We always called it the Big Lake to distinguish it from the many little lakes in southwestern Michigan. I have fond memories of times as a child and teenager on Lake Michigan at Ottawa Beach, Tunnel Park, Port Sheldon, and Grand Haven--all within a 45 minute drive from our home.
Last week we rented a cottage just a mile north of Tunnel Park. The tunnel, built in 1930, is still there, but the park has been improved with steps to a dune overlooking the beach. It was a joy to share this place full of memories with my son and his girlfriend last weekend.
Adding to the nostalgia was a visit later in the week from two couples who were our friends through high school years. Jim worked in the muck fields of Jenison for several summers trimming celery with Don and Andy. Those are bonds that few can share! We laughed about old times but also enjoyed hearing about their families and lives today. I am happy to say that I would have recognized each one of them anywhere even after so many years!
It was a lovely, relaxed week in many ways. The hard part of the week was the concern about the viral infection in Jim's "good eye"--the other one has very limited vision because of the failed detached retina surgeries three summers ago. I drove him home to see the doctor on Monday and we continued with a regimen of ten drops daily of four different meds. Jim played nine holes of golf twice instead of his usual 18 holes daily while on vacation. I spotted the ball for him the second time and felt very useful. He needed my eyes. (He would like me to say that he did par this hole in spite of the bad lie behind the tree!)
For me, I had Jim's good company more than usual while on vacation. But it made me sad to see him struggle with limited vision.
His doctor, dressed in shorts, saw Jim this morning, Saturday morning, in an empty office. I think that is a sign of the doctor's concern and also his compassion. Progress has been made but there is more to be done to restore vision. Prayers are welcome and appreciated!