Summer brings many folks with Island connections back to Washington Island. Recently, Sunset Resort welcomed Amy Brown Crouse and her family. Amy, the daughter of Dee (daughter of Maxine Engstrom) and Tim Brown (the first Manager of the Rec Center) shares her recollections and feelings in this guest column. Welcome Back, Amy!
After a decade away I brought my 6th Generation Sunset Resort kids home this summer.
The traditions that anchor my heart here came alive in a new set of memories for my children.
Having spent all my summers working at Sunset Resort until I married my husband on the beach in front nearly 25 years ago, the trip was more than overdue.
I overheard my cousin, Steve, ask my youngest, "What job do you want next summer?" Rhetorical, of course because we both know you have to start as "dishwasher" in the Sunset family. There was no work for us this summer, but Libby helped take the flags down each evening at sunset and even set her alarm one morning for 5:30 to help put them up. TJ helped his cousin, Payton, make sure all the games still had all the pieces. Tough work if you can get it. Kat helped water the flowers because at 15 she can see that there's always work to be done around the resort.
But in the 10 years we have been absent nothing important has changed. Having your ferry greeted upon arrival makes you feel like a million bucks.
Bathing in the Lake is better than any spa treatment. Schoolhouse really is as cold as you remembered, but so worth it.
Cousins and Sunset guests become best friends. Swimming as the sun sets is magical.
Time does not pass when you're away from your Island friends and tears on the return ferry are inevitable.
So with the magic of the Island still trapped in the sand from the Dunes in our beach towels, we will make our plans to return next summer for a proper working trip. Put us on the chart!
til next time ...
(Family photos shared with permission.)