I’ve found my happy place: Lake Winnipesaukee, NH
by Taylor Hickox of Arnold, Maryland, granddaugther of Carol & Paul Richardson of Alton Bay, New Hampshire
My excitement builds as my grandparents and I near Lake Winnipesaukee, my “summer home.” As we come around the curve of Route 11 into Alton Bay, a wave of peace and happiness washes over me and cleanses my mind of stress, schedules, and responsibilities. The split second that I glimpse the glistening blue water in the tip of ‘the bay’ is one of my favorite moments of my whole vacation.
The lake is a magnetic force that attracts me and keeps me coming back; it is pure, natural beauty. The majestic Ossipee Mountains and other peaks standing tall over the sparkling, placid waters make for quite a spectacular view. It’s like the mountains are guarding this delicate place like bodyguards protecting a beautiful princess. This view tickles me every summer. I can’t get enough of it. I like to think that the lake is a well-kept secret that is especially for me, and that I can enjoy it in peace, without massive crowds, noise, or other distractions. The whole time I’m there, I don’t want to be anywhere else, because when I’m in, on, or around the lake, I am perfectly content.
Besides taking in gorgeous views, being at the lake also includes spending time with my grandparents. My grandfather is one of my best friends; we’ve been close ever since I could talk. Some of my favorite memories with him include the spray of water in my face as we race up to Wolfeboro on bumpy jet-ski rides; laughing as we jump massive boat wakes; hearing the loud, roaring engines of boats and jet-skis as they charge down the lake or fade into the distance; and listening to fireworks echo like shots or thunder in the heart of the bay.
Alton Bay has barely changed in my 17 years, making it easy to return to. I’m not fond of change; therefore I’m warmed at heart each time I return and see that the town is more or less the same as the year before. There’s something to be said about returning to a place that doesn’t change.
Peace and tranquility radiate from the walls of the house, and they envelop me. Sleep takes me as its happy prisoner. I’m away from home; the pressures and stress of home life can’t weigh me down like a heavy backpack. Time melts away into nothingness, as it does not matter. One day ends; activity flows into the next, inflating it like a balloon full of fun. The balloon pops when it’s time to leave, my tears flowing like the escaping air.
The lake is the last place where I can “be a kid” and preserve my innocence. I can sculpt sand castles, feel the whoosh of the wind during boat and jet-ski rides, and soak up the heat of the sun, all at my own leisure. I don’t have to worry about anything or make any big decisions. I can completely relax, letting pure peace penetrate my soul.
The lake is my favorite place on earth, my love for it growing like wildflowers, continuing like time, burning like fire. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.