Here — let me drag you slowly and painfully through my vacation.
(I’m currently at work, but I can take a little break. I’m starving, though, and would really just like to go to the grocery store and buy some foodstuffs. K survived very well without me, but I don’t think there’s anything left to eat. All of which to say, having some trouble focusing.)
So — Minnesota.
I know I whined incessantly about how I did not want to go to Minnesota, but then I went, and I remembered how much I actually love it there. Some friends of my mother’s kindly hosted our memorial picnic for my grandmother at their cottage, and let us drive around in their boat.
Their cottage, and even more the cottage next door which my mother’s friend’s brother had recently bought, and which had not been remodeled, reminded me so much of my childhood. Here’s the thing — you go to the lake. You take your shoes off and never put them on again all summer long. You take boats out. You lounge around and read — possibly books like a Hardy Boys mystery you might have read 5 times before. That’s it — it’s perfect. Food is minimal — corn and ice cream. Occasionally you go to town, generally if it’s raining anyway. It’s still like that there, which I can’t really believe. But it is, if you find the right cottage and overlook the monstrous houses which are slowly replacing them. No air conditioning. Lots of windows.
We were there for a few days. M and I rode our bikes around on the gravel roads of Ottertail County — the common theme this summer might be gravel roads. The cousins hung out. My grandmother was celebrated, which relieved my mother.
I would love to find a dinky little cottage there. My grandmother used to complain about being at the lake with small children and an outhouse and diapers boiling on the stove and skins. Even she liked it, though. But for anyone who grew up there — like me, or my mother — it was heaven. It really was.