Mid-Autumn boat ride through Lake Freeman

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Life tends to be quite hectic. Most of the year I spend quite busy. In fact, now that I am working for my parent’s restaurant and focusing a lot of my free time building my résumé, working as a freelance reporter and starting a portrait studio I tend to stay more busy now than I did when I was working retail. I don’t mind regular jobs, I just like to stay as busy as I possibly can.

This weekend though was not about being busy even if I did bring my camera along for the ride.

My grandmother, now in her 90’s, spent most of her life fearful of water. She never learned how to swim (which still amazes me to this day – I was always told that I was part Dolphin – learned how to swim before I could even walk). This last Fourth of July, my parents took her out on their pontoon boat for the fireworks display on Lake Freeman. There was some sentimental value to the voyage – the year before we had taken my Uncle Buddha out on the boat before his health began to decline. We had asked her to join us then but was too afraid. This Fourth of July was different. She jumped at the chance to get out on the boat without any hesitation she asked in response, “what time are you picking me up?”.

After the trip on the Fourth, my grandmother asked my step-father if he would be willing to take her out on the boat in late Autumn when the leaves peaked in color. You see, Indiana hasn’t really seen a true Autumn in years. It is my understanding that we have to have just the right conditions for the leaves to change into vividly bright colors and although those conditions were not evenly distributed or widespread some of the trees did have the bright and vivid fall colors we are all so used to seeing this time of year.

I am glad that I have been able to spend as much time as I have the last several years. I have learned a lot from a woman I barely knew. From where our family comes from to the places that they lived to the wars they served in. I have learned a lot about forgiveness – a term that I struggled with. I have also learned about taking time out of my busy life to take in the scenery and enjoy the moment.

My grandmother was a nurse, a conservationist (often times receiving injured animals from the DNR Conservation Officers). After the tornado, she spent hours upon hours helping the Red Cross and Salvation Army with clothing and housing for people who lost their homes during the Tornado that destroyed our town. And, as she, like the rest of us, have gotten older and less connected to the community, mostly all the people who remember her and her work have long since retired, moved away or even passed away – her life’s work has nearly been forgotten by the younger generation.  These are all things that I knew about from my childhood but I never really put it into perspective until I was an adult. One day, everything that you have either created or built will disappear along with the memories you created.

I have learned as an adult that it is important to work hard and respect those who work with you. I have learned that you never stop moving until you can’t move anymore. Take naps, but remember there’s still more to experience. Even when it doesn’t seem like you have the money or the time to do something always, always find a way.

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Photo 1 – Bridge – This bridge is located on the southern part of Monticello lays across Lake Freeman going into Carroll County.

Photo 2 – The Autumn colors from the water were bright in places. As you can see from the bridge photo and this photo specifically, the colors were vast. The coloring is dependent on two factors, the type of trees and the weather conditions.

Photo 3 – My mother, Marcia and my grandmother, Ruby. Marcia is holding onto her dog, Sadie.

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