Saturday, November 14, 2009
We were very fortunate to have Claudia Goudschaal for a friend and neighbor. Knowing that she had health issues with uncertain outcomes motivated Claudia to put her years of research between covers in Destination Leelanau, and I was honored to be able to host her book launch in Northport two weeks ago.
Claudia's visit to the bookstore this past Monday while our friend Thad Koza was visiting was a fortuitous encounter, as the two had met on previous occasions and shared a deep love of sailing vessels. It was good to be together on a sunny, balmy November day. We lingered outside on the sidewalk next to her car. Never one to shirk or be idle, on Wednesday Claudia worked at her volunteer job at the Leelanau County Historical Museum in Leland, as usual. She faced her surgery on Thursday without fear or indecision, without misgivings or regrets, ready for whatever came. "I'd like to have more time, but I've had eighty good years, so whatever happens will be okay."
Claudia Goudschaal was one of those wondrous, rare individuals who lived every day of her life, generously and fully. We will all miss her very, very much. Our southern exposure will always, to me, be "Claudia's hill" and "Claudia's woods," and I wish she were still there.