Clear Lake - Big Rapids, Michigan
Here is the weathered 100-year old cottage where our clan spends two weeks every summer.
There is a cottage by a lake, by a lake,
Where my vacation I do take, I do take,
Six kids, one frog, ten turtles and a snake.
There is a cottage by a lake.
We've all been coming here for years, here for years.
We've gone from soda pop to beers, pop to beers.
We've had our fill of the local souvenirs.
We've all been coming here for years.
We're all related to each other, to each other.
Your second cousin is my brother, is my brother.
And my great aunt is your grandmother.
We're all related to each other.
The lake is shallow and full of weeds and turtles. The cottage has one shower and two toilets.
The bedrooms are full of furniture and fixtures from another era. The diningroom seats twenty.
There are five generations of memories. We have a ghost who smokes his cigar late at night.
More than any other place we've ever traveled, this is home.
2018 Christmas card
Clara, Sloan, Sasha & Clay
Clara & James
The great fisherman
Fine entertainment on the porch
Last summer's visit was too short for Sasha and Sloan,
An evening of D&D
Nick, Sloan, Sasha & George
A fine family feast al fresco
so this year they came to the cottage for three weeks.
To add to the excitement, Nicole and family joined us.
Kids having fun at Clear Lake is what it's all about!
Julie & friends
Honey & her grandsons
Frogs on his mind
Sloan & Ella
A day at Ludington
The cottage was full for two glorious weeks this summer.
Ice cream for lunch!
Games, games, games
The younger crowd
Julie brought a bunch of friends from camp
and the Fairmans drove up from Chicago.
Lots to do and nothing planned!
James & Cameron
Dan, Dave, Nick
Jim, Nick, Dave
This was the year of the boathouse renovation.
A quiet spot
Late summer sunset
James, Sierra, Cameron, Dave and Nick worked hard
with crowbars, hammers, saws and paintbrushes.
Jim and Monica came for the christening.
Sarah & grandsons
The Fairman swings
With Ken Kuper
Peace & quiet
Chad & Julia
New and old
We had a full cottage this year
Ice cream all over
A good book
Bath in the kitchen
with visitors from Chicago and Ann Arbor.
Everyone enjoyed the traditional Clear Lake fun.
Sloan says he wants to come back again next year.
We had a smaller crowd than usual this August because
Warm fire on a cold day
our 20-somethings all had summer jobs.
But we filled the chairs around the table
and enjoyed good times.
August was marked by memorials for Uncles John Jickling and Jim Fairman.
2013 Christmas card
Jim Fairman memorial service
A reading by Dave
Music at the graveside
New life starts here
Monica & Jim
John, David, Moriah Jickling
John Jickling memorial
Dining with cousins
Both were celebrations of lives well lived and of their loving families.
It's the Circle of Life, while our clan continues to grow and change.
Meanwhile, music, good food, and fall colors stay the same.
Every year, it's the same place with the same folks, more or less.
Amy, Alex & Jack
2012 Christmas card
Music on the lawn
Louise & Becca
Louise & John
Bob's venison stew
Fish video by J.Noellert
The children are a little older while the parents haven't changed.
We had a nice visit from Paul Stumpf and family this summer.
Good food. Good friends. Good times. See you next year!
There is a wedding in July, in July.
Here comes the bride
Tying the knot
Jean, Julia & Amy
Julia & family
Gentlemen & cigars
Enzo, Sasha & Larry
Sasha & Enzo
The Human Weevil
Sasha & princesses
The Quality of Life
Anna, Sasha & Josiah
Down to the beach
2011 Christmas card
Sarah & Bob
Sasha & Mark
I'm so happy, I could cry. I could cry.
Nicole and Craig, the marriage knot to tie.
There is a wedding in July.
From the far reaches of the globe, the family gathered together once again,
2010 Christmas card
A shady spot
James at guitar
Dan at uke
Kids at play
James & Joanna
Yoga on the grass
Our yoga instructor
Julia at guitar
The old stairs
A fresh breeze
with friends and relatives to round out the group and fill the dinner table.
A highlight for this summer was Deborah's yoga classes on the lawn.
We had a lively crowd this summer, with lots of talented musicians and cooks.
Anna, Allie & Sasha
Learning to swim
Girls on the dock
Girls in the air
Becca & Dan
Dan & Sarah
Becca, Jenny, Kate
Feast of sushi
Father & son
Emily & Becca
Sally & David
2009 Christmas card
Clear Lake sunset
The big "cultural event" was the talent show, organized by Emily and Becca.
For Sasha, it was his first visit to the lake -- the first of many, to be sure!
David & Sierra
A perfect day
Kate & Jenny
David on skis
Russ & Jean
This August, the cottage hosted six Fairmans, four Jicklings, two Stiflers,
Jim & his 3 girls
Old stone gate
The gang of '08
and one Lucas. Time stops and the fun begins as the clans mix together
as they have for generations. These are the good old days.
The crew maxed out at 20 this summer with a few new faces and lots of old ones,
Anna, Mason, Sarah
Mikka & friend
Dweezil & John
A game of Blokus
Standing room only
with folks from Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, Washington DC, Michigan,
Illinois, Colorado, California, Hawaii and Australia. What a far-flung bunch of fun folks!
During the past winter, we gutted and remodelled the kitchen.
2006 Christmas card
The newest Fairman
Mikka, Anna, Julie
Mason & Ernesto
Clear Lake hairstyle
The parent table
A candlelit dinner
Jenny, Katie & David
Jean & Alexandra
Ready for adventure
Katie & Jenny
Clear Lake babes
Photo by David Fairman
This summer, we really enjoyed cooking ... for a gathering of 21!
Click here to see the remodelling project and the finished kitchen.
A couple of us also slipped away for a lovely day at Mackinac Island.
This summer, the cottage has had quite a facelift with a fresh coat of paint and a new bathroom.
Breakfast of champions
Katie, Jenny, Jim
A fine day for a swim
Point Sable Beach
Sarah, Nick, Mason
Big Sable Point Lighthouse
The "older" generation
2005 Christmas card
To see pictures of our crew working hard and the end results, click
Summer 2004 started off with a wedding in Mystic, CT followed by
adventures on Block Island. Click here to see photos of these big family events.
Russ and ski boat
Coasting to a stop
|While in Michigan, we took an overnight trip to the
Stratford Festival of Canada to see
wonderful performances of Guys and Dolls, Macbeth and A Midsummer Night's Dream.
In Stratford, ON
The costume warehouse
In the cavalry
Making a point
2002 Christmas card
Becca, Mikka, Dan
Taking a breather
David, Nick, Julia
Dan, Mason, Mikka
Bud & Sheila Meiers, Margie Peirce,
Helen Fairman, Betty Dove
David, Uncle Jim, Sarah
Tim & Sarah
Mom & Dad
July 2, 1975
2001 Christmas card
Sarah, John, Nick
Mikka, Anna, Mason, Dan
Mikka, Dan, Julie
Dan and Mason
Mikka and Anna
Julie and Dan
Mikka and Nick
|These two weeks at Clear Lake
were followed by a canoe country adventure in Ontario.
Seated in front of the Wright cottage are 10 of the 12 Wright cousins.
This photo was taken at the time of Uncle George's 80th birhtday.
Back row: Eleanor Groves, Julia Stifler, Nancy Kuper, Barbara Jickling
Middle: Dibby Bos, George Wright, Janet Wright Biddlecome
Front row: Gail Wright Whitehead, Jim Fairman, Joan Wright Eastley
If you have any questions about our old cottage, feel free to contact me at email@example.com.
To read about our adventures in more exotic lands, click here.