At the Lake


We drove for six hours, the kids and I, braving windshield-blocking rain and partially flooded roads, and arrived at The Cabin. That’s what you say in Minnesota. You go to The Cabin or Up North or to The Lake, as if there were only one cabin in the vast wilderness, just one direction in which to travel, or only one body of water.

Trips Up North don’t happen as frequently as they should. Zachary and I both often work weekends, the kids have school and sports, and the weather is abhorrent in winter. There may only be one visit this summer, just as it was last year.

My dad lives in a tiny town in the great Up North. We say we are going to The Cabin, but in reality it’s a beautiful, full-fledged house now. We do not rough it.

There is one cramped grocery store in this town, and the food costs more than it does at my Super Target of choice, but there is no comparison shopping to be had here. There are young men in white who bring the groceries to your car with a smile. We are at least half an hour from the nearest Target, in fact, which makes me feel slightly untethered.

Life is slower here. The Cabin is equipped with wi-fi but I don’t feel compelled to check in all day long. There is no urgency. The kids aren’t glued to the TV, lunch included chips today as a treat and they got hot chocolate before bed.

Whenever we come here I have brief moments where I think, “I could do this, we could live here,” and dream about a less complicated life.

But I’m not ready for a life with less variety yet. I want to move closer to the city, not away from it. I want to start a career or expand the one I have, not retire.

The Lake will still be here when I’m 60, 70, 80. Only time will tell if I’m ready to slow down then.

Very late entry for Just Write, a free writing exercise hosted by Heather at The Extraordinary Ordinary. But hey, I’m on vacation, I don’t observe deadlines here.


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