Friday, June 20, 2014

so long, Roy

We lost a friend this week. Roy lived next door to our Michigan cabin and became our unofficial property caretaker. Translated, Roy knew almost everything about anything having to do with cabin and lake life and he patiently answered our questions and walked us through many a crisis. We knew next to nothing about lake life, but Roy was a willing teacher.

He taught us about wells and winterizing, snaking pipes, and how to evict skunks from under a cabin. Roy helped us put in and take out the dock, get the boat running, and helped Mark and Katie build a section onto the dock our first year. Roy called us one winter day when a howling northern Michigan wind storm had taken down three pine trees. "Taking care of it," he reported. Roy helped us cut down trees and clear brush, turned on the electricity and the fridge and opened windows so the cabin would be aired out upon our arrival. He tinkered with the plumbing and I don't know if there's anyone else who'll be able to figure it out.

Our key was on Roy's chain and he walked the property through the winter keeping a keen eye on things. And he asked about our kids, even just three weeks ago saying, "I miss seeing Katie up here!"

His chocolate Lab Cocoa was Roy's constant companion, whether accompanying him over to our place or riding down the road in the golf cart. I'd hear Roy whistle about 10 o'clock each night, calling Cocoa in.

We'd take him to dinner at the Hideaway, enjoying burgers and nachos together. And we knew that a visit from Roy meant a good, long conversation catching up on Presque Isle news. We learned to relax a bit more with Roy around.

Yesterday morning Bill awoke to a text message from another neighbor. Roy had died the night before in the hospital. His ongoing health problems, including a "ticker that won't tick," had caught up with him.

We will miss you, Roy. We'll miss your deep well of knowledge but especially your steady friendship these last 12 years. Though we thanked you many times, I just want to thank you again. Life at the lake won't be the same without you.

No comments: