When I think back on my childhood, Saugatuck holds almost all of my happiest memories. So much in fact, that I don’t remember anything bad ever happening there (unfortunately, I know this not to be true). I think just being away from home, on a “mini-vacation” changed everyone’s attitudes. I honestly don’t have one “happiest” or “best” memory. But one of my many favorite pastimes at my Grandma Bettys cottage dealt with leaves.
Fall was such a gorgeous time in Saugatuck. Burnt red, fire orange, sun bright yellow, and some left over greens dotted the landscape. Over many weeks nature took its course and the trees slowly changed. As much as I loved those beautiful colors, I couldn’t wait for the leaves to start to fall. Most people hated that time, since it meant raking and cleaning up, but I had a blast as fall turned into winter.
When I was young, falling leaves meant time to play in the leaves. Because my grandma’s cottage is surrounded by woods, there was always a TON of leaves. And a ton of leaves, meant play time.
I never really thought about all the hard work my grandma had put into raking all of them into huge piles; all I knew is that I wanted to run, jump, throw, and play in them. Sometimes it was just me hiding deep in those leaves. Other times Gregory and Emmy would be in there with me. Sometimes even my dad would join in the fun or Cooper and Maggie would jump and dig to find us.
But you could always find Grandma Betty in one of three spots during these free for all play times:
- Outside with us, still raking while we played
- On the front porch leaning over the railing
- Looking out of the windows in the living room
Even though she knew she would have to be back out there, raking again once we were done playing, she never once complained or told us to stop.
All she did was smiled and laughed right along with us.