Friday, July 6, 2007


When I was a kid, every year we would go to Lake Almanor for a week. I know I have posted about Lake Almanor before, the smell of it, I think. It was a second home to most of the family. My Grandparents would take their 5th wheel up in May, and stay until Sept.
Rare was the years we didn't find a way to go. It was always something to look forward to. Mom would get us up at the ass crack of dawn to leave, it was about an eight hour drive. I'd fall asleep in the back seat, and usually wake up somewhere around Oroville, or Marysville. For lunch, we always stopped at a place called "Grand-view". I have no clue where that was, but they did have a nice view. The food wasn't that great, though.
The first place we always stopped was at the tiny store. We'd get the keys to our cabin, and me and my sisters would be beating each other to be the first ones out of the backseat of the car. That first breath of air, scented with Pine, and water, and usually dust. It was the best!
We knew our way around Lassen View Resort like the backs of our hand. Nothing would usually get me back into the car, I'd walk to the cabin we were going to have for the week. Usually 15 or 16, if I remember correctly. On my walks, the look-out for "Herman" would begin. Herman always came to me. Multiple Herman's came to me. Herman was, exactly, one of those white, fluffy feathery things that float off the trees, and through the air. Until some unsuspecting little kid catches it, and calls it Herman. I collected Herman's all week long, every summer. They lived in a drawer in the cabin. When we were leaving, I'd set all the Herman's free. Occasionally, one of the Herman's would follow me home. I was always happy to see him.
When I was 18 I joined the Navy. Summer rolled around, and I was in Yokosuka, Japan. That's a long way from Lake Almanor. It was the first summer in a million years I didn't go. One day, the mail came, and I got a letter from my Grandmother. It had in it, you guessed it! A little flat from the journey, but intact, a Herman. Poor guy had come a long way, but I cried when I got him. My tug boat co workers must have thought I was mental.
I haven't been back to Lake Almanor since 1995. Lassen View Resort is closed, for all I know Grand-view is gone. Or maybe it's still there, I'd probably never find it, I suck at directions. But, like all the best things in life, Herman has found his way to me. My little town has lots of trees, and now, I see Herman almost every day. I don't capture him and box him up like I used to, I just smile, and greet him quietly (lest my neighbors think I have an imaginary boyfriend). Wild Herman's, all around me. Life is good.


Bubblewench said...

I like Herman! He's cool.

CamiKaos said...

oh herman...

sybil law said...

You should post a pic of Herman.

mielikki said...

Herman is shy, and we have an agreement. He will continue to be my imaginary boyfriend, as long as I don't take, and show pictures of him. He's afraid of being stalked by other Herman lovers. He is mine!

Anonymous said...

I used to go to Lassen View Resort as a kid too!! You make me happy reading your stories! Thank you.