Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Grand Lake

Grand Lake. Celina, Ohio.

In the winter, our friends, Herb and Freeda Anderson would invite us to their cabin on Grand Lake. Their old peddle organ provided hours of enjoyment. One kid would pump the peddles sending the air into the pipes while the other kid played the keys. Entertainment was provided by being with good friends.

We bundled up and padded out to the lake, ice skates slung over our shoulders. I was probably around five at the time. Dad strapped the old double-bladed skates onto my boots and pulled me to my feet. He held the handle of an old broom, while I held the bristled end. Gracefully, Dad skated as his little girl swerved back and forth at the end of that broom. Later he placed to warm next to the bonfire. Someone had taken an old straight-back chair onto the ice. Mom sat on the chair, and Dad pushed her around the ice laughing and giggling like two teenagers. The night would end with the kids in jams and the parents playing cards.

In the summer at the lake, our friend Herb would take us for boat rides in his fine, fancy motorboat. He knew how to show the kids a good time. We raced around the lake with hair flying and arms waving. Years later after I was married, Herb sold his boat to us. Fishing, boating, a new generation of good times. We stored the boat at Dad's when we moved to Wisconsin. A few more years later, Herb's son asked if he could buy the boat from us. It returned to where it had started.

My husband and I bought a home not long after we were married, an old farmstead across the road from Freeda. Herb had died of a heart attack leaving her alone on the farm. She was the mother of a good friend and the friend of my mother, but when we moved there, she became my friend. I lost Freeda early this year. I miss her. Thank God for the memories.

Grand Lake. Thank you.

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