Trey was six, very unsteady with his paddling, the canoe out of control in the wind, his older brother, Jim, shouting at him. It was his first year at the lake staying in the small cabin where his dad had vacationed since he was a kid. It had been a little fishing get away for his dad and one of his friends. Two years ago Jim had made his first visit. This year it was his turn.
His brother’s nine year old voice yelling.
Trey was nine, reeling in a huge bass. The bass fought like the Dickens, but Trey had three years of experience now and could handle it. tell Dad, though. Even though he had caught hundreds of fish, but his dad still had to talk him through it, cheering him on.
His dad’s voice, full of care, instructing him on catching fish and living life.
Trey was eleven, climbing a small cliff that had the best view of the lake. It was his favorite spot in the world. This was the second year Mom had made the journey, it no longer being a “boys night out” fishing trip, but s full-fledged family vacation.
His mother’s voice, telling him the cliff was dangerous was thrown into the mix.
Trey was thirteen hidden in the deep woods, coughing on a stolen cigarette. Jim punched his arm, perhaps a little too hard.
Jim’s voice telling him he was a wimp for coughing.
Trey was fifteen, exploring every back trail within five miles of the lake, knowing every small hill and stream like the back of his hand. And yet, this place was strange.
His dad’s voice telling him not to get lost.
Trey was seventeen, hidden at the top of “his cliff” drinking an illicit beer. Jim wasn’t there this year. He was now a college student and said he was too old for a family vacation, too old to go to camp. Besides, he’d found a job for the summer. Trey wanted to be like him, which was one reason he’d grabbed the stray beer.
Jim’s voice telling the family that he was too old to go to the camp.
Trey was 24, sitting at the top of “his cliff”, watching the water. He was finishing up his Master’s degree and trying to decide where to go in life. The week away was great, but life was intruding. He knew he would return home to choices.
His college mentor’s voice filled his head with advice.
Trey was 28. Kate was sitting in the front of their canoe, which he handled with expertise of many years on the water. This was her second visit to the camp. Had they really been dating for three years already?
Kate’s voice filled his ears. She had said “Yes”!
Trey was 39. He sat in his kayak and watched Meg, nine, and little Jimmie, all of six years old, trying to canoe in the strong wind. Jimmie was having a hard time and the canoe was totally out of control.
He laughed as he realized that Meg’s voice echoed her Uncle Jim’s voice from all of those years ago.
Trey was 50. He sat on “his cliff”, watching the water. How small it was, only a dozen feet up from the shore, and yet at one time it seemed so huge. Meg was now at that time when she felt “too old” to join them and he thought he smelled beer on little Jim’s breath. Kate was sitting in front of the cabin this father, who had joined them, as he had every year. It had been three years since they’d lost Mom
His father’s voice came to mind, looking at his grandson and saying how the years moved so quickly.
Trey was 63. The cabin, which was old when he first visited as six year old, was going to be torn down at the end of the season. In fact, for the last dozen years he and his family were the only ones who the owners had allowed to stay there. Now the property had passed to another owner, and it was over.
He listened to the voices over the lake, his children and grandchildren, shouting in excitement of one last adventure. Tommy shouting at his cousin Em as their canoe blew sideways in the strong wind.
Next year, all that would be left were photos and the memories of all of those voices echoing through the years.
This was written for the writephoto challenge. Sue Vincent created the challenge and had hosted it for years. Sue is no longer with us, but she had passed the baton of the challenge to KL, who now hosts it. This week Sadje provided the photo.