at least - winters can be a proverbial bitch) is always at least comfortable and at worst warm and humid.

I am not going to get "home" this summer . . . but, in my heart, I am hanging out on the stony shores of Owasco Lake waiting for my friends to come back with the motorboat so we can start grilling.