MARQUETTE- A couple weeks ago as I was coming back to the Upper Peninsula from downstate, I stopped by my grandfather's property in Mancelona to revisit the place I spent most of my summers.
Before that weekend, I hadn't been to the property in about four years. I use to spend every Memorial Day, Labor Day and Fourth of July camping on that property with my father's family.
All of my aunts, uncles and cousins as well my grandparents would spend time there camping together, cooking together and just sitting around the campfire cooking smores.
I have so many memories of summers at the property. That's where my father, older brother and I were when my mother went into labor with my younger sister on Labor Day weekend, where my cousin Patrick fell into the fire pit onto some hot coals and burned his arm and where an animal attacked my father's truck, breaking part of the topper on it.
When my grandfather died last year, he left the property and his house to his five children, including my father. They sold the house, which I wasn't exactly happy about, but they kept the property. As the years went on, fewer and fewer of my family would come up on the holidays because they lived near Detroit, but my immediate family and my grandparents would make the trip every year until my grandmother became ill. So, you could say the property means more to my siblings, father and me then the rest of the family.
When I stopped there with my boyfriend a couple weeks ago, the property looked pretty much the same, minus a few large things that were missing. There used to be two trailers on the property that we use to stay in when the kids were younger and before my grandparents got an RV. My father took them out last month and now it's just open land that he's hoping to put a cabin on before winter.
As I was walking around the property, I told stories to my boyfriend about what used to be there and where we would camp as well as where you use to have to sit and not move to get cell phone service. It reminded me of how I missed staying there for the weekend and enjoying the surrounding area.
No matter what changes, I hope that property will stay in my family for generations.
Editor's note: Recent Northern Michigan University graduate and Mining Journal photo journalist Adelle Whitefoot can be reached at 906-228-2500. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org