We got to the cabin just before noon on Friday. It is an easy three-hour trip from driveway to driveway. What a week it was! We have been so busy running around since school got out in early June that I thought all of us needed this long weekend at the cabin. To make it more special, my sister and her family were joining us at our ten-year old timber frame in the woods for the first time!
Prepared to have another couple and their two teenagers with us for three nights took a little planning. What if the weather was rainy? What if they were bored? What if they didn’t get along? My sister lives in Western New York, only a few hours from where we grew up. They were traveling a long way to see her husband’s family and us for a vacation.
I stocked up – wine, wine, wine. Oh, some beer. Three alarm pepper cheese, stick salami and pepperoni, chips, salsa, stuff for s’mores, coffee, milk, freezy pops, and of course food for meals. A trip to Michael’s Craft Store was made for tie dye supplies. A few games were packed, books and magazines thrown in for good measure. My camera. My computer. I would need to continue to work on my final course project during their visit, I explained to my sister over a text. I tried to get it done but was unsuccessful. I needed my computer to final my wayside panel design and submit it. She understood.
Shortly after arriving, the Northwoods began its magic. I saw a Monarch Butterfly! It is the first I have seen this season. I have a milkweed patch in our yard at the cabin and spied the iconic orange and black butterfly flitting amongst its stems when I looked out our kitchen window! Next, I found a monarch caterpillar! It was only a few days old for sure! Very tiny!
Soon, my sister’s family arrived. Would you believe that for three full days, the television/DVD player was never, ever turned on?! It is true! Three teens and no T.V.. We even offered to have them watch a movie. No, instead, they found the canoes, the kayaks, fishing, making s’mores, playing ping-pong, air hockey, and pool all more interesting than a screen!
The weather cooperated and we took walks, had campfires, and boat rides. We even got in a little star-gazing last night! Each afternoon, we had pre-dinner snacks and a relaxing glass of wine with some great conversation. Sometimes the kids joined us, sometimes they didn’t. But, they were unplugged! For the most part, the three teens – two 15 year olds and a 17 year old were keeping themselves busy by engaging in nature and each other – not through snap chat or instagram or Facebook, but real-live interactions!
It was both rejuvenating and restful to spend time with my sister, her family and mine, in the Northwoods where we were able to forget about soccer practice, job responsibilities, and the stress of daily life. We were unplugged. I highly recommend you try it!