The deck looked over a small inland lake and was painted a rusty brown color that held the heat. Stairs went down on one side to a grassy lawn that sloped toward the lake and the grass on the slope was green and matted. If you sat on the deck in the evenings when the wind was gentle the lake looked nice, and if the wind was blowing the surface looked rough with cat’s paw waves and the sun angling down made it look silvery white.

There were usually small boats on the lake, too. They moved slowly and with low engine sounds while trolling or with families out for a ride. The people on the boats could not be recognized from the deck, but the man who owned the house knew the boats and where they came from and who owned them. He would wave from time to time and the people would wave back from their cushioned seats on the boats that moved over the silvery rippled water. In the evening, when the weather was warm and humid, no sounds carried off of the lake other than the soft growl of small outboards.

When you drive on Michigan roads, there are rules you have to follow. The same thing goes for boats on waterways. For example, if you are operating a power boat, you must give way to a sailboat under sail unless the sailboat is overtaking you. Or, if two boats are heading straight toward each other, each must give way to the other by turning right. Boat accidents are common in Michigan, and boat accident litigation has special challenges. It’s always best to speak to an attorney if you or someone you know has been injured while on the water.

I walked down the sloping grass lawn to the water’s edge and onto a cantilevered dock. Two boys stood there holding fishing rods and intently watching their red bobbers out on the water. The lake had turned flat calm. The sun was sinking behind the tree line to the west. The fish the boys had already caught were lying in the grass.

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