I must confess that I was troubled by this weeks challenge to capture “love” through the lens of my camera. Love can be represented in so many different ways, which may well be why it is our subject for the week. Because I was having such a hard time with the challenge, I played word association with myself. The first two things that came to mind were God and Family. As I have recently written about God I thought this would be a great time to write a little about my family. You may ask why a picture of a greasy hamburger represents my family and love. Well, I’ll tell you. It’s not because we are unhealthy eater, though at times we are. It is much more.
The picture above is not just of any hamburger. It’s of a “Lassen View Hamburger” from the now closed Lassen View Resort on Lake Almanor! You see, I grew up on Lake Almanor and spent my summers helping my parents and grandparents run Little Norway Resort. Lassen View made the best hamburgers I have ever had (I’m still looking for its replacement) and it was a treat when we got to have them. They were special as were the people who handmade every one of them. They may not have been blood relatives, but they will always be family.
This last summer my grandmother celebrated her 80th birthday and invited us all up the the lake for a grand celebration. It was a time to celebrate my grandma, our family, and all that living on Lake Almanor meant to us. As part of celebrating, the previous owners of Lassen View came out of retirement and brought their grill with them. It was amazing! Out of everything they saved from their lives at the resort the hamburger grill is one of the prize positions. Not only by them but everyone who gets the chance to bite in to the product of it’s perfectly seasoned grill.
You see, this hamburger represents much more than my families love to gather around the table and eat (though we LOVE to do that). It represents a chapter in my families life as we lived, worked, and gathered around Lake Almanor. When I think of this hamburger I can’t help but think of my life around the lake. Whether it was sitting on the deck at Little Norway Resort watching the boats come in and out eating a hamburger before going back to work on the gas dock, fishing with my brother up in Hamilton Branch and working our way down the path to the Hamburger Hut at Lassen View to grab a burger (at random hours of the day), or sitting down at the PG&E camp ground after Labor Day and basking in the peace of the post-tourist season, there are so many powerful memories tied to the sight, smell, and taste of this burger.
It has been long since my family sold Little Norway and our friends sold Lassen View, but the memories still live on. Over the years I have been able to take my wife back to the place where I grew up, but until this last year I was only able share with her stories of the Lassen View Hamburger. Being able to share the real thing felt like being able to share a part of my history, a deeper part of myself with her. It’s much more than a hamburger, it’s a part of who I am, who my family is, where we came from, and the love we share. When I think about love I think about my family (past, present, and future) and this juicy hamburger brings all that love flooding back into my memory. It’s amazing how food can do that. So while my photo for this challenge is hamburger it’s really all about love…it’s all about family.