Dispatches from the lake: The little slice of Heaven we found on earth

Bundled in a Cartwright’s Maple Tree Inn hoodie (after a morning of buckwheat pancakes, sausage, and pure maple syrup), reclining on a friend’s lakeside hammock, watching the grey, waterlogged clouds mute the bright orange sun as it drops perfectly into the grain silo across the lake like a Steph Curry buzzer-beater from the three point line. I quietly thanked God for this little slice of Heaven in Wyoming County. I’d have stayed in the hammock all night if it weren’t for the mosquito party.

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Bacon and eggs over the campfire in the morning are delicious, but I found a way to take campfire cooking to the next level with salmon, garlic, and brussel sprouts in the evening. Perry, NY is becoming quite the hot spot for great food, culture and drink. Smart and creative entrepreneurs now allow us to enjoy an annual Chalk Art Festival and a farmer’s market, along with amazing food at The Hole in the Wall restaurant. My brother and sister-in-law have put in to help provide craft ale for locals at the Silver Lake Brewing Project — the hip and trendy new hangout on Main Street. And the town’s best kept secret is Chef Brandon’s authentic, extra-crispy, hot Buffalo chicken wings at the Sportsman’s Lodge- the best anywhere in NY. Good food. Good friends. Good times!

I was super excited when our neighbor surprised us with two warm loaves of her famous banana bread, and our nephew who works at the local creamery (not to be confused with the local creamatorium) introduced us to a new best-selling cheese with a funny name that is taking Wyoming County by storm: “Happy Accident.” I don’t know the whole story — something about cows eating the wrong breakfast and gas exploding the cave-aged cheese wheels — but the result is delicious! It’s available at Perry’s East Hill Creamery in the outdoor fridge 24/7, and they rely on the honor system. (Exodus 20:15)

On the opposite end of the taste spectrum, my wife participated in our family’s annual Fourth of July Limburger cheese and raw onion sandwich eating tradition. I can say with no exaggeration that there aren’t words to sufficiently describe how awful an odor this cheese emits. If you’ve ever eaten, or even been within 10 feet of this stinky cheese, you know why I’m rushing to Wegman’s to buy a bottle of parsley pills and Listerine for my bride.

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Worshipping God and learning from the minister’s inspiring sermons at Old Paths Chapel on Sundays, barefoot fishing off the boat docks, and sunset walks in the cornfields are more of my family’s favorite things to do here. The sky is huge and the wheat and corn fields paint the rolling hills with yellow and green. One afternoon, during a drive between farmers’ fields looking for horses, we found a beautiful paint and a few others, two snapping turtles, woodchucks, and a mink by the side of the road. My kids are now begging me to move to the country and buy a horse!

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All this and more make me thankful for our little home away from home in the summer. We’ll miss our family and friendly neighbors, booming lightning storms, movies at the drive-in, Karaoke Night and hula-hoop contests. But we’ll be back next summer. We love you Silver Lake!

Now read: Dispatches from the lake: the little moments that matter

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