The Suitcase Lady


June 18, 2019, 9:58 pm

About forty years ago, my husband and I decided to buy a lake lot. We looked at properties on inland lakes and rapidly concluded they were totally beyond our budget. Then we turned our attention to the world’s fifth largest lake and hit the jackpot.

We drove along the Lake Michigan shore and spotted a For Sale sign on a lovely piece of property. The sign was so old and decrepit that the phone number on it was almost undecipherable, a sure clue that something was amiss. That something turned out to be a 70 foot cliff at the end of the lot with a sheer drop off directly into the lake…no beach. We bought the lot.

Our faith in Mother Nature paid off. The only constant about shorelines is constant change. A few years later we had a beachfront property. Twenty years later, we built our current home on that piece of land.

Daily observation of the effects of waves and weather on the shore has been a fascinating experience. Our biggest surprise is the speed at which the changes occur. One day we looked down to discover a perfect cove created by shifting sandbars directly in front of our bluff. “We should call our house ‘Cat Cove’ “, I joked. (Stray cats had been turning up on our doorstep with great regularity.) Cat Cove vanished three days later, but the name stuck.

In the twenty-three years we have lived here, we have had beaches as wide as a football field or as narrow as a deer path. The cliff has fluctuated between being totally covered with vegetation to raw earth.

This past May has seen sensational changes. The waves have taken half the cliff, almost all the trees and half our stairs. The raw cliff is sending huge chunks of earth downward almost daily. And at this moment the crumbling bluff has created a new Cat Cove which shelters a perfect little beach. We will enjoy it while it lasts.


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