He passed two years ago in early spring. It was before the snow melted, so when we scattered his ashes they just stuck to the muddy frozen ground instead of blowing away in the wind.
In his will he left me the boat, with its beat-up hull, paint chipping, anchor rusted. Sometimes I'll take it out in the early morning, making sure to bring a thermos of hot coffee, and pour a cup – for him, not me, I don't really drink the stuff. "Kid," he would say to me, wiping creamer from his mustache, "If I could be anywhere in the world right now, I'd be here with you."
The lake was his favorite place. I think he liked how it felt untouched by the world. Sometimes while watching the mist, I feel like he's there with me, having traveled with the melted snow, to meet me here, for one more early morning on the lake.