When I moved back to Indiana in 2011 and wanted to live as close to the lake as I could, I bought a bungalow 11 miles south of the Indiana Dunes State Park. I thought it heaven because my dog and I could be on the sand in just 20-minutes.
We walked the shoreline in all sorts of weather – humid, summer mornings before it got too hot and frigid days with the low winter sun making my shadow about six feet longer than my actual height.
Aw’gy got longer, too, on the winter beach. And he loved it! Running, that is. I don’t know if it was because he was born in the desert or simply the freedom of running the sand with abandon but this dog loves the beach!
So you might imagine how happy dog and owner are now that we’ve moved to a Duneland community, in a house within walking distance to the lake! Yup, 2013 brought us a house in the dunes, which we happily share with our man (that’s another story.) Now, THIS is heaven!
Because the community is situated along the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, we’re surrounded by nature. Houses sit atop and between sand dunes covered with trees, shrubs, flowers and vines. Streets roll and curve up and down and around the dunes.
We can walk for hours poking into side streets, stopping on hilltops to consider lake vistas. It’s such a treat for me to walk with him along the lakefront. Well, I walk – he races, running so fast sometimes I wonder if his hind legs touch his floppy ears.
For those who have lived here for years, going to the beach is a part of their day – walking at sunrise, checking the waves, going down to read for a bit, watching the sunset over Chicago. It is such a treat for me but not yet part of my diurnal routine.
You see, growing up we lived about eight blocks from the lake and “special days” were spent on the beach. I didn’t know how much being near Lake Michigan got up inside me until I moved to the desert in 2004. When I decided to move back to Indiana in 2011, I told friends it was to be back with family, and the lake.
They couldn’t understand what it was like to miss “a lake.” But if you live at the bottom of the lake, you understand. Right? Even with today’s temperature at -3 degrees, the sun is shining gloriously through dune side trees and there’s a foot of snow on the hot tub – later we’ll don whatever gear we need to visit the shoreline. Thanks, 2013, for many gifts, but especially for a move to the Dunes.