Thursday, June 3, 2021

Last visit to family beach

Monday night on Lake Michigan. Glorious!

to a special place earlier this week. After Gus Macker ended Sunday night, I got up early the next morning and headed to the Lake Michigan home of Uncle Peter and Aunt Helen. It's between Saugatuck and Holland near Halfway Creek. They've lived there for 20 years and are moving. They needed to downsize and the magnificent house on top of the wooded sand dune was too much for them, so they bought a condo in Holland and will have a lot less maintenance issues.

In 2005, we scattered my mother's ashes on top of the hill next to the house. We also scattered my brother's ashes on the hill a few years earlier. I got up there one last time (it used to be a lot easier to climb!) and remembered. It is a powerful and holy place. The owners of the property who live next door say I'm welcome anytime to visit and go up the hill, and you never know, but it was likely the last time.

It was cool and cloudy on the beach as we descended the long staircase. Geesh ... that used to be a lot easier to go down and get back up too!  There is a natural ebb and flow to the beach from year to year, and right now there is tons of sugar-cane sand after really high water the past few years. 

I spent more than a few days and nights on the beach. I took three friends from Quincy to this place five or six years ago and I'll never forget the look of astonishment on their faces when seeing it for the first time. 

I helped Uncle Peter move a few things to the condo. He's also bought some property about 10 miles south in Douglas along the Kalamazoo River. He is planning to build a unique house and seawall and make it the next place to gather for his family.

I had another great time hooting and hollering with my cousin Roland, a really good guitar player, and my cousin Natalie's kids, Will and Hannah. Sitting around the campfire and strumming is the best, so much fun. 

I will miss doing it there. But we'll do it again on another Michigan beach or waterfront at another time, promise.

It was a short trip, way to short. Thank you, Roland and Amy Hart and kids, for your hospitality in Zeeland. Now it's back to guitar lessons and jam sessions and summer gigs in the big Q!

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