Friendly Folksy

Visiting Katie Heylman (92) on the Heylman dock
Newman Lake… Why do we love it so much out here? It’s possible to get a bit fanatical about how wonderful the lake is and how attractive

the lake lifestyle is. It’s so relaxing. It’s so safe. It’s our happy place. It’s full of families who’ve been sharing summers for years, for decades, for generations. It’s so friendly! 

Today we spent all day socializing. Not on purpose directly. It just happened, really. We set out for a walk through the woods, where we saw six deer, and then two more later, who may have been the same two as from the earlier bunch of six. We walked around the bay and the peninsula visiting the Galvans, the Heylmans, the Martins, Landreth, Beil, and then we had the Aldworth and Frasco families over for dinner. Everyone is happy to meet Lake, but it’s not just that. It’s what people do around here: drop in, drop by, come around, socialize, stop in, stop by, come over, say hello. Everyone is friendly and so relaxed, on “lake time”, and you’ve known them and their parents and maybe grandparents too your whole life. 

Nana (nee Thompson) and Lake on the porch swing

Around here we are known as the Thompsons, or as a reference to Ruthie and Don who are both passed away, but who were fixtures of the community for 70+ years. My grandmother Ruth (Thomson) Thompson grew up summering in this cabin with her parents and two brothers. Then she and her husband Don Thompson raised their two children summering in this cabin. One of them is my mother. All throughout childhood beginning when I was just two years old my parents sent my brother and me here to spend summers with our grandparents Ruthie and Don. Now my parents are here spending summers renovating the cabin, “shoring it up” so to speak and generally carrying on the tradition. We introduce ourselves as Ruthie’s granddaughter, daughter, daughter’s husband, etc. Even my dad, who has never been a Thompson, introduces himself as a Thompson out here, in town, at the library, and at the local U-pick farm “Carvers” where he picked our green beans today for our dinner tonight.
Our Diana Bay and neighborhood.

It’s friendly. It’s folksy. It’s safe. It’s so safe we leave our car keys in the car, our homes not just unlocked but with the doors open day and night. People don’t just wave from their car, which they do, but they also stop and have a whole visit. People look out for one another, call you if there’s a stranger walking in the area. Families are now purchasing second lake homes to accommodate the growing generations.

 The Barrett’s daughter and her husband just bought the old Pool place. 

This is how things go here in our bay. It’s comforting. It’s folksy friendly, and it’s my happy place. I’m so glad I could share it with you, Lake and all you lovely folks at the Lake.

Lake happily swinging in the shade