The Sunrise Side of the State

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What’s your favorite way to enjoy the summer sun? What I like best is spending time at my favorite cottage on the shores of Lake Huron in Oscoda. It was a family tradition for many years, starting when my kids were little. We would spend an entire week relaxing on the white, sandy beach, building sand castles, swimming in the lake and watching the campfire glow late into the night – a much needed break from our busy lifestyle.

For the last few years, I have taken my grandkids to the same beachfront cottage and it has become a family tradition for them, as well. Thomas Parkside Cottages has been family-owned and operated since 1948. The current owner, Clark, is very friendly and accommodating to our needs.

The sandy beach is pristine and the lake, just a stone’s throw away, is so cool and refreshing. The kids especially love running through the churning waves on a windy day. The atmosphere is simple, serene and peaceful, and everyone is friendly. Across the road is the AuSable River where the kids can raft, kayak or canoe. And, luckily for me, there are three golf courses nearby.

Our meals at the cottage are casual – hot dogs or hobo dinners cooked in foil packs over an open flame, sandwiches and snacks, burgers on the grill with some farm-fresh sweet corn and tomatoes, not to mention early morning breakfasts of donuts from a nearby bakery – the best you’ve ever tasted.

Just walking along the shore during the evening, squishing the sand between my toes as the sun is dropping from the sky brings me peace and joy. And hearing the laughter of the kids jumping in the water or burying each other in the sand is music to my ears.

For me, the best part of a stay at the cottage is getting up early while everyone else is sleeping, making a fresh pot of coffee and walking with my cup down to the lake’s edge. All is still … I can sit and experience the breathtaking beauty as the sun slowly rises in all its glory. The only sound is the soft lapping of the water on the shore and birds offering an early morning serenade.

This summer, my youngest grandchild, Elijah, will be returning to the cottage for his fourth year. He is already asking his mom, “When are we going to the big lake?” Last year is probably the only one he remembers because he is so young, but it was definitely one worth remembering – the first family gathering during the pandemic in late August. He spent hours building tunnels in the sand with his dad and brothers.

It is always sad when it’s time to leave the cottage and return to the “real world.” But I get home feeling happy and content, knowing my family has written another page in our memory book and that we’ll be back to Oscoda next year.

Yes, the sunrise side of our beautiful state is definitely my favorite!

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