The family and I went down to our lake house this past weekend. It isn't MINE really, my grandparents owned it, and when my grandfather passed away it was left to his 6 kids (of which my mom is one).... therefore I use it often. It was the place I felt absolutely peaceful and connected with my family growing up. It is tiny, and dumpy between two magnificent lake houses, but it was built with the wood from my great grandfather's barn during the depression, and then moved out and expanded upon in the 70's. We can sleep people EVERYWHERE, and only occasionally notice that there in one tiny bathroom without a shower - just a big claw foot bathtub. I love that it is dumpy and kids can come in wet from the lake, eat lunch, and head right back out without worrying about the wet seat left behind. I love that there is NO TV, or Video games, or computes (although wireless if we piggyback on the neighbors). The plan is to slowly update the house - add a bathroom with a shower, pull the paneling off the walls, etc, but it will be take a period of years and we'll do most of it ourselves. This past weekend it rained off an on all weekend - and not just a LITTLE rain, it was a downpour. The girls went through technology withdrawl a little bit (although Big Al could still text her friends), but eventually they found games to play, and books to read, and a 1000 piece puzzle to put together. We sat in rocking chairs on the porch and watched the rain, and when it let up we ran down to the water to swim. This year the water is gloriously high (no drought this year) so we don't have to worry about gators or anything else, just swim and have fun.
My uncle brought out his boat and took them all (even Blondie and Cheesie) out on inner tubes, and Big Al tried to ski. They went fishing and got stuck in a big downpour, but came back ready to leave. Even the dogs enjoyed the freedom of being off leash and hanging out. Blondie wore her life jacket because this was her first time back in the water since last year's swimteam, and I always worry a tiny bit about her falling off the dock where it is so deep. She loves the water though, and you absolutely can't keep her out of it. Cheesie didn't want to jump off the dock, but she enjoyed paddling around and building sand castles. She loves the boat though, and fishing, so she managed to have a full weekend too.
It is still the most peaceful place I know, and I hope its around for a LONG time - even if its small and grungy.