|Our deck view last week|
I discovered, or developed, an important part of myself there; I was relaxed, grounded, in the moment. I felt healthy. As an adult, I lived and worked hundreds of miles away, but I headed to that plain little cabin for summer vacations and left behind all the tensions and frustrations of my job. Peter, who had grown up in New York and spent family time at the ocean, came to love the north woods as well.
last summer, when I rented a cabin at a great little resort on Star Lake in north-central Minnesota. We loved the place, and I realized how much I had missed the part of me that spent hours and hours attuned to the gently lapping waves, the sound of wind in the trees, and the constant presence of birds and other critters, seen and unseen.
On Wednesday, Abby arrived with the kids (their dad had a prior engagement, the week-long bicycle ride across Iowa). In short, they LOVED everything about it. Among the highlights: fishing, swimming, playing on the beach and at the little playground, hiking, helping row a boat, spotting an eagle and some deer, hearing loons day and night, sitting on the deck among the treetops, playing in the screened porch that Augie calls the Game Room, eating fresh-caught fish, and having sleepovers with Pa and Grandma. Oh, and playing with the computer and iPad. Hey, we all needed some down time. This is not my childhood no-water-no-electricity cabin.
Vi and I were lying on beach towels one afternoon, warming in the sun after swimming. "Grandma," she said, "Your cabin is better than your house." Why is that, ViolaMae? "Because it has bedrooms and a bathroom downstairs for me and my family to sleep."
When they visit Daddy's family in Montana, they love to visit a working farm. This year they also went to Yellowstone, where they learned to identify the scat and tracks of bison and other animals. They can't wait to go again, and Augie knows exactly which animals to look for out west. He knows his list of Minnesota animals (and birds), too, and we look forward to years of discovery and fun ahead.