To my knowledge, there is not a lake named after a bear’s liver. “Bear Liver Lake” was Livi’s interpretation of our pronunciation of “Barren River Lake” several years ago. As it goes with my family, nicknames tend to stick and trump the actual names of things, giving my family modes of communication that border on speaking another language sometimes. Or maybe it should just be classified as Smith Family Slang. Whatever. We like nicknames and Bear Liver Lake just isn’t going away.
So we went to Bear Liver Lake a few days ago. Each autumn, we try to take at least a day to go and enjoy this very near-to-us state park (Barren River Lake State Park). This year, my mom was able to come down from Indiana to spend the day with us, bringing her new birthday bike to cruise on. The kids love the ease of the paved bike trails which are quite a contrast to the off-roading on dirt and gravel that biking on the farm requires. So “Gammy” and the kids had great fun on their wheels while I skipped along behind Livi, giving her a steady push on the back when her little legs pooped out going up the hills. We even rented a cottage for a night and cooked hamburgers and french fries. And stared for awhile at the one-eyed monster, mesmerized by the incessant flashing and by the agility of professional football players. A glass of blackberry wine and a fire in the fireplace (albeit gas logs) was a lovely end to a lovely day.
The lake is beautiful this time of year, surrounded as it is by trees which were mostly still sporting their jewel tones. There was a slight chill in the air, but the sun still felt warm… especially if you could find a nice little sunny nook out of the wind. The girls built nests and fairy houses while Ira and Eric tossed a football back and forth. I relished the sunshine and some peaceful knitting time, chatting with my dear mama. There was fishing and arrowhead hunting, relaxing and enjoying one another’s company. It was a short trip, to be sure, but a lasting memory.