My husband’s parents own a beautifully rustic summer home on Booth Lake in Northern Wisconsin, about 10 miles West of Minocqua. “The Lincoln Lodge” (or “The Lodge” for short), as the home was lovingly christened nearly five years ago, has become exactly what I believe my in-laws dreamed it could be when they took a leap of faith and purchased the (run-down and dirty at the time) lakefront property – a little slice of heaven. A place where all four of their children, their children’s spouses, their grandchildren, their extended families, and their friends would gather to reconnect with each other, with nature, and with themselves.
We spent last week vacationing at The Lodge. Sunny, 80-degree days turned into cool, 55-degree nights. We stayed up late, slept late, and took leisurely afternoon naps in the hammock. We fished, swam, and lounged in the lake; played disc golf, Blongo Ball, Uno, and checkers; watched girly movies and Man vs. Wild episodes; read books and trashy gossip magazines; sang “If You’re Happy and You Know It” and Justin Bieber’s “Baby”; danced to keyboard demo songs; and shopped “in town” at antique and touristy shops. We ate too much fried fish, too many brownies, and too many Harry Potter Bertie Bott’s beans (there’s a story here, but this isn’t the post for it), and drank a few too many Blue Moon beers and Amaretto Sours. We laughed and cried and talked and sat in comfortable silence and made this vacation, as vacations at The Lodge always are, perfectly relaxing and rejuvenating.
On Tuesday night, for a fleeting moment and unexpectedly during a particularly rowdy game of Uno with my husband, brothers-in-law, and sisters-in-law, a feeling of peace and understanding washed over me. The world around me calmed and quieted and slowed, and I was alone with a feeling of complete peace and the knowledge that – at least for that brief moment – all was right in my world. I was exactly where I was supposed to be and with exactly who I was supposed to be with.
I don’t often have these quiet moments of clarity in my day-to-day life, probably because 1) quiet moments are few and far between, and 2) my mind’s clarity is clouded by the chaos of family and work and school and moving and bills and 100+ degree temperatures (I can’t think clearly when the temperature rises above 85 degrees – no joke). But at the Lodge, more so than anywhere else I’ve ever spent time, they come often. And they give me strength to go back to my not so quiet and not so clear day-to-day life (when I question my – and mine and Tom’s – choices) and somehow still know that I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be and with exactly who I’m supposed to be with.