I shouldn’t complain. I am fortunate enough to live on a lake; yet here I am, complaining. Across the water is a campground and tonight is karaoke night. I swear the speakers have been placed on the beach and are facing our home so that we can hang on every unintelligible and flat syllable that is uttered.
There is no age limit. The ten-year-old who knows every word from the Frozen soundtrack is given what I am sure is a standing ovation. She is followed by country, a lullaby, and a very strange rendition of Sonny and Cher’s “Babe”. At least I know all of those words, so if I sing really loud, perhaps I can drown out the ear-splitting voices across the lake.
Truly though, I am smiling as I write this. I think of the families, enjoying their time together. I can see the little girl, still dirty from digging in the sand, her face sun-red, dreaming of being a princess who rescues the world. I listen to the lullaby and imagine a father, meeting his child’s eyes, and singing in public their special song. And I picture a giggly set of older newlyweds shouting Babe and laughing their way through the 70’s song.
At 11:00 it will grow quiet at the campground. Murmurs around the campfires will be accentuated by laughter and sighs and children will fall asleep, heads to their parents chest, listening to the words vibrating behind ribcages. The families across the lake will have added another page to their scrapbooks of memories.
When I was a teenager, Billy Joel recorded one of my favorite songs, Souveniers. Perhaps tonight I should take a set of speakers, place them in a window, and just as all goes quiet across the way, play them Billy Joel’s lovely song. It would be just a little reminder that the memories that they are making today will be their most permanent souveniers tomorrow.
I will not send this song across the lake tonight. Instead, I share it with you. I hope you enjoy this song as much as I always have.