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 realized 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.