Nobody has heard of this place, but I managed to find it with both husbands. My first husband and I took the older kids here twice on vacation. We stayed in the Lakehouse at the Davis Motel and Cabins when Tom was a tyke and Jo was only a year old. It was nestled in the Adirondack Mountains of New York. I met my second husband through a friend at school when I was getting my B.S. in biology. When she heard I had been to Schroon Lake, she introduced me to Larry whose family owned a house there. There are unbelievable coincidences in life.
I loved it here. First of all, I am a fisherman from early childhood. Then, of course, there was the hiking and boating. We bought a tri-hull bowrider and towed it up to the lake. Larry's parents owned a rowboat. One time my eldest and his friend Floyd woke up at the crack of dawn and walked it down to the beach so they could fish. It was my younger son who would benefit the most from Schroon Lake, as he practically grew up there. Whether it was the two older kids or just Jerry, the routine was always the same in summer — a full day of watersports, dinner, then a walk through the Village of Schroon Lake in the evening. Eventually, we bought a used TV and VCR for the basement rooms so the kids could rent movies. My in-laws only got a few stations in this hinterland and Marge and Roland had the one TV booked.
Then there was winter. We would take the kids sledding at the old golf course and skiing at Gore Mountain. I tried skiing. I had to be rescued by a ski instructor from the bunny hill. A tremendous fear of heights crippled me. I once went on a novice slope with my husband. A poor unsuspecting stranger sat next to me on the lift. The higher we went, the louder I became. You have never heard swearing of the like I loosed when going up. She kept telling me not to jump when we reached the top. She kept repeating that I should just stand up when we got there. I jumped. Yesiree Bob, I went head first into a snowbank. When I finally got to the trail, I felt as though I was at the top of Everest. After trying to ski diagonally down the peak for well over an hour, I finally took off my skis and walked down the mountain. Larry was frustrated, the kids were hysterically laughing, and my pride was in the gutter. All three kids took to skiing like pros, but Jerry was an ace. He was all mountain by age 6, and a snowboarder at 8. He was doing double black diamond trails Larry wouldn't dare. He was a natural. I regulated myself to the lodge where I graded student papers and saved a table for lunch. I met a lot of interesting people in the lodge, so I never minded being there.
When Jerry no longer needed me to dress him or help him, I stayed home and let the boys go off on their own. Even the bad weather days were good. We would take the kids to Lake George give them money and let them go to the arcades. Frankenstein's House of Horrors was a favorite stopping place. The kids, all three, were absolutely terrified of the place, but we'd have to go anyway. Jerry was so scared his first time that he clung to a little French Canadian girl the entire time. Neither spoke the other's language, but they were united in terror. I always wondered though — Jerry was voted the Don Juan of his nursery school. He could have clung to me, but he didn't. Shades of things to come. On Thursday nights they had free fireworks at Lake George, and we tried to get there when we could. Fort Ticonderoga was near Schroon, so we went there too. For all that life throws at you, the sorrow and the pain, the disappointments, and the setbacks, there are the memories that are a salve to the open wound.