there is a little resort on a pretty lake just out of grand rapids Minnesota... there are only 3 cabins there.... my grandparents went there in 1977 I believe for the first time... I guess my dad and his brothers fell in love with the place because my family has gone back EVERY year since. I will admit to the fact that I haven't been back in many years... when I pulled on to county road 51... off of scenic 7 this week.... I almost started crying because the dusty washboard gravel road I remembered had been paved.... and judging by the potholes the size of small planets... it had been paved for many many years.... I made my homecoming to a place I have so many memories in... and I love the fact that the only way to get a phone signal is to walk half a mile up the road.
the weather this week was... in a word... perfect... I don't think I can recall a single visit to that lake that didn't at least involve one day of rainy card playing... or poncho wearing fishing.... but every day was 80s and sunshine from morning til night... when I arrived my aunt, uncle, sister, brother in law, mom and dad... one of my cousins and one of his friends... were all waiting for me... with a fish fry... my sister ran up the hill and said... come on and eat we're having this fish fry in you honor so I hope you're hungry...
my days this week have been filled with sunshine and swimming... fishing and fun. we had an impromptu fishing contest... my dad and I almost won for best team but he took the most inches... 34" northern (that chomped the tail of his lure and nearly destroyed his fishing net) .... mine was only 25".
the great thing about family traditions... is the touchstone effect... it's a way of checking in... of seeing yourself grow and change... of realizing where you come from and where you have gone since you started. I realized I have missed a lot of wonderful things by skipping the cabin these past years. and I realized my family has evolved... the last time I was there... my cousins were children... this time one couldn't come because he had to work this week to save money for college and the other is practically an adult... my sister... is now married and my parents stay in the cabin I used to stay in ... things have all rearranged... but they are all still there.
which makes me think of something my mom told me many many years ago... when I was 19... I got engaged and moved to las vegas.... I was distraught to say the least... this small town girl really does love home... my mom said... Jennifer... it's your life... you have to live it the way you want to.... your family will always be here. and guess what... they are... I've missed them a lot.
my dad liked to stay out of the sun... during the hottest part of the day... when my aunt, my sister, my mom and I are all sunning ourselves on the dock... he goes about halfway down to the part where the shade from the trees still shelters him... sets up his chair and his little radio... and reads outdoor life.... I love my dad
this is sally. the world's most well behaved and human dog. she and I were fast friends...
sally belongs to these two amazing people... my aunt and uncle... I think that they're dog is just like they are... sweet... kind... and calm.
more proof I DO know how to fish. every night we go on a crappie run... and that's what we eat... the northerns are all catch and release...
my adorable and amazing parents!
my cousin and his friend relaxing after a hard day of relaxing
my favorite uncle... al... that asked me after snapping this next photo... if this was going to be in my blog. I guess the answer should have been yes. alden always wants to know how I am doing. genuinely... from the time I was a little girl.... he has always made time for me. that's what my grandma would do... and that's why he reminds me of her... she would stop and and look you in the eyes and really ask how you were. and so does he.
all I can say about this picture is that sometimes people remind you of your past and your future all at the same time. and when that happens you owe it to yourself to really listen.
my cabin experience this week is probably not unlike any you have had. there is no magic formula in my family or anything really all that special about it... except that it is mine and is special to me. so thanks for listening to me once again just saying what we all think and feeling what we all feel. happy independence day to everyone... and happy homecoming.