Headin’ North

Today, Bernie and I head north to the resort owned by my daughter and her husband. Check it out www.birchhavenresort.com Kate and Jerry are beginning their 7th season in operation. Bernie and I have considered it a privilege to share their adventure with them.

We will be opening our own camper this week. So we will be loading up the car and trailer with bedding and food. I will also be loading up my sewing machine and a large box of new sheets that need some adjusting to fit the cabin beds. I think this year will be a sewing year as the curtains I made for the cabins the first year are getting pretty faded and worn.

Always the first labor is preparing the grounds of leaves and twigs blown off trees by the Minnesota winter. The garden near the lodge will be spruced up and garbage cans and grills will be cleaned. Work inside the cabins will follow and these will be prepared for the first guests of the season.

There are always special projects each summer. This is where Bernie gets to work side by side with Jerry installing new windows, repairing roofs or decks, painting trim, any of a variety of building projects. A favorite, because it makes Kate nervous, is taking trees down. The improvements to the resort have been amazing over the years. And very satisfying.

A huge job is putting in the docks, which will require the help of Jerry’s adult sons and Kate’s teen daughters. It is not a project I usually get engaged in. Kate will make a big pot of soup or chili for lunch when the job is done.

Musician Bill Isles has a couple of songs on his CD, “The Shores of My Hometown” that speak to this experience of heading to those places where we take a break from the day to day life of busyness and stresses. One is “Headin’ North”:

Headin’ north where our burdens
Are carried away on the wind
Headen’ north through a border
Where the better story begins
Headin’ north to the road where
The pavement comes to an end
Headin’ north again.

The other song is entitled “At the Cabin”. He sings of the cool mornings, geese on the lake, bald eagles soaring, swimming, and the heron fishing. Here is the chorus:

When I head out to the cabin and the city’s far behind
I leave the country highway for a different state of mind
When I open up the car door and I step out on the land
It’s pretty much as close as I can get to who I am.

It is 7 AM…we’ll be on the road by noon.

You might enjoy checking out Isle’s web: www.billisles.com

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2 Responses to Headin’ North

  1. I too am heading’ north from the Twin Cities to northern WI, but to stay. The area I’m moving to is a resort area, much like the area where Birch Haven is. It sounds like you really enjoy the experience of helping your daughter and her family get the resort ready for tourist season. Do they get any guests from Europe or other places besides the U.S. and Canada?

    • Judy says:

      They’ve had guests from Canada. And I think there was once an opportunity to have international guests that turned out to be some kind of scam. The furthest guest was my granddaughter from Australia that came to our family reunion last summer. It would be great fun to have guests from outside the US.
      My family used to vacation in northern Wisconsin and later my husband and I and our children. I think what makes this resort so fun for us is that it is much like those resorts with the rustic house-keeping cabins, beach, fishing, playground. I also think that the people who come here and to resorts similar are folks who appreciate a simpler time when people had less to clutter and stress their lives. The contrast between this experience and life “out there” is even greater today than it was for us. However, with their technological toys, people do have the capacity to bring their busy world into their vacation. Not sure that is a good thing.
      Are you actually moving to northern Wisconsin or are you going there to spend the summer season?

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