With my weekend extended a bit by Memorial Day, joining my family up at our Traverse City cottage on tranquil Arbutus Lake was in the cards. I hadn’t been up there for nearly four years thanks to my taking residence in Japan, but to go as a complete family meant it would probably be a good time. We piled into the Subaru and hit the road. Thanks to a highway extension, the drive took a bit less time than I remembered. Once arrived, we all settled into a sunny, yet chill-filled afternoon. The dock was not out yet, so kindly suspend your disbelief.
Most of our day to day plans were unplanned, and I was very satisfied with this. I showed up with no real agenda, just a desire to laze about and relive a few of those things from days past. It’s incredible how little things up there have changed. As is always the case with our family trips, the cribbage board comes along. There were a couple rounds of Euchre that took place too, but getting four people keen on it wasn’t always as easy as getting just the one necessary for cribbage. I think I had winning record through the weekend, but this shot was from what went on to be Parker’s 3rd consecutive thrashing.
One of the big happenings that weekend was the Bay Shore Marathon, which Tiffany was going to be taking part in. It was her first one, so of course we all needed to be there and support. It did involve us all getting up a little bit earlier than was preferable, but again the skies were clear and the day plenty warm. There were a couple of spots along the course where we could bus to and cheer for those passingby. Of course, it wouldn’t have been right to do so without the assistance of some uplifting placards. Mother outdid herself. On the left is the Boston qualifying finisher. Well done Whipper Lips.
As an additional observation, Traverse City’s famous cherry orchards were abloom, which I enjoyed. I probably wouldn’t have really cared about them the last time I was at the cottage, but thanks to my time in Japan and all their sakura culture, I’ve developed a bit of an appreciation for them. I’m used to pink, but these white ones we no less a sign of spring.
There were a number of tasks to be dutifully done up there to get it ready for the new year. One that I enjoyed a little bit was getting up on the garage to sweep off the autumn debris, but the real work was to take place at the water’s edge. For the first time ever, my generation was summoned to take part in the ceremony of the dock. Usually I would let the ‘adults’ do this and then reap the fruits of their labor, but alas my time had come to slosh through the muck. The whole process was pretty painless and we probably had it wrapped up within a half hour or so. Wader Joe and Brick Slingin’ Bus paused a moment to revel in the masculinity of this process.
If we are going to take part in some big manly activities, then so too must we partake of some manly food. For the first time in ages, I was able to eat some of my grandma’s homemade balkenbrij, which is a traditional Dutch liverwurst. These patties are certainly a treat, as was the unmissable Peegeo’s Pizzas.
Our time there passed quickly, but I was certainly able to get my fill of everything I had hoped for: games, laughs, and revisiting the days of yore. I’m sure that it wont take me another four years to get back up there, but the reality is that it may not be so soon. I’m glad to have made the most of my time at the ‘Bussies Gateway’. We were doing some cleaning up atop the garage.