Monday, July 28, 2008

Hanaway cottage in Michigan

Source: L. Guinee, Stevensville, Michigan,
original photograph owned by P. Taylor
My beloved grandmother "Lucy Baby"
Hanaway cottage
June, 1972
Last Friday I took the day off from work and my cousin Terry and I went to our cousin's cottage in Michigan. I have been going to this cottage since I was a very little girl (which I admit was awhile ago!). I love the little cottage itself, but more than that I love the company that is always there. There is always someone to talk to, take pictures of, collect rocks with, go fishing with, walk the beach with, holy cow, there is always something to do!
Terry and I really lucked out with super weather, low 80's, plenty of sunshine, and very little humidity! My cousins Vicki, Susan, and Karla were there and we enjoyed a leisurely walk along the beach. We have been walking those same steps for over forty years and it never gets boring. The lake was smooth but the water was cold, as it is so very often. How we ever swam in it when we were younger is beyond me! I know, I get used to the cold water.....right. We went out for a wonderful Mexican lunch. Afterwards, we went back to the cottage where we talked and laughed and giggled and talked so much about our family and the memories this special little cottage holds for all of us. We didn't run out of conversation, we just ran out of time.
The cottage was built about 1940 and has been in my cousin's family since 1941. It's really two rooms, one bedroom (with three big beds!) and one kitchen/living room area. It doesn't matter that there is not much room, we had the outside--campfires on the beach and bar-b-queing on the little cement porch in front of the cottage. Oh and who could forget those terrific spaghetti dinners we had! (Spaghetti dinners can ALWAYS feed a crowd!) Many times there would be over twenty five people spending the day and sometimes just made do...after all we were family-the more the merrier!
The "neighborhood" is changing now. There are no longer little cottages in the area, having lakefront property on Lake Michigan is primo! What you find are mansions. Mansions that have so much room people don't even have to see each other let alone talk to each other. Mansions with cable and direct satellite television, microwaves, six bedrooms, three bathrooms, pools (why do you need a pool when the lake is fifty feet in front of you?), spa's, etc.
What are they missing???
So many family and friends coming in and going out you can't be sure who you saw. Kids running around getting underfoot. Men discussing the right way to clean a fish, filet it, and cook it for dinner. Teenagers united in taking a "real hike" on the beach because they sure don't want to be around their parents. Boys struggling to get the row boat to the beach without a motorized trailer! Girls laying on the beach trying to get a suntan without getting a sunburn. Women catching up on all the family news; showing off their children's newest pictures, demonstrating the new yoga pose they've learned, talking about where they hope to go on vacation or sharing the newest "easy" recipe with the girls. Everyone coming and going and no one wanting to be left out of any of it.
What are the people in those lakefront mansions missing???
The chance to make memories like these!

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The Family

The family. We were a strange little band of characters trudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another's desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending, and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together. ~Erma Bombeck

Genealogy Pox, author unknown


SYMPTOMS: Continual complaint as to need for names, dates and places. Patient has a blank expressions, sometimes deaf to spouse and children. Has no taste for work of any kind, except feverishly looking through records at libraries and courthouses.
Has a compulsion to write letters. Swears at mailman when he doesn't leave mail. Frequents strange places such as cemeteries, ruins, and remote desolate country areas. Makes secret night calls and hides phone bills from spouse. Mumbles to self. Has strange, faraway look in eyes.


TREATMENT: Medication is useless. This disease is not fatal, but gets progressively worse. Patient should attend genealogy workshops, subscribe to genealogical magazines and be given a quiet corner in the house where he/she can be alone.

REMARKS: The unusual nature of this disease is that the sicker the patient gets, the more he or she enjoys it!