Off to the North-East was their town park. The first weekend of December was set aside for the town holiday celebration. All the trees would be covered in white lights, with the large pine in the town park glittering with multi colored lights and a Texas star. On the Friday night, Santa came through on horseback and lit their town Christmas tree. Everyone came into town that night to wander through the stores and catch up with everyone. The stores always had hot apple cider, cookies, and treats for the town to enjoy. It was one weekend that everything just seemed to stop. Fighting among neighbors, homework for the kids, and stress from work disappeared.

Once the night had fallen, the kids headed home and the rest of the town was ready to party. The stores closed, and so did the street. All of the ‘adults’ stayed out and mingled. ‘The Long Ride’ pulled out tables and chairs, and created a bar in the streets. It was a great night, full of dancing, drinking and music.

To the South of Rakesford was their lake, which she still rode to almost every weekend. Around the lake were beautiful trees, flowers, and the perfect areas for picnicking. During the summer, the lake was filled with the sounds of splashing kids; groups of teens enjoying being away from the schools and families, trying to capture every bit of time they could. During the fall and winter, it was much less occupied. There were still the couples enjoying a Sunday date, and the other horse riders like her. But no matter the season, the lake held a beauty rivaled by nothing.

When she went riding to the lake, she felt like nothing could touch her. She was free to day dream about anything she wanted. Years ago, she would ride, imagining herself in Jackson’s strong arms. Sitting at the bank of the lake she would imagine herself traveling the country not stuck in a small town. As she grew older, she began to fall more in love with the town and began to think less of traveling and more of finding someone that she could enjoy the lake with. When she found Tony, she thought she had found that man. They would ride to the lake together and be one of those cute couples, picnicking, kissing and cuddling on a blanket. She cherished their moments around the lake together, but when it ended, she lost her love for him, but never for the lake. It had always been her rejuvenation when days were tough or emotions were high. No man would ever ruin the lake for her.

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