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#2 Lake Lashaway Series: New England Blur

A lake, with a dock, at sunset.

A while ago, I started a series about a cottage my family would visit each summer in Massachusetts. This is Pt. 2. You can read the first post in the series here.

I don’t remember the second half of the drive as well as the first, but that’s likely because I always slept, read, and daydreamed more after the seven hour mark. Sometimes we’d split the drive into two days and begin the second hunk of the trip from New York. Either way, it was at this point in the journey where my siblings and I would crack open the old handhelds and take turns playing Space Invaders, Wack-a-Mole, and Baseball.

We’d watch movies on the van’s drop-down DVD screens too, usually Cars, A Series of Unfortunate Events, National Treasure, or The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. As such, New York and Connecticut were always a beautiful blur of leaves and hills and rocky roadside cliffs, and served as a backdrop to the devices we used to distract us from our cramped confines.

I do remember one particular winding, black tunnel that we always looked forward to as kids. It was so long—you could practically feel the weight of the world above you, pressing down. And then there was this one rest stop (perhaps a New York welcome center?) that had an enormous stuffed bear in a display case. The paws were as large as my head, the teeth practically the size of the width of my little throat. I just remember being in awe at its size and beauty, and also saddened that someone had removed its insides and stuffed it.

As a teen I had a Zen Creative V Plus (man, I loved that device—see the photo below) and later a bright pink iPod. A lot of the time I tried to save my books for when we were actually at the cottage, so I turned to my own tunes in those final quiet hours of driving. I listened to a lot of Three Days Grace, Coldplay, Ellie Goulding, Nickelback, Owl City, and Christina Grimme, to name a few artists. It made the drive feel even more scenic, like I had my own soundtrack for the views outside my window.

Creative Zen V Plus Music Player

Creative Zen V Plus Music Player

And so we drove and drove and drove and drove, sleeping, snacking, reading, and listening to music. And at the end of it all, a bumpy gravel road rewarded our perseverance. That road marked the cottage’s neighborhood, and it always had divots and craters dangerously large for any vehicle you cared about. No matter how carefully my dad would pick his path, the car would dip and bounce and scrape the rocks below. It was music to our ears! The four of us kids could hardly take that long, slow, homestretch-drive. We made it!

Now before I move forward, there were two versions of the Massachusetts cottage: the original one, and the one they built later after tearing down the first one. In my next post for this series, I think I’ll share a bit about the original cottage. (It had an outdoor shower and some dirt flooring, ha!)

Thank you for sifting through my memories with me!

Lake Lashaway Series:
#1 – I Miss the Long Drives
#2 – New England Blur
#3 – The Old Cottage (coming next)



  • Pooja G
    September 15, 2023 at 3:37 pm

    I used to have an iPod growing up as well and remember listening to songs on it when we went on road trips. This post brought back a lot of those memories!

    • Samantha Burgett
      September 15, 2023 at 4:29 pm

      I kind of miss having a device that was just used for music only! Thanks for reminiscing with me. 🎧

      • Pooja G
        September 16, 2023 at 4:56 am

        I know what you mean, I lowkey hope iPods make a comeback lol 😅

  • Nicole Smith
    September 15, 2023 at 8:31 pm

    I feel like I read the first part of this a while ago, I am going to reread it. But I love this.

    • Samantha Burgett
      September 15, 2023 at 11:24 pm

      It has unfortunately, definitely, been too long since I made that first post in this soon-to-be series haha 😅 I’ll keep on it this time! (Knock on wood)

  • Michele Lee
    September 18, 2023 at 3:39 pm

    Thank you for sharing! Your delightful story brought back sweet memories of traveling to Iowa with my family, when I was five. Of course, my brother and I, with a dog between us, had to entertain ourselves without the assist of electronics. 😁

    • Samantha Burgett
      September 19, 2023 at 2:30 pm

      Aww, I’m happy to have sparked a trip down memory lane! Yes, though they definitely have their downfalls, some of those devices were helpful in passing the time. At least you had a dog to cuddle! I’d trade you if I could go back and bring a dog along instead, hehe! 🤣🦮

      • Michele Lee
        September 19, 2023 at 3:07 pm

        Yes, I understand. Those kiddos (incl. the old ones) get restless. My daughter’s artistic abilities are partly attributed to her busy hands in the back seat. Always making something. 💖 I miss that do! A collie named Hector. So smart.

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