Off and on, from the time I was a kid until just a few years ago, my grandfather had a campsite at a small lake just outside of Effingham, Illinois. Lake Sara. He loved nothing more than sitting beside the fire pit overlooking the water and shooting the breeze with old friends and family, always with a cold Pabst in his hand. Occasionally, we’d take the boat out and just cruise. Sometimes he would drive the boat, and other times, he would let me drive and just sit back and relax, wave to boaters passing by whether he knew them or not. Again, always with a PBR. I treasure those memories and can remember each and every one. I know at least part of my love for being around water came from him. His love for the lake definitely rubbed off on me. (Though, luckily, his love for PBR did not.)
A few years ago, I told my grandfather that I had a storyline in mind for a beautiful and heartfelt novel and wanted to place it out at ‘his’ lake. He loved the idea and was thrilled. He was excited. Couldn’t wait to read it. Well, I started that novel, but unfortunately, never got much further than an outline, character development, some research and the first few chapters. Life just got in the way, and other projects cut their way in line.
He’s gone now, and the bits and pieces of an achievement I was really hoping to share with him sit in a drawer in my desk. Maybe someday I’ll get it out and work on it some more. Who knows, maybe someday I’ll even finish that novel set out at ‘his’ lake. ‘Better late than never,’ they say, and I guess that’s true. Except when late and never are one and the same.