…While Ye May.
I’m doing just that in the waning days of my 35th summer in this old cabin on Lake Katherine, known up here with a long history as ‘The Queen of the Lakes’ My children own it now, and rightfully so, as my Dad made it possible for Bill and I to buy it in 1982 for them and for our grandkids. We’ve all grown up and grown older here, and while I’m no longer the caretaker, I’m the one to occupy it most as they come and go when time permits. I love the chaos and company when they’re here – and I love the solitude when they’re not.
There are benefits to crowding 80 and being alone. I eat when I’m hungry and sleep when I’m tired. I liken it to working 3rd shift after years of working the 1st – with no schedule or particular reason to go to bed before 2:00 or to get up before 10:00. In between, I spend time at the library, on my computer, knitting and reading. A lot. Sometimes my only decision of the day is white wine or red? Exercise consists of short walks with the black dog that sleeps under my bed each night and trips for essentials to Walmart, Trig’s and Save More. With no TV, I watch football and baseball games with my next door neighbor, Don. Relaxed in a big recliner next to his big recliner, conversation is sporadic and comfortable as it is with friends you’ve known and cared about for years.
The shops downtown are no longer the magnets that once drew me in, other than the iconic Lakeland Variety Store, a real five and dime that was a mandatory stop for my grandkids along with Dan’s for fudge and bags of taffy. While there’s little I need or want anymore, I’m happy that vacationers still fill them all summer, tho I’ve never been able to understand why, with such a short season, they close when the streets are still crowded with people wanting to spend money.
Even the sweatshirt stores, the only ones to stay open all hours, are dark after dusk – a sure sign that the season has ended. Soon, with snow on the ground, motorcycles will be replaced with snowmobiles, jet skis with ice shanties – and the ebb and flow of the Northwoods perpetuates itself.
I’m intrinsically happy wherever I am. But, I love Here most of all.