When people ask me where I grew up I can't just say "Lake WaConDa". No one knows where in the world Lake WaConDa is. Instead, I explain that it is a little lake right smack in the middle of Lincoln and Omaha. This is the place where I grew up, where I have the most lifelong memories, and made the best friends in the world. I never knew that growing up on a lake could have such a huge impact on my life, but it truly has.
1. You haven't felt true thrill if you have never been pulled tubing by your dad.
My sister and I would always fight over the left side of the tube because we all know the right side of the tube is the turning side. No one wants to be the first to fall off. But, after all if you didn't fall off the tube, did you even go tubing?
2. If you wave at someone and they don't wave back, they must not be from around here.
The two finger wave or the whole hand wave? No matter what kind of wave you use, you better be waving at every car, boat, and golf cart that goes by. It is the neighborly thing to do. You'll probably never see as much waving going on that happens at WaConDa.
3. The best time to ski/wakeboard is at 8am when the water is as smooth as glass.
If you ski/wakeboard in the middle of the day when the majority of the boats are out on the water, you're crazy! Okay, maybe not crazy, just brave enough to handle all the bumps in the water. I was not a brave one I suppose. I liked to be the only one out on the water so I didn't have to keep my knees bent and tell my dad to slow the boat down over all the waves.
4. You've lost something, or even multiple things in the lake over the years.
Sunglasses, a towel, your swim bottoms on the tube (yes, seriously) - you name it and I've probably managed to lose it in the lake. Those expensive pair of sunglasses, forget it. I think after losing one pair I had learned my lesson after that. $10 Target sunglasses it is!
5. There is nothing prettier than the sunset at the lake.
Sure, Nebraska sunsets are beautiful, but have you ever seen one over the lake? There is nothing like it. Add a rainbow in the mix after a storm and that is a whole new level of perfection.
6. You envy those people with the really loud speakers on their boats.
Loud music on the boat - now that's music! Yea my boat had music, but not like the music on some of those MasterCrafts!
7. Washing your hair in the shower on the weekends just isn't an option. Just go out to the dock.
Grab the shampoo and go to the dock. Now you're fresh and ready to go on the golf cart with your best friend for a cruise. Don't knock it 'til you've tried it!
8. You've flipped the jet ski. Sorry mom!
I always wondered how people managed to flip their jet skis. That was until my best friend and I managed to do it. This is why you always need to have the key attached to your life jacket so if you do fall off the engine will cut!
9. Being on the jet ski when it starts to rain is very painful.
You'd think I would've learned the first time it started to rain and I was out on the water. Nope. I can tell you several times this has happened to me. You want to hurry back home but going faster on the jet ski in the rain doesn't feel very good.
10. You can go around the lake like 900 times on the golf cart or Razor without getting bored.
Grab your bluetooth speaker (if you don't have one of the cool ones with a speaker system attached), pull your hair back, and grab your friends for a never-ending ride around the lake.
11. You never miss a pancake feed on the holiday weekends.
I think this is where my love for pancakes started - at the pancake feeds that our local volunteer fire departments put on. Pancakes bigger than your head, orange juice, your choice of bacon or sausage, supporting the volunteer fire department, and all your neighbors. What could possibly be better than that?
12. You never miss an opportunity for a campfire with s'mores.
Those warm summer nights by the campfire telling scary stories with all your friends is something I never got tired of. When I think back to it, I don't think I have stayed up that late since those nights.
13. Helping/fundraising for community events is something that changes you.
Nothing has ever felt better than putting together a t-shirt fundraiser in honor of our community surviving the 2019 floods and donating that money to the new lake playground equipment. When you love something as much as I love WaConDa, you want to do everything you can to help make it a better place.
Growing up on Lake WaConDa shaped me into who I am today. The memories and lifelong friendships I have made here are second to none. WaConDa will always be my favorite place on Earth.