The wind stung my eyes as I flew past my father and brother standing at the end of the dock. Tightening the grip I had around my mother’s waist, I dared to take a look behind at the men in my family. The jet-ski was moving at a blinding speed, and soon the boys disappeared into the horizon completely. My mom was driving, and we were speeding away from the place I called home between the months of April and September, the place that has hosted every single birthday party since I was one year old, the place I called the Lake House.
In the small town of Sturbridge, Massachusetts, there is a house that rests on the water’s edge on Big Alum Lake. It is there that I spend half of my year living with my grandmother, mother, father and brother during the spring/summer season. Much like my mother before me, at the end of March I begin a new life. Moving to the Lake house every year always means taking the time to move myself there physically, and mentally. Being at the Lake house means summer, it means that I get to spend lazy days hanging out with childhood friends, it means learning to drive a car for the first time in an empty school parking lot, it means learning to bare-foot water-ski at age 12, it means getting my first job. But most of all, the Lake House forever means tradition. It means looking around the walls at the pictures of the people I love, and those who have loved before me, and knowing that the house I’m standing in is a gateway to the rest of my life. The Lake house is a place where I am always welcome, where I am always comfortable, and where endless opportunities are presented, all with the support of those surrounding me.
It is the Lake House that has shaped me into the person I am. I learned to face my fears by crawling under the house, into the darkness to fetch swimming noodles. I learned responsibility from having to take my own fish off the hook, no matter how big or slimy. I learned what hard work meant from helping my father chop wood in the yard, and I learned how to appreciate all that is around me by relaxing in front of a bonfire under the silver moon after a cloudless summer day. All these traits, fearlessness, responsibility, work ethic and thankfulness, have transformed me into someone who always tries to make those around her proud. I have endeavored to become the definition of well-rounded, and will in the future endeavor to become the definition of life achievement.