Every year we plan a family vacation up to the Northwoods of
Mercer, Wisconsin, to be exact. My wife’s family owns a small
cabin up on a small lake chain and their family has been going up
to the area for well over 40 years. It is just one of those annual
vacations that you don’t want to miss out on.
Yes, we do go up on other occasions. Holidays like Memorial day
4th of July, but those are typically work weekends. Those of you
any type of vacation spot know about those “work” weekends.
seems to always be something that needs to get cut, moved, or
Cut the grass, paint the pump house, shore up the dock, etc.
These chores are nothing much different than what you do on your
own home but there is something about doing them up in the
Northwoods. They aren’t chores as much as they are adventures.
There is something about the smell of pine pitch and the buzzing of
the hummingbirds to calm the soul and make the day pass by
With most of the work already done, the family vacation is just
vacation. Everybody does their own thing. Some lay out in the
sun and read, while others play made-up games on the lawn and in my
case I spend the time on the water chasing anything that swims.
That is the great thing
about the Northwoods. You make the vacation be what you want it
to be. There is no pressure to meet deadlines, go here or do
My wife’s family is no small one by any means as my
mother-in-law is one of nine children so these vacations can have
quite the crowd. The more the merrier when we are up there. Being
up there tends to bond the family and people can let their hair
down and just be themselves.
Every year I count down the days until we head for the
Northwoods and this year is no exception. The dynamic is ever
changing with the kids growing up, the families starting to grow,
and the reality of life getting in the way, but there is never any
negatives in the Northwoods.
Unfortunately, every year there is one event that seems to put a
bit of a damper on the vacation and that is the day of departure. A
bittersweet “see you soon” is said to the cabins and a caravan of
vehicles followed by boats heads back to the flatlands of
‘Till next year!