Good morning to all. It seems as though we will be having a gloomy weekend for everyone in the Chicago land area for this Memorial Day weekend. If you had read yesterday's blog, you know abut the soldier who died in Vietnam. He was on mind mind all day yesterday that I decided to go to the cemetery to find his grave an pay my respects. Fortunately the cemetery is a whole block away from where I now live. I remembered the proximity of where the grave was...except the precise location....I decided to go to the office and look up the actual parcel of land where the grave was. I then went to the grave and gave a silent prayer and a salute to a young man I wish I could have known for a lifetime. I was amazed to see that he was a Sargent. I didn't remember that...and his death was on Nov. 7th, 1969. He was 25 years old. I had remembered that there was a chill in the air and we were no longer sitting on the porches...I felt redeemed in my memory. Why I went with out a flag I don't know..but I will return with one for him.
Just recently I was sitting by a lake watching the movement of the water. It dawned on my during a conversation that the description of a lake is very different from hat of an ocean. How silly that might seem to some, but how important that seemed too me in that moment. I discussed whether I would want to lie by the ocean or the lake. For me i was the lake. The lake is so calm and tranquil, pictures of it in the dawning of the day are so peaceful, like glass, still. Oftentimes I have witnessed a fog rising and lifting from it as though something was wafting away from it's nights sleep. To listen to the sounds of the geese flying overhead as them embark their way to their days location. Peaceful, as though all is right with the world. As the sun rose and cast its colors slowly over the waters like paint. The glorious reflections of God's magnificence. Then I thought about the ocean...the crashing of the waves, the swirling of the waters. The roughness of its waves. For me, just the words alone are more harsh. Yet there is still such beauty. The same sun rises and casts its painting over it waters, but the picture is different. It is as though there is so much work to be done. As the waters wash the shells and the stones onto the shore, I feel like their is constant changes going on. It isn't like the stillness of a morning by the lake. The lake seems as though it sits waiting for an assignment, whereas the ocean has its agenda.
I sat remembering the ocean and all could recall was the briskness of the waves, the crashing sounds and the pain of trying to walk into it with barefeet...the fear of the unknown underneath the waves...stingrays, jellyfish, sharks...and who knows what else. I also thought about the gentle creatures: the dolphins...how I would love the chance to swim with those magnificent creatures.
When I thought about the lake I never seemed to be afraid of those still waters and never really gave a whole lot of thought about any dangers beneath. I know in some regions there are snakes and alligators and crocodiles. I just never imagine them nearby where I am. Perhaps because of the Midwest lakes. You often don't hear of such things. I guess I would attribute that to the years growing up that were spent at the lakes. We used to go to the lakes almost every Sunday in the summertime. One of my families favorites was Phil's Beach in Wauconda. After they closed we went to Holiday Park near Volo. Oh how I enjoyed the fun from sun to sun. The tradition carried on with me and my children. It was Holiday Park and then later we went to Lake Griswal in Island Park near the Murraine Hills. The breakfast on the grill, the hot coffee and the coffee cakes...wating as we slowing began to peel off the layers of clothing as sun sun beamed down. The layer of sun tan lotions, the blowing up of the floaties and inner tubes. Back then the only air available was in our lungs. We could have stopped at a Gas Station but the car was usually so crammed with the paraphenalia we needed we had no room to put it if we did. Then a day of just floating around handing on to the inner tubes, an occasional dip and swim, back and forth to the tables for a snack or drink. The laughter of the family. Sometimes we would grab the balls and bats and off we went to the baseball diamond to play some ball. I will never forget the look my daughters eyes when I hit one out of the park. They assumed their mom couldn't do the things they could do.
And as the day came to an end, everyone tired, everyone sleepy eyed, we still wished that we could stay longer. If they didn't close the lake at a certain time, I wonder what we would have done. Seemed like forever to get all that stuff back up to the car. Seemed lie the walk back was for miles and miles. Home we would go until the next time. Family time....ahhh....what a marvelous time. The lake.
Now I must give fair time to the ocean for I have been there for the day with grandchildren. You could go into the ocean, but couldn't keep you eyes off for one second of the children...not hat we didn't do the same on th lake...it just was so much easier! The currents and the undercurrents made you keep a watchful eye. There were no blowups needed to float, because in the ocean you don't. Their were no bathrooms accessible for what seemed like a forever journey. The trip though the sands were daunting, especially as you got older. Then their were the jelly fish....how can something so beautiful be so painful? Even at the end of the day...getting cleaned off wasn't so easy. It seamed like no matter how long you stood under the showers near the cars...the ocean managed to deposit sand it unmentionable places that couldn't be washed off out doors.
I suppose from this you have guessed my preference.....ahhh, the Lake.
The best moments and memories for me was at the lake. Silver Lake in Palmyra, Wisconsin was my favorite. It went on for years. My best friends Grandma owned it and it was passed down to her mom through the years. I remember going there as a child with my friend Susie. There were kerosene lamps and puzzles always on the table. We would swim out to this square floating dock. Sit,talk, laugh, share our lives. Later we would go with our children, and he same occurred. Then even years later, I would rent the house for a week or two. It was amazing how much fun we had with no electronics or TV. Swimming, boating, fishing. A walk at night into the town for homemade custard. Digging for worms, putting together puzzles, playing scrabble and card games. Laughter, fire pit, smores. Life was good at the lake.
This past few days on the lake brought back a lot of beautiful memories. The house has since been sold....there hasn't been anymore days at that lake. But I felt like I was brought home just by another one. Perhaps they are all related. Seems to me that no matter which one I am at, I am at peace with myself and the world.