Skip to main content

The Lake

Once a year, my father's side of the family gets together in an historic cottage in Holland, Michigan for a reunion of sorts. When Atticus made his first appearance last year, it marked the 5th generation of our family who has attended this yearly gathering that we have lovingly dubbed "The Lake." Yes, it's important enough to earn an definite article. Situated in the historic Ottawa Beach neighborhood along Lake Michigan, the house itself is well over a hundred years old with the amenities to match. It sleeps 20ish people (more if you count the year Brian and I bought an air mattress and slept on the screened-in porch...no joke), but boasts only two bathrooms and one shower. There's no heat or AC, virtually no insulation, and the floors have bowed in the middle after over a century of wear. It smells like mothballs, is in terrible need of redecorating, and there's always sand in the beds no matter how many times you wipe your feet. Sure, we could rent another cottage along the boardwalk, but it just wouldn't be the same lake experience. And despite the aforementioned qualities, it's memories make it as comfortable as a 5-star hotel. Maybe even more so.

Over the years, we've started some die-hard traditions, including a near-nightly trip to the old General Store at the edge of the boardwalk for vintage candy and blue moon ice cream, or the a short drive south to Sagatuck, MI to visit art galleries and the Soda Fountain for old-fashioned sodas and root beer floats. But our real purpose is to soak up the sun on Ottawa Beach during the day before watching it set over the water at night (usually bundled up in sweaters because, unlike Texas, it cools down in the evenings, making the weather absolutely perfect).

This year was extra-special because we got a chance to lay my grandmother to rest by spreading her ashes along the sand dunes at sunset. It was a beautiful way to say goodbye to the woman who made these traditions possible each year, though it will never be the same without her.

We just got back this afternoon and I am already waxing nostalgic because it will be another year before I can return. But enough from me...check out the pictures below to get an idea of just how cool this place is:

Oh yeah...we also took my aunt and uncle's private jet. NBD



Flirting, as usual
The youngest pilot ever
"Driving" a Model T
At the Gilmore Car Museum


Blue Moon Ice Cream
Family time

Chasing birds with Hannah
Post-sunset

Papa Gogo!

I could eat those cheeks

Big Red Lighthouse
Walking the pier with Dada
Ham
Family Jam Session


Boardwalk to the beach


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

An Open Letter to A Troll

Dear Troll, Since I started blogging about my son Quinn and his disability, I knew this day would come. There’s no shortage of trolls on the internet who hide behind the anonymity of a screen name with the intent to be cruel, and I’ve seen their hostility many times before. In fact, just last week, in the wake of a robbery at the Down Syndrome Association of Houston’s headquarters , in which $10,000 worth of technology was stolen, there was no shortage of ignorant comments on the news story reporting the incident. One user asked, “how will they learn to count to potato?” Another claimed that wasting computers on “retards” was stupid anyway and that the organization deserved to be robbed. These comments, while offensive, simply serve to showcase people’s hate-fueled ignorance and aren’t worth my time. I grimace when I read them, but realize there’s little to be done about such stupidity.  I don't want to make assumptions about you, but I can guess from your immaturity

So you just had a baby with Down syndrome. Now what?

Itty bitty baby Quinn If you’ve stumbled across this post, it’s likely because you are about to embark upon a journey you never planned for. I understand and remember that experience well. Learning halfway through my pregnancy that my son would be born with Down syndrome was like stepping into another world. I felt lost, isolated, and angry. I felt as if my life would never be “normal” again. I remember worrying that I would never be able to keep track of the different milestones, the doctor’s appointments, the therapy sessions. And to be honest, these things were difficult in the beginning because I didn’t know where to start. I also wanted someone to tell me the truth about my future; the internet is full of sunshine-and-rainbow accounts of raising children with Down syndrome, but I knew that couldn’t always be the case. Surely these parents were devastated by their child’s diagnosis and exhausted from the extra time a child with special needs requires, but I wasn’t seeing that

For My Fellow Humans

I love you all, fellow humans: similarities and differences aside. I love you for expressing your beliefs and wanting what’s best for everyone because it means that you love your fellow humans, too.  So let’s strive to be civil, supportive, and empathetic to the fears we all have. Let’s reference reputable sources when sharing information on social media and respect dissenting opinions by avoiding polarizing rhetoric. We are in this together and I will fight for you and yours regardless of whether or not we agree. Because you are my fellow human. And I am yours.  There’s an overwhelming spread of [mis]information right now, and it’s hard to know what to believe. There are myths masquerading as science and science discredited as political strategy. And every “side” is to blame. Is COVID-19 a political weapon? I don’t know. But I do know I’ll do my best to consider your stance, whatever it may be. And regardless of the origins or purpose of this virus (or lack of purpose if it’