Lake Michigan was not my first true love — as far as bodies of water go. That distinction belongs to Ottertail Lake in Minnesota. My family has had a cabin there since the early 1900s.
I spent parts of every summer "at the lake" from birth through college. The visits have become much more sporadic, but I always love to go back to the cabin, and it is a true cabin. It still doesn't have insulation, dry wall or (god forbid!) air conditioning, but the family did cave and install indoor plumbing somewhere along the way.
Now my mother spends her summers there — exactly as she did in her youth. (See a collage I made for her of images from the lake.)
Visiting my mom is the perfect excuse to go back. In fact, today I am returning to my first lake-love for a week of family time, swimming, sailing and bird watching (bald eagles and osprey!).
As we start the last month of summer, I hope you, too, can return to a place you loved as a kid. Or maybe discover a new place where you and your family can build a new connection and make memories together.