A message in a bottle returned, 45 years after it was cast into Lake Michigan from a lighthouse

Kids say and do the darndest things. 

And on Aug. 29, 1974, 11-year-old Tina Green said and did one of those things.

Armed with a pen, paper, a good throwing arm and an old vodka bottle, she whisked her own personal time capsule into the watery abyss of Lake Michigan.

And 45 years later, a story that started with an unassuming child with a wild imagination was finally concluded when that message was returned to her.

"My grandpa was really into stories and folktales and all that so a message in a bottle - that was what we were going to do," said Tina, who now goes by Green-Allera.

As a child, Green-Allera spent her summers at her grandparent's cottage up north. Located on Old Mission Peninsula near Traverse City, she spent her northern Michigan nights crafting, climbing and fishing - and of course mailing messages via the sea-pony express.

The message reads:

Equipped with the colored wax of a kid's crayon set, she melted the utensils over the top of the bottle to seal it's opening, before hurling it into Grand Traverse Bay. Her brother and cousin also tossed their own messages into the bay. 

In case anyone wasn't aware of what to do with a message in a bottle, Green-Allera provided careful instructions on the back that read "READ THIS!!! READ THIS!!!"

Alas, no one did. 

Until 2015, when  Eric Amon sent her a message over Facebook asking her if the bottle and message was hers. Amon had found it while working on a construction project a few miles away. It had been buried. Eventually our novice mailwoman came across the message later and responded.

"We were both so excited," she said. "It's like I knew him all along. Now we're buddies."

This unlikely duo plans to meet in Traverse City to do a podcast together.

"It was a better - I loved it. I wish I could go back for one day. I'd rewrite that letter," Green-Allera said. "My spelling would be better and the printing."

Spoken like the true teacher she's grown up to be - but with a hint of that little girl who first wrote the letter.