Sunday, August 8, 2010


(Written by Dick Blide at request of Blogmaster, Patti Blide)

Our summer vacation was melded with getting together with our son and family. We flew from Portland; they drove up from Cape May, NJ, to Upper Saranac Lake in the Adirondack Mountains in Upstate New York. We had rented a cottage on this lovely lake for a weeks get together … Patti and me, son Alex with wife June, grandson Zachary and June's son Josh.

I had lived and worked in Saranac Lake, NY from ’69-’75 as medical director of the Will Rogers Hospital, a general chest disease facility. This return brought back great memories including those of skiing and hiking in these mountains.

Our first day was foggy and rainy but, being intrepid adventurers, we scaled Whiteface Mountain (would you believe they have an elevator?). The top was “socked in” so views were of clouds vying with fog. June was ecstatic to find her fear of heights “fogged out.” We had been here many times before so we knew there was a spectacular panoramic 360 degree vista with Montreal visible on a clear day. We recalled that two years ago Alex and Zach had rented mountain bikes and had ridden from top to bottom following the old ski trails.
Next was our venture to the Olympic Ski Village in Lake Placid to watch the ski jumping on to wetted-down plastic mats. “Wet and Wild” was the most exciting event with Olympians and future Olympians competing, skiing or snowboarding down a ramp, then doing somersaults and twists before landing in a pool of water on a mid-summer day, representing snow.

Perhaps our happiest moment was celebrating Zachary’s 20th birthday with cards and an ice cream cake in Ben & Jerry’s in Lake Placid.
Smiling and excited, June made dinner fun, picnicking at the cottage most evenings while absorbing the sunsets at lakeside.

All three boys are guitarists so they entertained us by jamming most evenings. Alex could be faintly heard early each morning softly playing his guitar in the boathouse.

Between adventures we shopped, now and again, in Lake Placid to the delight of Patti (she has to have her daily Latte) and June (who must have her trinkets). One of my favorite lunchtime restaurants, The Cottage on Mirror Lake, found us enjoying their delicacies. We even stopped in the recently enlarged library in Lake Placid to see if my book, Heartfelt, which I had dropped off two years previously, was still there. It was and had been checked out a few times.

We enjoyed walks in the woods around Upper Saranac Lake and we got to use the motor boat and canoe to explore the entire lake.
We discovered a champion in our midst for rock-skipping on the lake water surface. Josh won with eleven skips testing every flat rock available.

After a week in paradise, Patti and I took off for Dallas, where Patti had been invited to attend the 30th reunion of Fantastic Cinema Productions, a student film club she had sponsored while a teacher at Lake Highlands High School in 1980. How many teachers are even remembered, no less feted, thirty years after their students have graduated? See the accompanying blog for Patti’s description with pictures of this event that brought happy tears to her eyes.

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