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Saturday, September 19, 2009

My Return to Houghton Lake...

On our way home from a week-long vacation up north in Michigan, my husband and I stopped by a familiar 'friend'...my childhood cottage at Houghton Lake. It has since been updated with new siding, windows, a new deck, but I recognized it just the same. It was where my family spent each summer before my parent's divorce. I loved those summers at the lake. As a young girl all I cared about was swimming for hours on end, fishing with my Dad, and walking up to the local party store with summertime friends. I felt such a mix of emotions as I looked around the cottage grounds, so much has changed, and it is so hard to believe it was some twenty years or so since I had been there. I looked at the grouping of three trees where I used to play kick-the-can, out at the lake where we used to have our favorite fishing spot, along the shoreline where there used to be a beautiful, sandy beach, now replaced with a concrete retaining wall...it all seemed so familiar and yet I was looking at these things not thru the eyes of young girl, but of a grown woman. I will admit, quite a few tears were shed that day. I loved our cottage at Houghton Lake, summers spent with family & friends, peace and serenity...what I'd give to get some of that time back.
As we prepared to leave I looked around one last time and real
ized that this place has indeed changed, it is no longer the 'friend' I once knew, it belongs to a new family...the place I remember is in my heart, and that is where it will always remain. And someday, if I am so blessed, I hope to have another cottage in which new memories can be made...laughter among friends, crackling bonfires, waves lapping against the shore...the simple beauty of life.


  1. awwwwwwwww. that must have been a strange feeling! :( at least you were able to stop by!

  2. I grew up with a family cottage near Brighton, Michigan and what you describe so aptly echos my experiences. We walked up the road to the party store (a name I've since realized is very midwestern) and played kick the can, sat on the dock, etc. I loved it and it was a big part of my summer life. Sadly, my Aunt died a few years back and my cousin finally sold the cottage as it was too much for her to maintain. It was very old (in fact it was the first cottage ever built on the lake in the 1920's). The Lake nowadays is full of big house and has lost its charm. I'm sure whoever bought it will tear it down and build something else. It makes me sad.

    Thanks for sharing about your family's cottage.

  3. What a lovely and charming post, thank you ! Best wishes and enjoy the rest of Sunday

  4. Such a mix of emotions...I have felt the same feelings you express here when returning to our Michigan cottage on Hagerman Lake in the U.P. A beautiful post!

  5. That's so wonderful you were able to visit. It's so odd to think back to childhood, all the things that seemed so important and exciting at the time when really our memories seem to be from the things we least expect!

    If you get a chance, stop by my Blog and say hi! I just put up a new post...
    Have a great weekend,

  6. Lara what a beautiful and scenic lake! ~Lovely.

    Thank you very much for your support today on my latest post. I can't tell you how much it means to me to have such kind blog friends like you. You're the best!

    We will encourage each other through this time in our lives my friend. Absolutely!

    ~Blessings, ~Melissa :)

  7. Lovely post! I was able to return to my summer camp a few years ago, it's so amazing to stand in a special place from your memories! Hope you get your own cottage one day soon!

  8. I was reading your gorgeous post and then saw your christmas countdown. Holy wow!!!

    Changing is not easy--even with fond memories of the past--I know I can't help but long for the olden' days some times :)

  9. Oh my.... your post brought back many memories for me. I grew up in Mi and spent many happy summers at Houghton Lake. It was a magical place for me and for you also.

    Treasure those memories. Maybe we'll both have that cottage someday.


  10. What a small world we live in I reckon :)

  11. We lived for 20 years in Mt Pleasant
    Michigan and raised our children there. Loved it there!! I really
    miss Mt Pleasant!!!

    Pamela in Ohio

  12. Hi Lara! What a touching post! I guess sometimes the memories from childhood have to stay just that, memories...hope you get that new "friend" some day!

    :) T

  13. Just found this post today. I live in NC now but grew up in Michigan and our family had a cottage on Lake Orion when I was growing up. Just like you...those were happy days and we had a party store we could row the boat to. :) Would love to have a cottage some where some day. I keep playing the lottery!