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The serene view from our cabin rental last week on Lake Superior.



The getting-out-of-town tango (endless lists/laundry/packing, bonus: freezer dying and food spoiling) includes heavy sighing on my part, and lots of tongue-biting on Husband’s part. Not to mention the which lights do we leave on and off two-step; I turn them off and he turns them on. Followed by  just one last waltz with the bathroom. Times three.


The nine hour drive. I begin to relax 45 minutes in, and Husband says the only way this morning could’ve been worse was if you were physically smacking me on the face and I laugh a mirth/ire laugh and insist he assume at least 40% of the getting-out-of-town family tango because not only does he not lead, he draaaags. Husband claims 5% maybe and we cruise along with increasing levity due to our gas station snacks and be-headphoned children.


At the 7.5 hour mark I see a worrisome look upon Husband’s face. On my beloved’s eyes appears the gaze of international lay-over with nowhere to lay except over a row of airport seats with unmovable armrests– aka a human on the brink of total systems breakdown while operating heavy machinery nearing 80 miles per hour. I turn up the top 40 IF YOUR LIPS ARE MOVIN’ YOUR LIPS ARE MOVIN’ because his lips weren’t moving nor were his pupils, and I clap and bounce to keep my partner irritated enough to stay the vehicle on the road, as only a wife/cattle-prod can do. We find a rest stop.


Elderly neighbors arriving at 11pm, so close and quiet, yet so present as if their dozen slow trips to unpack the Cutlass all take place on a gravel driveway inside my inner ear. Beds so small my entire calves dangled off the end; the antithesis of California Kings, we name them Minnesota Jesters–no Minnesota Midgets. Too many pillows, too many bodies, magnificent head all the way back open-mouth star-gazing.


Pictured: Finding out the view atop Pincushion Mountain overlooking Lake Superior is actually pretty worth it.



30 minutes of muddy trails, wet feet, and vocal misery. Both ways. All ways.

A horror show of blood and bugs in hair and on napes that sends me into full-family hood enforcement, and a google anxiety spiral deep into the night. (Black flies. The answer was black flies.)


Pictured: A visit to a Canadian amethyst mine in the pouring rain.



This is pretty much exactly as pictured.



The initial failed jaunt into Canada to see said mines three days prior, which resulted in a car search producing contraband nunchucks in son’s karate bag. Escaped possibility of imprisonment and $1000 fine due to FELONIOUS CONTRABAND CHUCKS by turning car around after two hours of border no man’s land. Not kidding. Totally humorless. Did not escape another night of anxiety in our Minnesota Midget.

Pictured: Rock-hopping on Artist’s Point




Less parental terror than years past of one brother pushing the other brother I SAID I WAS FIRST off a rock and into immediate hypothermia.

A guy in a windbreaker nestled in the rocks, painting an impressive oil rendition of this ship in a tiny wooden box.


Pictured: Us



Family dinners. Family donuts. Family walks to make more room for more donuts.

Whittling. S’mores. Smoked fish.

Stolen moments of affection. Generous helpings of whining.

Reading in the sun. Apples to apples.

Big adventures, long down times (thank you WiFi in Nana’s cabin, THANK YOU).

Throwing stones. Leaping boys. Words with Friends (with Nana and Grandson).

Nana and Papa Doug and Aunt Rachel and Rusty the Irrepressible Rusty Dog!


The work of love that pays dividends.


Happy first day of summer! Share a #NotPictured moment with me on Facebook! Why not?



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