Break clear away, once in a while, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods.
Wash your spirit clean.
~ John Muir
The longer we live in Texas, the more difficult it becomes for me to leave for our annual month-long tour of Wisconsin. No aspect of our lives is perfect, and we struggle to varying degrees with a host of situations and circumstances, but I recognize how fortuitous we are to have found a city and a house and schools and people that feel like home...and make it tremendously hard to leave.
Thankfully, we when we do leave, we eventually arrive at the Lincoln Lodge - nestled in the north woods about 10 miles west of Minocqua, Wisconsin - and find ourselves in the arms of family. We lighten our loads. We relax our schedules. We reconnect. We break clear away and wash our spirits clean.
We had lovely weather for our Northern Wisconsin vacation. The moderate daytime high temperatures (low 80s) and cool nighttime temperatures were perfect for early morning fishing, midmorning coffee drinking, late morning walks, afternoon tubing on the lake, and evening campfires.
We spend the majority of our 4th of July holidays in Minocqua, and perhaps my favorite aspect of celebrating here is that there are many activities in which to participate but no pressure to do it all. As we do most years, we staked out our parade spot, grabbed lunch at our favorite Irish pub, picked up gourmet popcorn from the local popcorn shop, and enjoyed the parade from our perfect secret spot. This year we opted to skip the waterski show, patriotic band concert, and snowshoe baseball game in favor of returning home for a (Thursday instead of Friday night) fish fry. A line of thunderstorms kept us from shooting off fireworks, but the kids didn't mind a bit - they spent 30 minutes scootering in the rain, and then after a warm shower we all watched the annual Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest. I hope you and yours had a wonderful Independence Day celebration!
This year Tom's parents orchestrated something new: a backyard concert - performed by Tom's youngest brother, Grant (who is a professional guitar player in Nashville) - for their North Woods neighbors. A couple of days in advance we distributed simple paper flyers to the homes on our side of the lake and around our loop; we had no idea how many people would show up, but we hoped for at least 10-15. When Friday night rolled around, nearly 50 people arrived (on foot, on bikes, on electric scooters and ATVs, in utility vehicles and cars and trucks, and via both the road and through the wooded areas on either side of the Ferris property) with their lawn chairs and beverages to enjoy the music and get to know their neighbors better.
When asked, each kiddo shared their own highlight. Hallie chose two: ice cream and jewelry shopping. Not at all surprising.
Will chose three highlights: driving the Mario Kart ON HIS OWN (hold me!!!), watching the World Cup soccer games, and riding on the boat and swimming in the lake.
Happy Friday, friends!