Swimming with Isabelle (Day 178)

Our first time staying overnight in our house was New Year’s 2005. Snow blanketed the house and yard, thickly covered the frozen lake, and Kevin, Eliza, and I (Hazel was still growing in my belly) had a cozy celebration dreaming of our future adventures here. We stayed in the house several times that winter and met a few neighbors, but we didn’t fully understand how great it was until summer. Summer came and we saw that we had a sandy beach that was perfect for Eliza to wade into on her wobbly toddler legs, a grassy yard she could play in all day. More people arrived in the summer and we began to make friends and realize that we’d lucked into a great community.

There are lots of wonderful things about Lake Louisa, but what keeps us traversing thousands of miles year after year are the people, the deep friendships that feel all the more precious because we have limited time together. Today I got to swim with one of those friends.

Isabelle and I started hanging out when Hazel and her son, Sam, decided they were friends for life. Luckily Isabelle and I felt the same. She’s calm and insightful, creative and kind. We are nearly as excited to see each other each summer as Hazel and Sam are and spend as much time as possible sitting on my dock or in each other’s kitchens or at our friend Karen’s house (my first swim with Karen has yet to happen).

Today I swam to one end of the bay and then to the other while Isabelle joined me for some of it and then rescued Lulu who was standing on the shore crying as if she was never going to see me again.

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