After the alarm went off this morning, my husband and I were talking about how fast the summer is going this year. This is an annual conversation, and as usual, I'm reluctant to acknowledge that it's almost over. The difference this year is that I'm much more satisfied with our summer. Last September, we decided we would devote this summer to family time with our son, Nathan, now four years old. What we couldn't have anticipated then was that our family's cabin in the Thousand Islands region of upstate New York would be available for so much of the summer. Because the cabin is shared by my mother, her three siblings and their children, we typically make it up there for one week of vacation and two or three other weekends. This year, as of the end of Labor Day weekend, we will have spent 24 days up there.
That's 24 days of swimming at our dock, long walks in the woods, trips to the T.I. Park playground and boating. Boating to the grocery store. Boating to the ice cream stand. Boating to dinner in Rockport. Boating to Heart Island to visit Boldt Castle. Boating to Kingston for the day. Boating through the International Rift. And, of course, lots of boating for the sake of simply being out on the water.
For me, it has been like being a kid again. I was born at the hospital in Alexandria Bay, which looks across the water to Boldt Castle. And I lived those first few weeks of my life - and many, many summer weeks and weekends afterward - in our family cabin, built by my great grandfather more than 100 years ago. The St. Lawrence River is in my blood, and now it's in my son's blood too.
With all the bad news we're faced with in today's economy - and in our industry specifically - all of us need an escape right now. And I can tell you that it has been especially gratifying that my escape this summer has been on the water. It reminds me of why we work so hard, why I love this industry and why we're going to be just fine, when all is said and done. We may not be doctors saving people's lives, but we do have a gift to give our customers, the gift of freedom from their land-locked daily lives, the gift of relaxation and fun with friends and family, and the gift of connection to the natural world. And I know I'm not the only one who feels like they need that now more than ever before.
A Canadian boat dealer recently told me their "summer" is pretty much over as of August 1st. But for me, the end of summer has always been the last day of Labor Day weekend. Many of you will be working hard that weekend, keeping people like me floating happily on the water (thanks, by the way). But I hope before this summer officially comes to a close, you find a little time to escape out on the water. If you're like me, you'll find it's exactly the inspiration you need.