Monday, July 8, 2013

A Cottage On A Lake Up North

This weekend was full of more Fourth of July magic.  We got up early Saturday morning and headed up north.  Going up north is just something all of us Michigan people do in the summer.  We head north to lakes and cottages, big and small.  Kid Rock had a big hit song about up north adventures.

Up North is anywhere north of where you live.  An hour, four hours, upper peninsula? If it's north, it's "up north."
My husband's family has a cottage on a lake up north.  Every Fourth of July (or the week of), over 70 members of his family go to this cottage on a lake up north.  

I've been there from the beginning.  My in-laws bought the place and hosted the first party way back in 1998,  the summer I met my future husband.  This cottage on a  lake up north was where I was first introduced to his cousins and aunts and uncles and grandfather.  I remember that first night around the camp fire they were quizzing me and seeing how many names I could remember.

Every year, every Fourth of July for the past 15 years, we have gone to the party at this cottage on a lake up north.  Looking back this weekend, we laughed about how much fun I was 15 years ago.  And how much alcohol I could throw back in those early years, which was the main reason I was so fun.  And how much I used to worry about what my passing dish was for the ginormous potluck dinners.  

For the past 11 years, it's been about our kids.  It's been about the sparklers, the boat rides, the swimming, the fishing, the ice cream cones, the campfires, the marshmallows, the parades, the candy bar bingos, the sand piles...the traditions. 
There are a LOT of kid up north.

Every family has a parade right?

For the past 11 years, it's been about watching my kids make connections with their dad's aunts and uncles who played with him while he was growing up.  It's about watching all the second and third cousins running and laughing and connecting.  It's not about passing dishes, alcohol, sunscreen, or matching T-shirts or Kid Rock songs.  It's all about connecting.  Connecting with family, love, nature, the water, the sky, the past, the present.  

It's about moments like this...JT watching closely as  his "Bubba" fixes something up.  

All of this connecting is paving the way for the future, the next generations, to keep on carrying on all of this Fourth of July magic at a cottage on a lake up north.
"Catching Walleye from the dock, 
Watching the waves roll off the rocks...." 


  1. I have to admit that I'm completely, 100% jealous of this. Growing up we always had big family "to do's", but somewhere along the way my family fractured, and we don't do things like that anymore. I hate it so much for my kids.

  2. I'm so jealous, too. Do you know of Katie Sluiter @ksluiter? She's from Michigan and has been posting pictures of going to the lakes, too. Sigh. It looks heavenly.