"Should Old acquaintance be Forgot
and never thought upon..."
Tucked between Stony Lake and Lake Michigan lies a spot that lives deeply in my soul. Teen aged memories and sweet innocence reside here. Once a small family owned motel-Chet's-was the scene of summertime and life long lessons. A gentle man, a kind woman, and one of my closest high school friends lived and managed Chet's. Chris Simon came to Shelby High School as a freshman and seemed a breath of fresh air to me. I remember welcoming her to our small hometown and hoping we would have classes together. We hit it off immediately; we ran, skied, and "hung out" together. I called her Christopher. In the winter, she often stayed at my house in town so it was easier to get to school and activities; in the summer we stayed at her house with beautiful vistas and lake access. I remember getting up early and cleaning motel rooms while hastening Chris to finish her chores so that we could go to the beach and enjoy our sweet summer free time. We must have been a sight. Rubber gloves, bleach, scrub brushes were our daybreak. Once we were released we donned bikinis and sunglasses. We returned sunburned and sandy to sit on the porch with Chris' parents and quietly visit in the woods near the lake. Both her mom and dad gave me confidence to find my voice. They complimented me and noticed small things about my personality that they encouraged. I called them mom and dad.
We made plans for our future. We would live in Colorado in a log cabin and own a beagle. We would write novels and meet some men, but we did not intend to marry. We were independent and fearless. Our futures were exciting. We both had a sense that we were meant for greatness. We loved anything exciting and adventurous.
Should old acquaintance be forgot
and auld lang syne?
Chris doesn't send a card, she writes a letter. It is actually a newspaper. I have followed her new world and family; her children and swimming, her boys in college, trips on the ski slope. Each article makes me think of Chris as a woman with strong values, sense of self and family. I love the sense of humor that I still experience through her writing. I wonder from time to time whether our political and world views differ. I wonder if we may have grown into people who have so many differences that we only share that one place and that one time at Stony Lake at Chet's Motel.
For auld lang syne, my dear
for auld lang syne,
We'll Take a cup of kindness yet
for auld lang syne
I believe our salaries are worlds apart. It is possible that we do not vote for the same party.
Many visible things are different for Chris and I, but I watched her online and I see that she still takes her right pointer finger and encircles it with the fingers on her left hand. She still has those large brown eyes that are direct and honest. She wears a leather jacket over a leather dress in much the same way she rocked fashion in the 70's. All of her mannerisms were familiar to me. Like reuniting with a sister you didn't know you had, Chris connected on a deep level with me through her work and words. Congratulations to you Chris for growing into that well respected, intelligent, independent woman who was always there inside you. Shared pride of accomplishment for my sister from another mother wells up inside me.
Tucked between Stony Lake and Lake Michigan lies a spot that lives deeply in my soul. It is apparent that that place will exist forever for me.