Grandma Betty = Saugatuck
Saugatuck = Grandma Betty
Grandma Betty and Saugatuck went hand in hand in my mind for so long. One could not exist without the other and some days it still feels that way even though she is gone.
But let’s go back to a time way before a thought of me even existed and explain where the story started…
Back in the early 50’s Saugatuck was still a sleepy beach town. My grandparents decided to spend a weekend up there shortly after their marriage and feel in love. Within a year they had purchased a five bedroom, one bath, two story, brown (which later turned to white) cottage on the Kalamazoo River (being on the only street that lead to Lake Michigan was also a plus). Soon after the purchase, my grandparents welcomed my dad and uncle (twins) into their family and began to spend long summers at this breath-taking getaway they believed to be a second home.
Their love of this place was soon, and easily, passed on to others. My Grandma Bettys brother, Uncle Donald, couldn’t get enough of Saugatuck either. Because of this, he soon brought a cottage down the street from his sister. However, while the first cottage was right across from town and on the busiest street in Saugatuck, the second cottage was back in the woods on a hidden street, quiet and serene.
As years passed my grandma began to spend more time down at my “Uncle Donald’s” cottage. Because she was there 90% more of the time than he was, it started to be called “Grandma Bettys” cottage and so it has stayed.
I can honestly say that some of my happiest memories were in this place with my grandmother. Fishing, the cove, boat rides, Mt. Baldy, the watermelon lady, card games, Oval Beach, dune buggy rides, Cranes pies and bakery, town, the drug store, the ferry, hikes, burning leaves, the swing, the hill, Thanksgiving, GEM, yellow chairs, the swing, Lily of the Valleys, Granny Annie skits, puzzles, the 4th of July, and all of the people who meant things to our family changed my life.
To this day I would give almost anything to have her back. I know, however, that writing her story, while thinking of a place that’s perfect in my mind, will always keep her close to my heart.