Sunday, August 12, 2012
Growing up in the Midwest and spending my summers on Lake Michigan in Northern Michigan gave me a lot of great memories. Memories at the time I didn't even think about - how I loved getting ready for our annual trip by packing all my new summer clothes, picking my friend that would join us (my sister and I always got to bring a friend), and counting the days before we left. For years we spent the summers in my grandparents trailer right on the beach and later my parents bought their first sail boat that would allow us to sail the Great Lakes. Para"fun"alia was the first "big" sailboat that gave us years of memories. Getting up before sunrise to get a "jump" on the big motorboats, sitting out on the deck and watching the sun sparkle on the waves. We moved to bigger boats and finally to a beautiful yacht named Marie Rae. Wow, it was great. We each had our own cabin, televisions in each cabin, our own "heads," and my Dad as the best Captain one would ever want at the helm. We sailed her every summer from Grand Haven to Canada and never thought we would spend a summer doing anything else. But things change and as life would have it my parents decided two years ago that they were done boating and put her up for sale. I never cried so hard in my life over anything material - houses came and went, cars came and went, but this "boat" was different, she was our memories. What would we do? Where would we all go for the summer? Sure we could do the hotels, but as a person who lives on the road in hotels & resorts that is the last thing we wanted to do. So 2 years ago we bought the Novotny Cottage looking right at the harbor where we kept Marie Rae. My parents live there in the summer so they do have their memories and we come and go throughout the summer. My dad has now decided to buy a smaller boat to go out in to the lake and just have fun for the day. He bought a brand new speed boat that is bright and shiny and goes real fast. We have had fun on it, but sometimes I feel like a trader if I am having fun on any boat other than Marie Rae. What's worst is that we know who bought Marie Rae and they are living on her full time - they changed the name (of course), and the look of her beautiful nautical cabins and they are creating their own memories. So as I sit on my porch this summer overlooking Betsie Bay and remembering all the memories of days at the dock and life on the water I realize that this is life - it changes like the tide, the sun always rises and sets over the beautiful lake. Only now I watch it from my porch instead of the deck always remembering that it all started there. I will always think of Marie Rae each time we pass the pier and lighthouse on a new boat. She was a foundation of family, laughter, learning how to deal with tough times on the water and most of all she was "our summer." Where are your memories from? What about your past leads you through tomorrow? I believe that the foundation you give your family during these summer vacations guides them through their life with much success. Spend time with each other because at the end of the day, it is family that will make a difference in your life. Enjoy your summer and don't forget to create new memories as they are the next chapter in your book of life.