Our house is a five-minute drive from the largest man-made lake in South Carolina, Lake Murray, a reservoir fed by the Saluda River and across which is the Saluda Dam/Dreher Shoals Dam. A dream since the turn of the last century, the lake is named for the engineer, William S. Murray, who made it come true.
It’s a beautiful lake, surrounded by the ubiquitous pines of the region and it provides ample recreation for the locals and summer visitors.
For two people who grew up by the coast and are thus intimately acquainted with big water, it is somehow comforting to have the lake so near.
The dam has a footpath across the mile and a half expanse and it is busy on all but the worst weather days with folks seeking some exercise, a nice breeze, a look at the sailboats tacking across: flirty young couples and hipsters with babies strapped to their chests, strolling; mums with strollers power-walking off baby-weight; athletes with earbuds calling out, “Excuse me!” and sprinting past old farts like me and Paul, testing out my new camera lens.
The dam has also become a Love Lock place, if not on the grand scale of the one in Paris, it is perhaps aspirational. I have hopes for it, anyway.
For Paul and me, this is our first home together. There was my tiny, lonely apartment, witness to many tears and finally, healing; Paul’s house, with the sadness of his first wife’s illness and death and the detritus of a child’s addictive issues lurking behind every battered cupboard door; the two generic, temporary apartments we had together on our way here, though exactly where here was, was a mystery at the time.
But now, finally, we are here: signed on the dotted line, sans storage units, all our stuff in one place. Locked in, pray God, for a long time to come.