(I wrote this last week but didn’t get a chance to post it until now)
It is early morning at our cottage nestled on the shores of a quiet lake in the heart of Wisconsin’s north woods. I’m accompanied only by the clock’s soft tick tock and the sound of birds chirping in the pine trees outside the kitchen window. Everyone else in the cottage is sound asleep.
My grandfather built this cottage with his own two hands in 1949 and it has remained in the family ever since. For most of my family the cottage holds decades of memories; memories of boating, swimming in the lake, fishing, game nights, and star gazing. Now with Baby Girl joining us, we’ve been able to witness a fourth generation experience the joys and magic of this place.
This morning as I type I feel refreshed and happy. I’ve spent the last week with some the people I love most; MJ, Baby Girl, my parents, my sisters, my cousin, my aunt, and my uncle. Living so far away from my family makes me cherish every minute we spend together. I love seeing my family interact with Baby Girl and adore her the way MJ and I do.
One of my favorite things about visiting the cottage is its ability to take you away from all of the distractions of life and its ability to seemingly make time stand still.
There is no internet at the cottage and even the internet at the local coffee shop is not very good (which explains why I’ve been MIA for the last week or so). For many years the cottage didn’t have a TV and when one was finally added it could only get a handful of channels. Until recently cell phone reception was sketchy at best.
The lack of technology is not the only thing that makes you feel like you’re in a world unto itself. The north woods are still very much undeveloped with only a few small towns spread out over many miles.
The woods and lake shores are dotted with rustic cottages and log homes, made even more picturesque by the towering pine trees and birch trees towering over them. There is a palpable stillness that invites you to slow down and forget the troubles of life.
There was a time, mainly in high school, when I hated being disconnected for a week (if I could go back and knock some sense into my high school self I would!), but it’s something I’ve come to love. No other place allows me to disconnect from the world and connect with my family quite so much as here. Not only do I connect with my family more, but it gives me the opportunity to read and reflect on my own life.
I have no idea what has happened in the world over the last week, but I know what has going on in the lives of my family and have a greater sense of direction in my own life, both of which are much more important to me than any current event.
It is with sadness this week comes to a close as we prepare to leave the cottage tomorrow. But I’m so grateful to have this opportunity, even if it only comes once a year.
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