This weekend my husband, parents and I went to a village in California’s San Bernardino mountains that brought back a lot of memories for me.
Nearly twenty years ago, my parents took me and my rambunctious little brother to Lake Arrowhead for the first time. I was thirteen and totally embarrassed by my family – although, if I’m honest, they’re all a lot cooler than I am.
I spent that weekend engrossed in Harlequin romance novels, which I’d just discovered, in an effort to avoid thinking about the fact that I was a chubby pubescent girl with braces and a feathered mullet. That weekend, I was a confident career woman in my twenties who brought tycoons to their knees (figuratively and literally :)).
While we were there all those years ago, I also saw a stunning bride smiling for her wedding photos, and that cemented in my young mind the fact that Lake Arrowhead was among the most romantic places in the world.
My flirty twenties are now behind me, and I’ve been a stunning bride (if I do say so myself), but Lake Arrowhead still pulls at my imagination. Walking around with my husband and parents made me realize how important reading has been in my life – both to keep me grounded and to give me wings, to develop my empathy and soothe my sometimes aching heart.
Two things are the same, all these years later. First, I spent this past weekend reading Harlequin novels. Except this time, I read them as a reviewer instead of to escape.
Second, being in Lake Arrowhead filled my imagination with stories. Only now, they’re stories I’ll have the confidence to write down and share instead of keeping them private.
Is there a place that you strongly associate with reading? Is there a place you’ve visited that sparks your imagination, or a place you’d love to visit because you’ve imagined it so many times you feel like you’ve already been there?