Posted by: donaldgallinger | May 4, 2008

The House on the Lake in the Mountains

When your friends are adults, it’s hard to buy gifts for them. (Unless you’re Oprah, in which case you would buy them a car.)

For a while now I’ve wanted to give my friends a great gift—something they can really cherish and remember.

If I had the money, I would rent a beautiful rustic house on a lake up in the mountains. I would rent it for the summer and invite my friends to come up and stay as long as they wanted. I would give them breakfast and dinner. If they wanted to spend time with me swimming or canoing, or any other lakeside activity, they would be welcome. But they could spend the day any way they pleased. If I only saw them at dinner, that would be fine, too. The idea would be to provide them with a beautiful and restful environment surrounded by people who liked them.

Every summer, I would want my friends to look forward to their vacation with me and my wife. I would want them to think: “I can’t wait to see that lake–to wake up in the mountains and smell the cool air. I can’t wait to see my old pals, the Gallingers.”

That’s what I would do for my friends, if I had the money.

What would you do for your friends?

Donald Gallinger is author of the novel The Master Planets.

View Donald Gallinger’s official website blog:



  1. If I had huge pots o’ money, I would hire a Mississippi Riverboat for about a month to cruise up and down the river. I’d invite friends and family to come and join the cruise at any place and time they’d like and spend as much time as they wanted, enjoying the cruise and the river and the towns along the banks, seeing that great lifeline of the nation, and the people and places of the middle of America. I would especially recommend that they visit Hannibal, Missouri, the boyhood home of Mr. Mark Twain, because I don’t think you can understand America without some sense of both Twain and the Mississippi.

  2. Okay, I’m lacking something in that rustic intimacy thing. Don’t get me wrong — I’ve been on rustic retreats with friends and loved-loved-LOVED them. But if I had all the money in the world…? Hell, I’d bring everyone to NYC and take us all to SHOWS! At least three — and quite possibly NONE of them on Broadway. Off, off-off, off-off-off… that’s where the best stuff is happening. Then we’d go to restaurants like the Russian Samovar or Queen, and sit around eating and talking and laughing until they threw us out bodily.

    Oh dang! I want lots of money! Why do the wealthy get to have more and more of it? THEY don’t go to off-off-off Broadway shows.

  3. As much as I truly enjoy rusticity, I’d fly all my friends into New York City, put them up at a hotel, and every night go out to plays and then sit in restaurants talking until they threw us out.

    The next year, London. The next, Rome….

  4. 6cI’ll thingk about it.4d I compleatly disagree with last post . xdh
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  5. 3yGood idea.9r I compleatly disagree with last post . grr
    паркет и ламинат 6e

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