The Best Week of the Summer
There is a place in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula that has a special place in the hearts of my family. We rent cottages in a row along a little jut of land that is perched on the shores of Lake Huron. I’ve been coming up since I was in high school and our kids have grown up coming here too.
We know we are getting close to our destination at the sight of the lone cedar tree in front of the bay and the familiar crunch of gravel that signals we are just about there. The porch door still squeaks as we all vie for the rocking chairs and the best view of the bay. The water is literally just a few feet from the porch railing and our cottages are aptly named Waterlawn.
It seems like we breathe a little deeper here, walk a little slower, feel the weight of our busy lives lifted. We all pull out books and cribbage and play board games. We take time to read and create and dream. I usually am inspired with new ideas and designs while I am here each year.
We used to not have internet or cell service and over the years that has changed. The lake levels have changed too, so our favorite beach to let the dogs run and the kids play and catch frogs is no more. Some years we are lucky if it’s warm enough to swim and fish in the shallow water along the shore of our cottage. We put our kayaks in and head out among the islands admiring the antique boat houses, and the swans from a distance. We come back into shore to enjoy afternoon drinks on the porch with a fresh box of Cheese-Its (there is nothing better) and sit and talk or read and watch the boats go by.
We walk into town for ice cream or coffee and to the local school field for what has become our annual game of family kickball. We have our favorite places to eat a good burger or local caught fish and we always have to get homemade donuts from the local IGA.
We have so many memories wrapped up in this place - some of my best summer memories with my kids are here and now as they are almost adults, they would say the same. Each summer brings change - places close and new ones open, our son won’t be here this summer and my mom won’t be in the cottage next door, but rather in a condo down the road. Nothing stands still, but when we cross the bridge, see the cedar trees, and hear the gravel crunch under the tires, we know our best week of the summer is about to begin.