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The Passage of Time

Larry and I were married in 1997. We were well into our middle-aged years, and had been married before. Our perspectives and expectations were very different than those of younger people. And I truly believe that what made our relationship work (and work fairly well) was that we were instantly good friends--we really liked each other.

About 20 years ago, while camping at Georgetown Lake, and when we wanted to get away from the Present Company, Larry said, "I know a good place for a picnic!". We packed up some sandwiches and drinks and a couple of folding chairs and surreptitiously headed to a mountain lake that he knew about.

After a very bumpy ride on a dirt road, we camp upon a little diamond of a lake in amongst the pine trees. The only people there, we enjoyed the peace and quiet, as well as our great lunch. As many things as we have done in the past 26 years, this has always remained in my memory as one of my favorite.

This weekend, we were on a mini road trip and were passing by Georgetown Lake. I asked Larry if he remembered our lunch trip. At first he was fuzzy about the details, but, as we came around a bend in the road, and an old wooden forest service sign that said 'Echo Lake' came into view, he did, indeed remember. "You wanna go?", he asked. And of course, I was game! The road was even longer than we had remembered, but eventually we saw the sunlight glimmering on the water.

As we came around the final turn in the road, much to our chagrin, we saw that the entire site was now 'improved'! The well-designated parking area was graveled. There were very nice wide steps, improved with timbers and gravel. And the beach area was cleaned and improved as well. When we walked down to the water's edge, we were so saddened to see that there were at least 10 houses with private docks built all along the edge of the lake.

I know that everything changes with time. The population of Montana has (seemingly) exploded over the last 30 years. I guess that, rather than being sad about it, I should be so very, very glad that Larry took me to so many beautiful and fairly untouched wilderness areas of this Best Last Place we live in.

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