Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Another Autumn at the Lake

For those who love the change of seasons, Indiana offers a glorious show in autumn. Typically, the trees begin to turn. Red, yellow, orange, brown. Then we get a little Indian Summer. Just before you drag out the rake, there will be a rain shower and falling leaves start to cover the yard. Soon there arise the sounds of raking, mowing, ‘blowing’ (my favorite method) and mulching, as neighbors greet each other in the late year ritual of cleaning up lawns.

Up at the lake, we’ve enjoyed beautiful days, cool nights and lots of lake activity: it’s time to drag out the boats and winterize them; piers and lifts emerge from the depths by the shore; seasonal friends meet for coffee and map plans for the next spring.

How satisfying are the rites of this season.

Amid all the beauty is some real sadness this year. Our next door neighbors have sold their cottage and will retire to their single home, 3 or more hours away. It is that season for them.

These are special people: we have shared many life experiences in the last 15 years. We’ve watch children and grandchildren grow up. We’ve weathered several really exciting wind storms; we’ve helped each other clean up after those storms. We’ve learned from each other.

He is a master landscape artist and gardener, and he worked his squint while his manicured yard butted up to ours. He kindly tried to tutor us on the finer points of fertilization and trimming.
She is a career nurse and a dear friend, who drove to Indianapolis and held my hand on that chilly morning in April when the doctor delivered ‘the news.’

They have prayed with us and for us. God brought them into our lives. They have burrowed into a part of our hearts.

As it turns out, our lives full of irony, their cottage will be home to other friends, long-time high school/college friends, who also fell in love with the Winona Lake community.

But as for our vacating neighbors, we will miss them. Life continues to present new chapters to our lives.
THIS one, we wish we could have skipped.


  1. I miss the fall colors of Wisconsin madly. How nice to live in an area where you really get to know your neighbors. In CA, we pretty much keep to ourselves.

  2. Alan and I are really looking forward to being an active part of the lake community, as we have lived "far out" for so many years. Hopefully there will be some colors left this weekend for us to see!