What a difference a day makes (or every day makes) when you are watching the next season roll in to the Northwoods of Wisconsin! Asking people ‘can you believe this weather!?’ is a common expression here, but one that kind of makes you sound like a newbie, so I’ll just point out that last weekend we went from 5o degrees and sunny on Saturday to a bitter wind and 5.5 inches of snow on Sunday. Add daylight savings to boot, and that is a lot to take in. I’m not ready to cue “The Shining” just yet, but the gray skies and flying snowflakes are a sure sign that it’s time to hunker down in the northwoods.
I mentioned last week how after the leaves come down (but before it snows) you can really see the topography, which can sometimes be surprising. It’s amazing how you can live your whole life in a wooded rural area, travel a road all of your 43 years, and never know what is at the end of the driveways you pass. But one quiet November day when you’re taking your time for deer, you might spot a cabin or garage roof that you haven’t seen before and think, hey, now they have a cool spot!
Not that I’m infringing on yer guys’s privacy, jeez oh pete! The other day someone asked me if I knew so-and-so, who lived out at the end of such-and-such road, because gosh they’ve been in Presque Isle forever. Now despite having lived nearly all of my life in a town of 700 annual residents, I actually do not know everyone in Presque Isle. And further, if they live out at the end of ‘such and such road’ they probably ENJOY their privacy, and I’m okay with that! It’s kind of a thing in Northern Vilas County, people here appreciate their peace and quiet via long driveways.
Work recently brought me down a driveway that I haven’t been on in quite awhile, but one that looms large in my childhood memories. It used to lead to my grandma and grandpa’s house on Oxbow Lake, although as a young girl I accessed the property by the path connecting it and Cedar Bay Resort, my childhood home. I had wonderful grandparents, my grandma Isabelle and I were especially close, and that path always led the way to chocolate kisses, card games and giggles, and the best hugs ever. When she sold the property, it was purchased by Paul and Joan Cieslak, who for decades before had rented the Summit Haus cabin at our resort for two weeks every July.
It always made me happy to see the Cieslaks out and about over the summer, even after I lost my grandmother. As if things changed in the rest of the world, but never too much at the home of my childhood. Of course that is wishful thinking, like the weather in November we will inevitably look up one day and see that the view has altered again. Paul and Joan have decided it’s time for them also to sell after many happy years, and I have the honor of helping them to pass it on to the next owners. It’s the perfect spot for a family that appreciates island views, memories in the making and yes, the peace and quiet afforded at the end of a long driveway.
Although the snow has melted (for now) we know it won’t be for long, so the wood stacking continues at home and here at the office I am (and by I, I mean Mark) heat taping the roof to keep it from ice damming in the spring. I almost thought of flinging the Christmas lights up at him and asking for a two-fer, but we still have Thanksgiving to enjoy. All in good time. Until then, blessings from Almost an Island where life is good.