They call Minnesota Land of 10,000 lakes, and Ben and I are spending most of the summer at one of them – well, technically, we’re on a chain of 14 lakes called the Whitefish chain.
With so many lakes, many families in Minnesota have a lake cabin – some of them in the family for generations, like the one Ben and I are staying at – and some of these ‘cabins’ are luxury homes only used a few weeks a year.
‘Our cabin’, on a small lagoon on Rush Lake, is not a luxury home, but it’s luxurious to us, because this is our view from the deck:
Simply, it is beautiful here.
The cabin was built nearly a hundred years ago and was bought into Ben’s family in the 1950s. They’ve been coming here every Summer ever since and Ben spent a lot of his childhood here.
On the inside, it looks like this:
Yes, that’s a charming hodge podge of furniture, housewares and artifacts that span decades, including a fairly strong representation from the 80s (like the collection of VHS movies) – check out that carpet!
Lake life itself means being on the water. At least once a day, we head out on either the jetski (Ben’s) or the pontoon (the family’s). We may be going somewhere specific – all of the restaurants in the area and the nearest town, Crosslake, are accessible by water and have docks where we ‘park’ – or we may just cruise around exploring. The other day we rode the perimeter of Rush Lake and found some lagoons Ben has never seen before – even after coming up here for 30+ years. Oh, and that’s Ben going to the store on the jetski to pick up a few things.
Lake like is also about a slower pace and savouring the little moments, liking making S’Mores over the firepit:
And stopping for coffee at the local coffee shop:
And exploring Crosslake:
And lounging on the water:
And exploring the surrounding forests:
And having fun with visiting friends:
And the wildlife! On the property are red and grey squirrels, chipmunks, and green frogs, who keep Ben up at night with their raspy ribbits. The lagoon is frequently visited by two families of geese – one with young cygnets and one with teenagers – a family of ducks, a stunning blue heron who flies arcs over us, and a woodpecker! There’s a muskrat that lives under the bridge who’s also busy collecting reeds, and we’ve seen painted turtles, bald eagles (one being chased by a starling), and a multitude of fish. And my favourite this summer has got to be the state bird, the beautiful loon. They are are a large water bird who have a distinctive call, and I just love them.
Perhaps most surprising has been the skies. Many mornings are a moody grey which melts away to a brilliant cerulean dotted with white puffs. We’ve had nighttime lightening storms which have gone on for hours, a surreal strobe-light effect that always looks fake in films, but is surprisingly real. But most of all, the sunsets take my breath away.
And these stunners by Ben:
Of course, we’re both still working – Ben for his client in Australia and the publication date of my second novel is only 5 days away (!) so I am madly editing – but we take time each day to enjoy where we are and the easy pace of lake life. So far, it’s been a brilliant summer.