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Brace Yourself, its Springtime

Posted in Culture

Author: Jen Dugan

A family skiing trifecta
This is, single-handedly, one of my favorite times of year! The snow has melted, the flowers are popping, windows are open, and the sound of spring can be heard throughout the house. These are only some of the reasons why I love spring. 
It is also the time of year when people put on full-body wetsuits, get the tools out of the garage, and put in their water toys - at least in Michigan! This time-honored tradition with my family immediately brings a smile to my face! 

The Little Red Cabin
I’m known for my love of “that state up north”. My family has had a cabin on Long Lake in Hastings, Mich., for many years. Prior to becoming a permanent residence, it was a little red cabin we had to “open” every year. 
The opening process entailed a thorough cleaning, turning on the water, and holding our breath while we uncovered which natural disaster took place over the winter, ranging from a leaky roof to raccoons in the chimney. However, this process was all worth it for the next set of chores - the best chores, which require a wetsuit and getting in the water.
Long Lake in Hastings, Michigan
Numb Toes and Bragging Rights

The water in April was, and always will be, cold - just cold. When you first stepped into the lake, the water felt like tiny needles but, if you persevered, your feet went numb in no time. 

We had an old wooden dock, five sections long with metal standards, and no matter how you buried your feet in the muck the circle base plates would always find and hurt you. We never could get the dock level, the term “close enough” was used a handful of times. 

Oh, and if you want to collect your own vintage craftsman socket set just walk out into the water about 10-15 feet; it is scattered out there. As a bonus, you might find a wrench, too. 

Putting in the boat and jet ski were the highlights of the day and if we’d had a video camera we would have won America’s Funniest Video one year. We were on the north end of the lake when a spring wind kicked up just at the moment as we took the boat off the trailer and sent it out in the middle of the lake. 

Every year, we were hopeful that she would start. She eventually did after waiting long enough for us to start contemplating who was going to get in the water and swim her back home. 

The hours we put on those two toys were endless. And the bragging rights for being the first ones on the lake were priceless. Although the house, dock, boat, and (soon) jet ski have changed, the memories of the Red Cabin in April will always stay vivid and blissful. 

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