Lost Lake is located in Northern Michigan...where the "A" on the map below is located. I live in the Detroit area, so as you can see, Lost Lake is north. When people in Michigan say they are going "up north" that means vacation- that means, basically, anywhere north of Bay City. Unless, of course, you are from Bay City, and then "up north" usually means the upper peninsula.
Getting back to the matter at hand. Lost Lake Woods was another vacation spot for us. We went there probably once a summer. Both sets of grandparents had cottages up there, so when we were there, so was most of my family.
We stayed with my moms parents. Their cottage is still one of my favorite places from childhood. It had probably five bedrooms, including a little loft area with a few beds. Plus plenty of couches, so you could sleep a lot of people in their cottage. We always found a way to fit. Their cottage also had a huge wraparound porch, and it backed into the woods. We'd often see deer back there. The cousins would play big games of tag, hide and seek, Frisbee, soccer, and baseball. There were just always people running around, laughing. Our parents, aunts, uncles, and grandparents would scatter around, cooking or playing with the kids or just catching up with one another.
My dad's parents also had a cottage at Lost Lake. I don't remember it quite as well because I was very young the last time I was in there. For some odd reason I think of it as yellow- I am not sure if it was or not. Dad? I do remember the backyard, though. Mostly because my brother and my cousin Ryan would build forts back there.
I remember riding in the golf cart up and down the dirt road with my Grandpa Jack. I remember celebrating his 80th and 85th birthday up there. I remember one time going for a walk in the woods and getting super, super close to a deer. I remember the beach, and how it had a slide going into the lake. And a playground on the beach. I certainly remember the Lost Lake clubhouse and picnic tables outside, where my family would barbecue and celebrate.
Unfortunately, a lot of my family associate Lost Lake with a bad memory. My cousin Tom committed suicide at a young age in the woods. I was only 1 or 2 years old, so I have absolutely no memory of it, nor does my brother. My sister says she just remember everyone running around. I never knew Tom, but that still sits heavy on my heart. I know this entry just took a turn....I didn't even want to include this in my memory, but I feel like it would be worse to ignore and pretend like nothing bad happened. Because something bad did happen. And if I had been old enough to remember, I don't know that I'd have the strength in me to be able to return to Lost Lake. So I still very much commend my parents and aunts and uncles for being strong, for being honest and telling us about Tom but also and for allowing us to have sweet memories of Lost Lake.
We have not been up there in years. Since both sets of grandparents have passed none of us own a cottage up at Lost Lake anymore. I do remember that one of the last times we were there, I went on a very long walk through the woods with my dad, some cousins, and possibly my siblings- I don't remember if they were there. we talked about Tom. I knew it was hard for him to do that, but I appreciated it. Even though I never knew Tom, I will occasionally think of him, and pray that he is at peace now.
I would love to go back one day just to feel the air again and to really remember all the good times that I shared with my siblings and cousins up there. It holds a very special place in my heart. I am grateful for the times I had at Lost Lake.