I grew up with lake water in my veins. And up my nose. And in my ears. The lake was our pool, our bathtub, our constant companion and entertainment.

As a kid, I spent my school year in the ‘burbs and summers in Up North, Michigan on a lake. Up North isn’t a specific place, but a feeling of getting away, of smelling pine forests and being near lakes and rivers for recreation and relaxation. Michigan has thousands of lakes and is a peninsula cradled inside three of the Great Lakes.

All the water does something to the State and to the people who are around it. It’s called Lake Effects! The Great Lakes influence the weather – more moderate, cloudy and snowy. The inland lakes give nearly everyone the opportunity to enjoy the water because no one is more than six miles from a lake in Michigan!

Our place on the lake was a two room trailer with 7 people in it on my aunt’s property with two more aunts on the other side of us. We had our own sandy dirt road through the woods and down the bluff to the four cottages where we were isolated from the rest of the world.

My Dad plumbed lake water to the kitchen sink for washing and my brother and I fetched drinking water in an enamel pot from a pipe stuck into a spring coming up out of the ground. We had an outhouse with a toilet and sink (plumbed by my handy Dad again) out back. The nearest telephone was on the other side of the lake, about 12 miles away. Yes, this was a while ago!

We weren’t rich in things when I was a kid, but hugely rich in family and creativity.  That’s the legacy I bring to my design work. I hope that some of it resonates with you!