If you have been reading my blog, and my past blogs, you may remember me talking about the family cottage in Wisconsin, and how my first husband inherited this cherished place after his parents died. Everyone thought we would keep it, and they were shocked when my husband decided to sell it in 1991.
It was a terrible heartbreak for me. It was a pain I couldn't grow beyond. It was my "Forever Memory".
Today my younger daughter and I stood on the bank of the Menominee, in the Public Access area, because since we didn't own anything anymore, anyplace else would have been trespassing.
Looking north, toward Neenah Creek
Looking south toward the Big Bend. The pier would have been just past the branches in the water.
It seems the trees are mostly oak, with not so many of the brilliant maples we have where we live now. In place of the humble cottage of my family was a large, fancy residence looking as if it belonged in a gated community in Madison. Trees were planted around it, as if to "shelter" it from the natural surroundings, or maybe hide it from those who use the public access. We stepped carefully down to the water's edge and peered around the trees the best we could. Where there should have been a clearing and a pier was nothing but a tangle of old trees and branches. From the road it appears there is a small clearing, but that is adjacent to the neighbor's property.
That's it. It was done. My memories were laid to rest. I didn't cry. I didn't feel sad. I don't think my daughter did, either. We agreed that our part of Wisconsin, further east, has more beautiful trees and all the adventures now. Later, as we walked through the Wisconsin Dells, we reminisced about the good times we had there, and we both realized we loved it more because of the people we were with way back then.
R.I.P., memories. I can finally move on now.
I showed the pictures to my older daughter. She spent a lot more time there than my younger daughter. She is feeling sad, and told me that if she won the lottery she would buy a place there. She and I have not spoken about the cottage in many years. It just goes to show how one decision between my girl's father and his sister affected us all. I hope my older daughter can find the same closure my younger daughter and I did.