Wednesday, January 04, 2006

HUKILAU: the Cottage

When my parents acquired our cottage on Michigan's Horseshoe Lake in 1963, it had been named Hukilau by the former owners and the name just stuck. It's Hawaiian for "to fish with a net." We don't fish with nets but we quite like the sound of HU-KI-LAU.

So here it is, perched on it's little hill as seen from the lake. We didn't have sunny days during our vacation week. Just lots of gray, cloudy weather, often with light, drippy rain with temps around the mid-30s. But we did have a 2-3-inch snowfall on Friday night and woke up like delighted kids on New Year's Eve day. What a way to end 2005!

The lake was frozen but slushy and therefore too iffy for anyone daring to test it. It's when you see the locals with their fish shanties that you dare the ice. But none that I saw this year. Even so, when it's cold enough, the ice creaks and us daredevils laugh away our fright. We do have the memories that scare the bejesus out of us while we pretend not to care. Just not this year.

So these are some outside impressions of the cottage. I actually had 207 (yes, count them!) photos of the grandkids playing outside, their colorful hats and jackets making art against the snow. One or two of them would have appeared on this page if I hadn't "lost" them. (Don't even ask!) You'll just have to use your imagination. But here's my brother, Jim, enjoying one of his favorite pasttimes.

Tomorrow or the next day I'll take you inside where it's toasty warm. There's also The Barn and the 49th Parallel. All coming. (How's that for suspense!)


  1. Yay! So beautiful! Lots of good memories.


  2. I understant why you love this place... Seems so quiet!

  3. Yes, Ruth, LOTS of memories and you, Don and your kids are at the top of the list!

    And yes, MP: the cottage is VERY quiet when we are there by ourselves for R&R. Once the Tribe descends, no one would call it quiet anymore :)

  4. Thanks for sharing these images, Mom. Can't wait to see everything else I missed! :-(

  5. What a lovely place to ring in the New Year! Your selection of photos really makes me feel like I know what it felt like (to be there). Oh boy, that's a tough sentence, but I'm leavin' it :-)

    I especially like two photos:

    The one of the plastic sleighs leaning on the cottage. Such interesting geometry with the "V" of the trees in the background.

    And the one of your brother. He looks so relaxed and there's that fire just in front of him. Perhaps it's still warm. A nice mood this photo has.

  6. Thanks, Amy. You make such a good fan club in and of yourself! Maybe eventually you'll see the rest of the pics.

    You, too, PG--making such a good fan club. It is amazing how pictures really are better than a thousand words. Thanks for your kind comments.

  7. my wife grew up as an "army brat" and moved around. once, i asked her what comes to mind when i said "home." she thought of her childhood home at West Point. then she asked me, and i thought immediately of the corner chair, near the kitchen door, on the front porch at the cottage, overlooking the lake on a summer evening.

    for those of you who haven't been there in the summer, here's a glimpse.

  8. I just love these pictures! Brings back fond memories of spending time at our cottage when I was a child - on and island the Pacific ocean though, and always in summer, but still...

  9. Ah, yes, Nate. Those special spots we all have! And how nice to get your "glimpse" again.

    Thanks, Christina. Other people's photos almost always remind me of something in my own experience! I guess that's why they speak louder than a thousand words!