The Cottage on Memory Lane
Living in Michigan is an entitlement to spending summers by water. The beaches of Lake Michigan, Lake Superior, Lake Erie and Lake Huron wave people in from each side of the state; all but my family. We were seduced by the intimacy of an inland lake. A mere twenty minute drive from our family home to the cottage; however, it was a torturous twenty minute drive when someone has to pee.
“Everyone go to the bathroom before we leave!” Mom would call out. How did anyone miss that announcement? But someone always did.
We knew we were close by the strong scent of manure breezing through our open windows. Pulling off to the side of the road we spoke cow, “Moooooooooo!” we would all yell. The cud-chewing cows waved with their tails and we continued on our way.
The final three country blocks were on a very bumpy and dusty dirt road. Turning the final corner, I would take a quick look at the murky green swamp on the right to see if any turtles were sunning themselves on the logs or if I could see any frogs. I really liked frogs. Then looking forward, there it was, the tiny green-colored A-frame cottage. The place came to life as we slammed car doors, grabbed our things from the trunk and ran inside to change into our swimsuits. “Last one in is a rotten egg!” one of us would yell. We each took a turn at being the rotten egg. It didn’t matter really, the lake was ready for us.
My parents built the tiny A-frame before I was born and my Aunt and Uncle bought the lot next door and built their tiny little A-frame, but colored theirs brown. I grew up with their grandchildren-my second cousins. Every summer was spent at the lake. We played Whiffle Ball, fished, learned to swim, learned to dive, played horseshoes and lawn jarts. Nobody could ever forget the evening pontoon rides.
My twelfth birthday was the last birthday I celebrated at the lake. Sadly, my parents sold the cottage in the spring the following year.
Living in Michigan is an entitlement to spending summers by water. The beaches of Lake Michigan, Lake Superior, Lake Erie and Lake Huron have never waved me in. I like the intimacy of an inland lake. At family get-togethers, just the mention of “the cottage” and collectively we take in a deep breath and on exhale we share some amazing stories of our summers at the lake.
Matthew 13:1-3a (NIV)