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Home Away from Home

We left every summer, the beginning of June until the end of August, for the mountains and a cabin nestled between pine trees and solitary rocks.

Preteens, we mourned the loss of schoolmates and friends, the movies that would premier, and the radio songs that would debut. We were destined for pure isolation. No shopping malls, no television, no Internet: just nature.

And it took a few days to start to hear the birds sing, to see the chipmunks run, to find forts within the rocks, and to discover new games we could play. There were eleven of us so we had enough for teams, and for endless creativity that would entertain us beyond what any cityscape could have provided.

Our days were filled with hikes, wildlife, flowers, and pine cones. The amazing treasures we found among assorted riverbed stones. We established boundaries and overcame them. Our world was limitless, and we felt so smart and big.

And as August dwindled away, we would realize the loss of pancake breakfasts, the cowbell call over the mountainside for dinner, my grandfather's harmonica for evening entertainment. While we were at the cabin, no other world really existed. It was enough.

But school days meant we must return home, and so we did. Three months without running water, we forgot toilets could flush. We were amazed at how green manicured lawns could be. We were home, and the cabin would wait.

It waits for me still.
- Mary O. Fumento, 2007

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