I started this post four years ago, the last time I went to Lake Hope. In the Before Times, you know. Before all the big life changes came tumbling across my proverbial windshield (pandemic notwithstanding).
I have been to Lake Hope State Park (in southeast Ohio) several times over the years, the first time with friends from college in what seemed like the spring of my life. It seems like whenever I go, it’s time to reset. To recharge. The first time, it was at the end of my first year of graduate school, and I was limping on to the next semester having learned exactly what I DIDN’T know, and how much I needed to learn. The second time, it was at the end of my second year of graduate school — and I was prepping to defend a thesis I wasn’t quite sure I believed in anymore.
This time was no different. I hadn’t had a vacation — a true vacation with just me, filled with things I wanted to do — since 2019. Since before everything. So this was a much-needed diversion, a moment of relaxation in the midst of busy times and bad brain vibes all around.
I brought my new Chromebook along so that I could work on my novel, which is coming along nicely. I’m really happy with this purchase. It was $100 and it’s easily worth more. I had a small laptop in college that I bought specifically to take to England when I studied abroad, and this is reminiscent of that (it was probably the most useful of laptops I’ve ever purchased). Plus I get to learn something new and use Linux for the first time.
As corny as it sounds, Lake Hope represents a renewal for me. A kind of hope. It’s always a great time — but more than that, it’s a place that I can retreat when things become too much. I am happy I got to do some good work — and crochet, of course — in a familiar place. I am also grateful I was able to take my little family with me (because of course Cora had to come too!).