The Spaces Between Your Fingers

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My grandmother and her friends in high school on a trip to Michigan beach.

The most anticipated day of every semester was the Spring Picnic, and Dorothy was on her way. Packed into the Sweeney family van were nine sophomore girls, laughing and talking excitedly. The year was 1953, and there was a nostalgic feeling in the air. All the girls knew this picnic was special, as all of them could finally spend it together.

"How far are we from Michigan City?" Rita asked for the thousandth time. Dorothy rolled her eyes. Rita was the most obnoxious of the 9, but she knew not even she could ruin this day.

As soon the words left her mouth, the big blue sign revealed itself in the bright May sun, "Grand Beach, Michigan".

The Sweeney family cottage followed soon after, where the girls put on their favorite swimsuits and raced to the gorgeous shining waterfront. Nothing existed in the world that day except for the beach and their friendships. In no time they were tanning in the sun, drinking Cokes and trading stories. It felt like these moments could last forever. Like these girls would always be sixteen, talking about boys and arguing about things like who was the best at piano and when they were going to be served dinner.

Between running around in Lake Michigan and laughing in the sand, the day was already slipping away. The girls tried to take in the moments one at a time. Dorothy and her best friends, dreaming of summer already, letting every worry of school and work float away with the lake breeze. It seemed far away at then, but their junior year picnic would be up next in a heartbeat, and senior year would soon follow. Hell, one day Dorothy was even going to meet a man, maybe have a family. She laid her head down and let the sun tan her face as she smiled. Those days seemed like an eternity away. For now, Dorothy was happy to be a sixteen-year old girl in Michigan City, just enjoying her sophomore year picnic.

Dorothy’s Sophomore Year Picnic

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