Nothing beats a Lyman.

Growing up on Lake Erie had its ups and downs (winters are a drag, for certain), but all those winter blues were magically swept away when Port Clinton opened for the season. From Memorial Day weekend to the start of school at the end of August, Lake Erie was our playground. Swimming, fishing, boating, bike rides, melty ice creams, muffleheads, roller skating at Gem Beach, scabbed knees and sun-kissed, freckled faces sum up every summer of my childhood. Even after being away 17 years, every summer I feel an ache in my heart for it all. Things change up there so quickly...both Portage and Catawba Elementary Schools closed. Gem Beach Roller Rink has been closed for ages, same as the putt-putt that was just around the corner. Lots of businesses come and go, but just enough stays the same that it is familiar. It's home.

Fishing on the Dock
{ClarinetGirl's Flickr}

One of the things I miss the very most is my grandpa's vintage Lyman. That's a boat to most people who don't know better, but to someone with a Lyman, it's so much more than a boat. I'll never forget the summer I became First Mate. Oh yes, sounds glamorous doesn't it? It certainly did to a ten year old, but what it meant is early mornings cleaning the boat, scrabbling to drop anchor or push off, laying bumpers or pretty much anything else Grandpa could get me to do. As much as I just wanted to swim and sun myself, I treasure every memory I have working on Ma Honey those summers with Grandpa.

My family had sad news this week. Grandpa's only brother passed away. He was the last true link to my maternal grandfather's family and it's hit me in a very tender spot. Though I didn't know Uncle Ron very well myself, he was my Grandpa's brother and that is enough for me to miss him already. I bet Uncle Ron really liked Grandpa's Lyman, too.


Mom said...



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