Our “theme” ( and we have one every year) was Swedish, Swedish.  It involved decorating with a Swedish vibe, a smorgasbord for one dinner, and embracing the Swedes love of flowers.   We called it cottage vacation 3.0 because this is the third year we’ve spent in this same cottage on Upper Crooked lake, Delton Michigan.

There have been changes over the years, a new baby who is no longer a baby, a new niece-in-law from Brazil.  One niece and one nephew brought their significant others this year.  Now there’s an introduction to family!  Some family could only come for a few days, others could only make it for a day and a couple of evenings.  The most significant difference was my Mom’s absence.  It was felt by U.S. All but my Dad admitted at times like these he misses her the most.

Last year as we sat around the table the last night at the cottage we remarked that there had been times we weren’t sure we would make it to the cottage.  Last year my Dad was fresh on hospice.  Those times of wondering if we would make it to the cottage were no less true this year, as my Dad marked a year plus on hospice.  Certainly without the good folks at hospice and the care-giving my niece does does for my Dad on a daily basis, it wouldn’t have happened.

We were a pack of personalities in our five- bedroom, two bath cottage.  We were all there one night…nineteen, ages 18 months to 94.  Of course that was the night one niece ended up with a concussion, a trip to ER with others of our merry band ( but that’s another story ). 

It seemed a constant job of feeding. cleaning up, running the washer and feeding everyone again.  But I wouldn’t have changed it for anything.  Well, of course I would have changed the concussion but you know what I mean.

There were evenings of pontoon boat rides and sitting soaking up this view… 

 

Nights spent like this… 

 

Afternoons spent like this… 

     

There were times of quiet talking and sharing of memories.  There was laughter and the making of new memories.  But if I had to use just a few sweet pictures to sum up the week they would be these… 

         Michigan Cottage vacation 3.0…life is good,

Packing my suitcase, again

Seeing the sad face of my cat, who knows my lap won’t be available for “cat naps” for awhile

Trying to remember all the ” must-do” things, on my few days at home

Slowest internet known to man (or woman)

Feeling, somewhat, cut off from friends and family

Living with children 24/7, instead of having my usual, quiet, alone time

Trying to get things done via computer with the slowest internet known to man (or woman)

Another road trip…3.5 hours up….3.5-4 hours back

The frustration of summer road construction too often

But it is also…

Sleeping in “my” blue room.  Two walls of windows with a treehouse-like feel

Lounging by the pool and calling it “work”

Meals on the screened in porch

Endless variations of sunsets…trees silhouetted against the dying glow

The views of the constantly changing lake water…from white caps to a glassy smoothness

The moments with any given child, when we play a game or read a book, snuggled on my big bed

The hush of the dusk, children in bed, the endless sunset, reflected off  the water
The days are fleeting.  The scenery will change.

(Shhh…there are already a few brash red leaves in one of the lakeside trees.  I try not to notice…)

Summer, stay a bit longer.

Life is Good

"It's ironic that we

forget so often how

wonderful life really is...

C'mon, let's be honest.

We have an embarrassment

of riches. Life is good."

-Anne Quindlen

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