Along with going through boxes upon boxes of childhood memorabilia, I have also started going through old files on my various hard drives. On one I found a collection of old family photographs that an aunt and uncle scanned for the family. Most of them revolve around the family lake home, which I’ll have to write about another time, but all of them are treasures of our past.

These are part of my family legacy. What follows are some small snippets of what I have grown up with, and what I am inheriting, even if it is only stories.

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This is my grandmother as a teen at the family lake home with her father’s dog, Brownie.

All the Brownie stories that I had to grow up listening about! Gramma never did get over that dog. Maybe that’s why she spoiled my dog so much.

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This is a great-great-cousin (or something) and my great-great-grandfather, Grandpa Theo of family legend.

Grandpa Theo (as he is referred to by the family) is the builder of the lake cottage. He was quite the character, and I think him chopping down a tree from the comfort of a rocking chair is the perfect image.

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Grandpa Theo watering the horses

According to family legend, these are the horses that Grandpa Theo hooked up to the cottage to pull it closer to the shore. Whether that is true or not is something else entirely.

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Grandpa Theo’s children. Marie, the short one in the middle, is my great-grandmother.

Fishing is of course a part of life at the lake home. This picture just shows that this has always been the case. I wonder if our recipe for fish fry is inherited, too?

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This is Marie and her husband, my great-grandparents.

I can’t remember my great-grandfather’s name, which irks me to no end. He was a handsome man who loved his wife and family more than he let on, if the stories are true. But they must be, because Marie wouldn’t have married him if he wasn’t a good man.

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Marie and Anna (who is either a great-great-grandmother or some distant cousin), washing up after a picnic on the day-long buggy journey to the lake home.

From their regular home to where the lake cottage was built, is a distance of approximately 30 miles. That’s a full day’s travel by horse and buggy, so they had to stop at one of the many creeks to eat before continuing on their journey. My family loves to eat together (at every family function there’s always plenty of food), so I kinda giggle at this picture, because it means that we’re continuing what our ancestors started.

There are many more pictures where these came from, and more stories than I could possible recount on my own. Going through these photos (around 300 of them) in this file has given me great joy. After all, what’s the purpose of knowing where you’re going if you don’t know where you (and your family) have been?

-Wilber

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