• Posted: Jul 15, 2012 19:05:58
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One of the cool things about living in the Great Lakes region of the U.S. is the amount of water we have to play in. I know that is perhaps a cruel thing to say just now, with draught conditions across a good part of the Midwest and Western U.S. and the general scarcity of fresh water across much of the globe, but it's true. Those who live near the Great Lakes have not only the big five, Lake Michigan, Lake Superior, Lake Huron, Lake Ontario, and Lake Erie to enjoy, but the last ice age has left us with hundreds and hundreds of smaller lakes too. Most residents of the upper Midwest live in dense population centers like Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, Milwaukee, and Toledo, and many of those same folks enjoy weekend and holiday escapes to the shaded shores of their favorite lake. A common dream we all have is to one day own a second home or cabin and maybe a boat on one of those rustic tree-lined smaller lakes.
The above images depict just such a family enjoying a breather of an afternoon during otherwise difficult times. Such an outing doesn't cost much. A little gas for the family car, a few swimsuits that may even be second-hand or hand-me-downs, some sun-screen and a few towels, sandals or flip-flops for walking on rocks, and a cooler full of Kool-Aid, sandwiches, and snacks. But, the memories made during such times can last a life-time: adventures at every splash, dip, or traipse down a trail, thrills as motorboats and skiers whiz by leaving waves from wakes to dive into, hikes to the nearest ice-cream parlor, lingering walks near marshes and streams looking for frogs, turtles, fish, fascinating flowers, and interesting rocks, cooking hot-dogs over a campfire, gathering neighbors for volleyball or softball, watching fireworks explode over the water, and finally adults smiling warmly toward each other as weary children drift off to sleep under a rising moon and a hooting owl or two. For upper Midwesterners in the U.S., it's a quintessential part of raising a family.
Ye who have no such equivalent in your lives, we feel deeply for your deprivation. But no doubt, there are many other kinds of summer delights that you enjoy which are quite unknown to us. Perhaps as time proceeds, we will all one day be able to share more fully with each other those special things that bring us delight yet help ease the burdens and disappointments of our normal daily toil.
Very hardy best wishes for your summer, and a friendly reminder that there are riches out there we don't need to fight over.
Wednesday, July 4th, 2012