I basically live out in the country on an a rather large island in the middle of Coldwater Lake. We are located just a couple miles north of the Indiana border in south central Michigan. I believe we sit approximately half-way between Angola, IN to the south and Coldwater, MI to the north, just of I69.
I know it sounds really exotic and though it's certainly a really cool place to live, it's not really exotic. There is a paved single road built out to the island now. I've seen pictures from the 1930's-1940's in the first decade my family had a cottage here of the old cars driving through shallow water to get here before the road was built. There has been a small 9 hole golf course in the middle of it since the 1940's or so.
My intention isn't really to write a history of this place...why? Because it is already overcrowded enough these days and I don't want to publicize it too much. Though Marty at Iyopawa Island Golf course (517)-238-2216 would love to have you pop on in to play 9 when they open up here when the weather warms up.
Iyopawa Island is my favorite, most special place on the whole earth! And I'm not exaggerating...it really is. Why, you may ask? Well that comes from spending every summer of my life here basically until I became a "grown-up and reality basically crushed all the dreams of my youth, hehe! Not really..er, well...yea..kind of, sorta.
My Grandpa built the original cottage here in the early 1940's from scrap lumber he scrounged up and with the help of his fishing buddies. (My grandpa will get his own MFT's post somewhere down the line, I'm sure!) It was rustic and over the years they added on as more people came and they needed more room.
My Grandmother stayed here during the summer, escaping the heat of their home on the campus of Purdue University in Lafayette, IN from memorial Day to Labor Day. My mom, my Aunt Mo and assorted other cousins were also here.
Today the island is now basically the home to many very large summer residences (Big Freakin' Houses) that belong to folks from Ft Wayne, IN, Toledo and various places mainly in Ohio/Indiana. It is a very different world but in my eyes, like the little kid from Where The Wild Things Are. It was my magical world...and honestly in spite of all the growth, the loss of the magical forest and the huge houses...it still is.
This island was covered with woods when i was a kid. Sure there were cottages here but they were just that:Lake Cottages. It was definitely a different kind of world around here then...before every kid over the age of 5 years old was driving their own custom golf cart around trying to get themselves killed.
We didn't have Jet Ski's or GIANT inflatable Water Tramps or any thing other then..hmm..let's see: The LAKE! We had an old row boat that we rowed every where. Especially out to Blind Island, the Sand Bar or the Island North Point Shallows to hunt turtles. The North Point Holes to fish for Pike which was the big thrill to hook one of those Magnificent Monsters on a cane pole w/bobber and worm!
We spent most of our waking time either in the water swimming or on the water fishing or skiing or rowing and later running our little power boats around. We rode our bikes down through the woods at the north and south ends of the island. those woods are all gone except a bit of a remnant just behind the 3rd green on the golf course. There is a little neighborhood there now...
My Dad has left the lots he has stay wooded and I am glad he has. But we road our bikes everywhere and then Mini-Bikes when we were older with the old lawn mower engines. There were trails in all the wooded areas...man was that a blast.
The cottage was small so everyone spent most of their time outside when the weather was good. We had a TV here but rarely watched it. I remember in July, 1969...the whole family gathered around the small black and white TV Set watching Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walk on the Moon for the first time. But really we never watched it, our folks discouraged it.
My grandfather would never understand why someone would watch the idiot box when you could be fishing...that man LIVED to fish.
I could go on and on but I am going to say that even though this place is constantly going through a transformation...re-making itself year after year, it is still the same old place to me. I don'rt want to be any where else...this is it.
So...Numero Uno post for My favorite Things is definitely Iyopawa Island! The Island is one of my favorite places ever...