This past weekend my brother brought his family and I brought mine back to Michigan for a family reunion. My dad lives in the same house I grew up in: A small brick ranch in a 1950s neighborhood where most houses carry the exact same floor plan. Growing up, the house had a single bathroom that a certain primping sister was known to dominate, no air conditioning, and an unfinished basement that could be creepy. I always dreamt of being rich enough to live in a two-story house, like on Leave It to Beaver reruns. My parents eventually finished the basement, added a bathroom, and put in air conditioning, but it wasn’t until my siblings and I had long moved out.
The one thing my parents’ neighborhood had, and that I and probably every kid in the neighborhood took for granted, was a little beach on a man-made lake: Lake Oakland Heights Association, or LOHA. It was just what we had. Nothing special, or so I thought. The beach has remained about the same as it was when I was a kid, with the only changes being the price of Pixie Sticks at the Wienie Shack. (Yes, it’s called the Wienie Shack.) When I took pictures this weekend of our kids, the camera helped me realize what a truly magical place we had growing up, even if the house was small and hot, and I was locked out of the bathroom while someone applied multi-stage matte eye shadow. (No hard feelings; you know I love you, Becky.)
It was a good weekend.