Grandma Carroll

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Lily Lake Hiawatha National Forest UP Michigan

Grandma always placed a handwritten note in her cards which arrived on every occasion to everyone.  And although not Japanese by any means, she always began with a commentary on the weather as they do.  For having just an eighth grade education her penmanship and prose was impeccably clean.

Gone seven years now I think, the last time I spent any significant time with her we drove to my cabin north.  There it snowed while the trees were still wearing their fall. Taking advantage of the rare splendor that was two seasons mixed, we took a walk into the woods to see if our deer blind  was still standing. The path was unclear as the trees were so laden, that the branches were low to the ground.  We took each other’s photos– she in a granny scarf and me in an oversized hunter’s coat orange.

She liked winter, snow and snowmobiling as I did– and for that reason the day was particularly joyous as we marveled at the early October drapery.  In our reprieve from society, we had enjoyed endless hours of talking and games– even enlisting an old coot down the road to play scrabble with us.  Married twice more in her old-age widowhood, I think grandma had her eye on him.  Oh her flirtatious ways!

As we pulled away to return “downstate,” from the rearview mirror I caught a glimpse of our lake. Quickly I threw the car into park and jumped out.  It was perfectly framed.

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