Well, summer is in full swing, and there’s no going back until Labor Day! This is when Lake County comes alive. For us, summer began when we attended the season’s first property owners’ dinner in Loch Lomond, a tradition that’s spanned generations. The firehouse doors were open and lights shone beneath the overarching pine trees. Inside, tables and chairs replaced the various fire trucks now parked outside. People filled the firehouse: some were locals like us, about twenty were the Prather family, founders of Loch Lomond, and the rest of the room was filled with at least four generations of Italians, many of who have been spending summers in the mountains of Lake County since the 1940s. A small group of dedicated men gathered in the back, stirring simmering pots of pasta and sugo. You could call it spaghetti sauce, but that would be an insult. It’s absolutely nothing like you’d ever find at a grocery store. It’s a delicacy, and each family prepares it according to their own tradition. The room filled with noise as the wine flowed. Some conversations still took place in Italian. I’m not sure if it was the food (which was exceptional) or the fact that many of us haven’t gathered in person for over two years. But it felt more like a family reunion than an ordinary homeowner’s association dinner. These uniquely Lake County experiences set us apart and bring us together, whether we’re locals or visitors. Speaking of great food, we finally get a chance to share a favorite Mexican restaurant with you: La Parrilla in Middletown. Plus, we’ve got a great Rooted in Poetry podcast, where you’ll get to hear several poets who have had work published in The Bloom read aloud. And we’ve also got a great column by Lori Armstrong about what not to say to someone with Alzheimer’s. I’m not sure what your plans are for the weekend, but I hope it involves great food and good company. Have a great weekend, Lake County.