Thursday, June 25, 2009

Beautiful Michigan--Father's Day

I get terribly sentimental about Ottawa County. I am probably a distant cousin to half of it. My mother's family has been in Ottawa County her great great grandmother Cornelia van der Bie emigrated there from the Netherlands in the late 1850's. I only have a couple of elderly aunts and some distant cousins who live there now, but when I was a child, I spent most of the time I spent in Michigan, in Ottawa County. My grandparents lived there, my aunts and uncles lived there, my cousins lived there. And I still like to visit Ottawa County.
This year, for Father's Day, we went to Grand Haven, which is the county seat. Grand Haven has a big state park, and the pier and the lighthouse. I wanted Frances to experience Lake Michigan.
Truth be told, she wasn't best pleased to experience Lake Michigan. She didn't want to walk on the sand, she didn't want to walk in the surf, so we carried her. She was rather partial to being carried by her Mommy. Of course, that's what Daddy gets, for going to Florida for eight days without Frances.
This is a shot of the beach at the state park in Grand Haven, with a view of the lighthouse and pier. I broke down and bought that new C-41 process black and white film, so the pictures could be processed in a one hour lab. There is a marked difference in the image quality, but I can't say I don't like the result.
Frances perked up when we carried her on our shoulders up and down the pier. There was no scary beach sand to walk on, so once she felt comfortable, she was willing to get down and explore things a bit.
She really enjoied watching all the boats go by. Watching the boats go by in Grand Haven put me in a very sentimental mood. My grandparents used to like taking me to the pier at Grand Haven, to watch the boats go by, when I was a child and underfoot. Ahh, the memories.

Franny took great pleasure in climbing on top of that round thing sticking up out of the concrete. She did it again and again, and smiled each time, like it was a grand accomplishment.
We would talk about the different boats, as they went by. "There's one with a red top... oh, look, they have their doggie with them. What does a doggie say? Woof! Woof! That's right, smart girl." You know how conversations with toddlers go.

We watched people swimming on the beach, and Frances wanted no part of that. We even watched cocky teenagers jumping off the pier the end of the pier, into the waves. Thats an unwise thing to do, and it brought back fond memories of my dear Grandfather... he was a retired police officer, and if he saw teenagers doing those running leaps off the pier, he would often remark "there's a fool who wants his name on a death certificate--I can't tell you how many times I've had to hose the brains of some stupid kid off that pier after the waves sent him crashing into it..." Frances was a bit startled when she saw teenagers running and doing canonballs off the pier, and so I whispered "there's a fool who wants his name on a death certificate" but, enlightened and sophisticated parent that I am, I spared her the more gory details that might fascinate a young boy, but might give a young lady nightmares. Ahh, memories...

1 comment:

Suzer said...

What wonderful photos, Dale! Sounds like it was an enjoyable day. Hope you and Suzanne both enjoyed your first Mother's and Father's Days this year.