If a Bear Growls in the Woods, . . . – Post 10 from “The Getaway . . .”

That last day of our northern getaway, we drove on to revisit and re-create the final sites from my memories in 1955. In this case, I’m glad only the photo setting was re-created – not the actual event that occurred here at my grandpa’s cabin many years ago.

I was just a wee one. My family was at the cabin – a small log cabin in the deep woods, just south of L’Anse, Michigan, located on a sandy road on the way to Little Mountain. It was nighttime, very dark, and my little four-year-old body was tired, but Mama had to take me to the outhouse before she tucked me into bed. She took a flashlight and led me down the path through deep ferns and wildflowers, their beauty closed for the night. It was very dark, the trees above us shading what little bit of moon might have existed that night. About halfway down the path, it happened: a bear growled right beside us. We turned and ran back to the cabin. I still remember wiggling that round, metal door handle, assuming that bear was ready to pounce on me from behind. Once inside, I ran to the comfort of my grandma’s lap. I do remember Grandma saying, “Her little heart is beating so fast!”

The summer of 1955 was the first of each of my childhood summers at the cabin. It was the place – and those were the summers of playing in the woods with cousins, building fern forts, and sleeping in a hot loft under a tarpaper roof on a mattress on the floor with a bunch of siblings and cousins. Precious memories were made. Many were photographed, one of which was recreated today. Today, I stood outside the same corner of the cabin, facing the same direction as I did in the 1955 photo. Although my cousin Nancy has faithfully updated and nicely maintained the cabin, very few things other aspects of the setting itself have changed:  the path, the outhouse – even the outdoor stone fireplace remain.  Yet through the years,  I had remembered the scene portrayed in the 1955 photo a bit differently. When Ron and I arrived at the cabin, set in the northern woods, reached by  a remote road, we spent some time walking around the wooded setting – I, reminiscing days gone by. Then I held the 1955 photo in hand, pacing the outer perimeter of the cabin, trying to distinguish which corner was behind me. For 65 years, I had set this in my mind as the northwest corner of the cabin, nearest the grassy drive. But I soon discovered I had stood in the southeast corner of the cabin in this photo of long ago. We located the spot and shot the photo:

Kathi at the cabin – 2020
Little Kathi at the cabin, 1955.

A similar thing had occurred on our drive to L’Anse today. You may have read about it in my last blog article. (Click here to read “The Final Waterfall . . .”) Ron and I couldn’t truly re-create the exact scene of my four-year-old photo beside the waterfall because we went to the wrong waterfall! My re-created photo didn’t truly match the original! That mission had failed!

And days prior, a bit of mix-up in my mind occurred on top of the Porcupine Mountains at the Lake of the Clouds. For years, I had pictured the scene from a photo Daddy took in 1955. Daddy put all his photos on slides. What a great time we had when he pulled out the slide projector and viewed the slides! Well, if you’re at all familiar with slides, you know that you can place the slide in the projector cartridge right side up – or upside down! In the correct position – or flipped to the opposite side! Through all those years (65 in all!), I visualized stepping up to the viewing point of the Lake of the Clouds and looking at the lake to my right, facing southeast. I was quite surprised when we arrived and I discovered we actually viewed the lake on my left, facing northeast! You see, the original slide, upon which I based my memory had been inverted. With today’s digital technology, one only has to “flip” the photo in the editing process. You’ll see both shots below:

1955 This slide photo had been “inverted” to the opposite direction, incorrectly appearing that the Lake of the Clouds is viewed facing southeast.
The Lake of the Clouds actually is viewed, facing northeast.

Memories . . .

Some are correct; some are not. Some memories are good; some are bad. We wish we could revert to some of those times of our lives; we wish we could forget others.

Daddy bought his new camera in 1955, and as a result, I have a wonderful collection of photos and memories of a love-filled childhood. As I’ve shared these with you in my blog articles, I realize, with a pang in my heart, that some of you do not have either – the collection of photos – or the memories of a love-filled childhood. Life has been rough. Heartache filled your life for years – perhaps still does. The damage runs deep. Forgiveness has been difficult. Not only might your childhood have been trying or sad, but it might have extended on into your adulthood. Or perhaps like me, your childhood might have been pleasant, but you traveled the wrong paths in your adulthood and as a result, have suffered many consequences. You have many regrets. You don’t want photos of those events, and you certainly wish you could purge them out of your memory.

Life is tough. Jesus told us it would be. We’ve “messed up.” But it can all be turned around. It’s never too late.

The Bible tells us that we’ve all sinned. It didn’t take me long to realize that! Because of sin, we don’t deserve a relationship with God, but because of Jesus, we can have a beautiful relationship with God! Jesus took the penalty of our sins upon Himself. Click here to learn more about becoming a believer – accepting God’s gift of salvation.

No matter the past, we can have an abundant future. You can create beautiful memories for your future and for your children and grandchildren!

So grab that Kodak 35mm and start shooting! Life is abundant with Jesus!

Summer of 1958 at Ghost Town, Pequaming, Michigan, north of L’Anse. Hidden in the wild delphiniums!
Present day, 2020, at Pequaming. The abandoned houses in Ghost Town had been demolished or renovated to private homes, but the delphiniums remained!
Once home for wooden auto parts for the Ford Motor Company, Pequaming is a fascinating slice of Henry Ford’s influence in the wilds of Michigan. In 1958, it was already a Ghost Town. But the Ford water tower remained.

The Ford water tower in the background. 2020