I’m tired this morning. More weary really, but tired. Yesterday, under the bright sun and cool breezes of a glorious Lake Geneva Sunday, I was at my parents house. There were other people there too. They were lounging and talking and sitting and strolling. They were enjoying the lakefront as it was meant to be intended, even if their Sunday window of enjoyment was only two hours long- the duration of a party of sorts intended to celebrate my mother’s retirement after decades of teaching mostly dim-witted teenagers the finer art of both reading (literature) and writing (journalism). My Sunday was not spent lakeside, as I would have wanted, rather I was confined to a makeshift kitchen stadium on a narrow square of asphalt that lies between my parents back door and their unsightly garage. This was my Sunday, held prisoner in an open air kitchen while others played on the appropriate side of the house.
My friend and I, operating under the misleading name of Four Chins (two guys, two chins each, get it?), a catering “company” that gladly oversees the pro bono, sloppy assembling of food items for close friends and family at events like yesterday’s, effectively provided food for 100 or more people out of that charcoal and gas kitchen. The day was long, the demands of hungry pleasure seekers high, but the end result was an unmitigated success. When I drove home last night, avoiding being further tasked with any nonessential items like cleaning the Armageddon like mess that we left behind, I was tired. I got home, cleaned up, and went straight to bed. As I lie in bed, my feet ached, my back was tight, my few muscles strained. The feeling was familiar. It became obvious to me then that throughout my many ways of spending a Sunday at the lake, be it working, cooking, entertaining, boating, or otherwise playing, Sunday ends with me, in bed, quite tired. And that’s all right by me.
I think, if done properly, if pursued to its fullest, a Lake Geneva weekend should leave the participants tired. Those who work hard tend to play hard as well, and the continual boating and swimming and splashing intermixed with lounging and sipping and strolling, can combine to make one tired lake lover come Sunday evening. There’s nothing restful for the body during a day of playing. The skiing and swimming, even the boating, it can be taxing. Barefoot walking for a weekend might leave some shoe-wearer with tired feet, but the soft aching of Sunday feet should be a most welcome development. Achy feet, a tired body, and a refreshed mind are hallmarks of a weekend at the lake done right.
Devotion to the lake, and the savory entrapment’s of a weekend spent near and on it, can be exhausting. But it’s only exhausting for those who choose to spend the weekend in action. Many of the discerning vacationers that I know run fast from Friday through Sunday night. They race to the lake, race to their boat, then they race around the lake, and race to do it all again the next day, and the next weekend. In all that racing there is much fun, and the retreat is an emotional one even if there is very little physical resting taking place. Weekends for these people are exciting, fast paced, and take aim at grabbing a summer weekend by the throat and choking it until sufficiently spent. This is a weekend for many, but the wonderful thing about a Lake Geneva weekend is that you, the savvy vacation home owner, are in complete and utter control of it. The weekend is enslaved to you, and it has no other choice than to do precisely as you say. Weekends can’t argue.
If a hard charging weekend is your desire, and weekend success is not measured in hours spent in contemplation but in fuel burned on your marine gas gauge, then that weekend is going to be physically tiring, sure, but it’s also going to be exactly what you want it to be. If your ideal weekend involves a white pier or a soft green lawn, a book, some sipping beverage, then that weekend of disengagement is easily at your lazy fingertips. These divergent lifestyles are yours to choose from at the lake, and if you’re particularly astute, you might even mix the two, forever alternating between rest and action, a weekend for each, or a day, spread out over the many months that constitute my Lake Geneva summer.
Today, I’m tired. I’ll bet many of you are tired. Those who spent the weekend pushing forward, intent on splashing and boating and swimming through the beautiful weekend now passed. Others, reading today, feel rested, recharged, ready to conquer the real world until another Friday afternoon rolls around. Others, those without a Lake Geneva vacation home, feel much the same as they did on Sunday. And the same as they did on Friday. And, for that matter, the same as they felt a year ago Friday and a year ago Wednesday, which is to say bored. Me? I’m tired today, but I can’t wait wait to feel tired next Monday morning too.