To me, spending time at the lake is the ultimate escape. Tucked away in a quaint and quiet community, the family lake house is most definitely a sight for sore eyes coming from the hustle of the city.
There’s this overwhelming sense of relief as soon as you cross the railroad tracks which flank the northwest side of Baring Country Club. And as you turn onto the gravel road entering the property, you’ll likely hear the faint sound of a passing train headed west.
It’s almost as if you take a step back into time. This feeling, a sense of homecoming, is likely due to our family’s history with the lake. My grandmother and grandfather both grew up spending time at Baring Country Club and before them, their parents.
This tradition of summers at Baring goes back to its creation in 1919. L.C. McBride, a distant relative, was among the founding gentlemen who created the club surrounding the lake. The lake itself was originally built by the Santa Fe Railroad for its steam locomotives just before World War I.
As you come around the bend in the gravel road at the club’s entrance, beautiful pink and yellow water lilies come into view. And from time to time, you may see a resident Heron enjoying the water’s edge at sundown.
This slower, more laid back pace of life continues as you further make your way into the property. A 9-hole golf course weaves its way among the cabins and homes, and the club house near the southeast cove offers bingo on Wednesday nights and ice cream for 50 cents.
This community is one where everyone knows everyone’s names. You always wave when you pass by someone on the road, and your cell phone blissfuly doesn’t have service.
Baring has a special place in my heart. So many memories have been, and will continue to be, made here.
As a young child, I would come up to the lake with my grandmother weeks before the rest of our family to open up the cabin for the season. She’d let me play with pots and pans making “river rock soup” – the boat dock my kitchen, and from tea parties on the patio and sparklers on the Fourth of July to catching fire flies and fishing, these moments I will forever treasure.
My love of antiques and the stories behind them came from my mother, grandmother and aunts. Each visit to the lake warranted a trip to the “glass lady,” an older woman who had a building filled with beautiful dishes and pieces from a time long ago. It was here I discovered Victorian tea cups and depression glass. I also learned from these ladies that if something’s under $25, it’s a no-brainer … but the thrill of the haggle at an estate sale or putting up the winning paddle at a live auction is by far more fun.
I could go on and on telling stories about the lake – games of Pitch after dinner, the time we almost sunk the Pontoon boat, the ongoing bet of who in the family will take home the title of “weekend warrior,” but it’s the memories yet to be made which continue to make Baring so special.
This is Eric’s third summer spending time at the lake, and we look forward to enjoying many weekends relaxing on the water this summer prior to our wedding this fall. As we build our lives together I’m excited to create new traditions and stories at Baring, and I hope he comes to love the lake as much as I do.