Here we are at the end of August, the heat finally upon us, and thoughts of winter’s duties beginning to clutter the frame. I must admit I haven’t done much in the way of writing nor blogging this year. That may account for my feeling of unsatisfied wheel-spinning the last several months. I can take stock of the new experiences, far-flung trips, and groundwork laid for the year ahead, but I can’t help but feel there’s an elephant in the room, silently staring me down.
To start with the most recent, my grandma has now officially moved to CF from northern MN. The movers made quick work of it when I stopped by yesterday, and the lake home has officially been sold. The weight of this should feel particularly heavy, but a) it won’t really hit me until July of next year, and b) it’s been a long-time coming. In fact, several years ago when my grandpa was still alive, they put the house on the market. When you see the for-sale sign out front for the first time, the gravity of it really hits you. And so I did what any normal person would do and snap photos, visit the haunts, consider each trip ‘the last one’. But then the market fell out, and the interest fell off and the price was reduced. And years went by. While the summer visits were still fun, the soul of the experience had moved on. This last July I arrived and the decorative plates had been pulled down and packed, boxes were accumulating in the basement, drawers were being emptied. And I took my last spin around the lake on the aging pontoon boat. Tensions were high, minds were focused on moving forward. We pulled the boat from the lake on an untried trailer I had bought several years ago for just this purpose. Things had changed, and it was easier this way, I suppose. The remains of my childhood had long since flown, now it was only a matter of saying goodbye.
10 days ago I rode up with the parents on a Friday night with the goal of making roadworthy both the pontoon and Suburban for a solo-journey back to CF. I stayed with my grandma, the house now mostly packed up, and spent that Saturday drilling, winching and loading the pontoon and trailer. The humidity was terrible in the woods, but by afternoon the job was done. A trip into town was quick and purposeful. The dock was lonely, and the water still. I snapped some pictures, I said my goodbyes and around 9AM the next morning, set out for home.
Much had changed in those years on the lake, but the grandparents were a constant. I recall the Browns and the Kleens coming over for cards and coffee. They all moved back to the cities years ago when it got to be too much work. Snyder drug is no longer a one story 1970’s pharmacy with a fountain out front that will send your Kodak film out to be developed and sell you an ice cream cone. No, it was razed to make way for a shiny new Walgreens. The wide, 50’s style movie theater was divided into two screens, then remuddled beyond recognition into three screens in the same footprint. Dish TV has made sure that everyone on the lake has 300 channels instead of the 3 there used to be. The resort down the way was sold, and with it came a vinyl doublewide and a wide-scale repaint. No more penny candy or bike rides on the sandy roads.
My mind was on pulling the load behind a truck with 20 year old tires that saw use roughly twice a year, not thinking about the first time I got to pilot the mighty Suburban to town with the 6 of us all those years ago. And she made it home, just fine. I suppose there’s a message in that. Just remind me next July.