Bay View

April 13, 2010
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It all started when I was six months old and my parents bought our cottage in Bay View, Michigan. Bay View is a summer community on Lake Michigan that is only open six months of the year. Most residents have been going to Bay View their entire lives, evident by the fact that families have owned their cottages for several generations. We were the new kids on the block and only recently has our cottage been known as the McPheely cottage.

When I think about summer, I do not think about the friends I will go to the pool with or the sleepovers I will have, I think about Bay View. Once school ends and summer break begins, our family packs up the car and heads to Bay View. We literally move house for the entire summer, having two cars filled to the brim, a full car top carrier, and bikes on the back.

My mom tells me Bay View reminds her a lot of her childhood in the 1960’s. There’s a sense of community one does not often see in today’s neighborhoods. In a community of four hundred cottages, we all know each other by name. If a child were to fall off his or her bike, anyone in the vicinity would stop and help. The child would be taken care of and safely escorted home. Because everyone looks out for each other, we feel safe and do not feel the need to lock our doors. We often sit on our front porch, waving and talking to people who pass. Sometimes they will join us on our porch and talk for a while.

My family and I moved to Australia when I was nine years old. When friends and family asked when they could visit, we told them they were welcome any time, except for the month of July. Even when we were overseas, we always found a way to go back to Bay View. Instead of packing our cars to the brim, we packed as much into a suitcase as we could. Bay View is the one constant in my life and I plan on returning every year.

Some of my best friends are the ones I have made at Bay View. The friendships I have made will last my entire life. I look forward to my children and my friends’ children growing up together in Bay View.

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