Northwoods vacation year 31

Yes, you read that right,  I’ve been going to the same YMCA camp for the last thirty-one years.  I started going as an excited giddy girl when I was sixteen, accompanying my then boyfriend with his parents, and I continued on until I got married to that boyfriend at twenty one and have been going every year since then for the last 27 years.  Whew.  My husband loves it, I tolerate it.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s not all that bad-I have had years where I enjoyed it more than others, but in general, I’ve grown terribly tired of it and I long for greener pastures-er…turquoise waters and palm trees on the vacation front.  Who knows when those dream vacations will come true, but until then I suppose I will make the best of it.  Here are some photos of things that caught my eye this year.  I had a lot of fun jazzing up my photos using my Instagram App for iPhone 4.  In fact, I have nearly come to completely abandon my Kodak fancy camera and almost exclusively use my iPhone 4 now for taking photos.  The apps are a blast.  It was the most fun I had on my vacation.  Not.  🙂

A view from the beach looking out at quiet, reflective waters.

 This year only two of our five children came with us. For a variety of reasons our three oldest kids (23, 21 and 19) opted to stay home.  This didn’t sit well with my husband who has a hard time dealing with change and the prospect of his kids growing up and out, so after much bluster, begging and badgering from him to go, they won out, stayed home and had a vacation of their own away from us.

(I wish I could have stayed home, too.)

There were rowboats to use whenever we got the urge to venture out onto the lake.

…But as the wife, I have a somewhat obligation to stick with my husband and alas, so I went again.  My hubby started the week off on Monday by having a little bit of a pout because no one wanted to do anything with him (like a boring boat ride), so he stormed off on his own with his thermos of ice and pop and a smirk on his face and bade us an indignant farewell.   I left and drove into town on my own to buy much needed groceries, and for a bit of retail therapy as respite from the mosquitoes and the (yawn) thrills of campdom.  When I returned almost three hours later, he had just beaten me back by a few minutes and was as red as a freshly boiled lobster.  It seems that in his little snit,  he was so intent on getting his thermos, pop and book that he forgot to bring the sunblock.  So, for the rest of the week he was in “don’t touch me!” pain, blistering and almost unable to do anything much except puzzles,  keeping to the confines of the cabin…{{sigh}}…see what  I mean?

So, I took to the beach by myself and tried to make something positive out of this sunburn saga that would bring me a little peace, solitude and a good photo or two.

Trying to relax sans husband, which isn't so bad, I have to admit.

The highlight of our trip was watching how much our dog enjoyed the freedom of running around the area that surrounded our cabin, the woods and the lake just behind us.  He was suffering from a case of unadulterated joy.  It made my heart happy just to watch him.  He behaved so well, and stayed right by us, never straying once.  He loved to catch the frisbee by running off the dock and going ‘PLOP!” into the water after it.  He swam and ran and chased chipmunks-And didn’t get one tick all week.  Love that dog.

Commander Xander-the official Camp Dog. Lover of all things woods, frisbee and water.

In my leisure I read a wonderful book about how to nurture my soul.  In it I read something very profound and it went like this:

“The key is to give up the project of making yourself something shiny and big and to recognize that we are very ordinary people. By learning to discover and value our ordinariness, we nurture a friendliness toward ourselves and the world that is the essence of a healthy soul.”

A lovely book that filled me with good things. The soul is a good thing.
The path from our cabin that leads to the little dock that sits on the quiet lake called Sugarbush.
The quiet little lake that our cabin sat upon where Xander found such joy.
Canoes stacked just so-they resembled gigantic sardines.
The sign says it all....fun and retro. It screams summer camp.
Camp fresh, no makeup and a little worse for the wear.

I’m a little more natural, less makeup and a little worse for the wear.  For I’ve survived another year of the same old, same old vacation spot.  Maybe next year I’ll be donning a French scarf and walking around Paris, or maybe I’ll be reading books on the beaches of Bali.  Until then, I suppose I’ll have to keep to the ordinary vacation spots, because like the Soul Handbook says, there is value in the ordinary and that is the essence of a healthy soul.  We’ll see.

7 thoughts on “Northwoods vacation year 31”

  1. Darling you look marvelous. I’m taking my first vacation in three years at the end of the month. Getting time away, no matter the location, is a treasure. The photos are fantastic. Looks like a good soul loving place, even if it is so familiar. I do hope for you that you get to Paris next year – make it happen! {soul hugs}


  2. These pictures look like they are from the 70’s, awesome. It looks like a very peaceful place to go for a vacation, but I know it can get old after going for so long right? I am glad you were able to somewhat enjoy yourself regardless. Big hugs and many blessings.


  3. Awesome post Em! Enjoyed reading it, felt like I was there with you and Xander. Cool pics too, glad you somewhat got to relax, but I think it’s time to find a new spot. I love camping, but cooking and dishes and mosquitos are not what I call a vacation. Time to find a new place that makes your heart sing!


  4. I enjjoyed reading your blog. You gave me a nice piece of your vacation and I apprciate it….I have not had a vacation of any sort in years.Although it was not your dream vacation. Always hold close the value of time spent with family (two children and husband not bad). Thanks for sharing.


  5. Em,
    I just swoon over your photography of your vacay! Splendid! I feel the same way about Las Vegas….my husband ALWAYS wants to go THERE….to me, a cabin at the lake would be nice….in that way maybe we’re the same….vacation should mean adventure and going somewhere new….I get it.


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