Just in case Florida was going to fall off due to bearing the burden of so many Spring Break-ers feeling the need to soak up some sun, we decided against heading south and did the complete opposite for our few days off. For anyone who knows us, they would understand that it would be how this family does things anyway.
I’m not sure anymore if we try to go against the grain or just naturally do it and then really enjoy ourselves. I think it’s the latter. It is. Really. It just works for us!
So, with Justin home for the week and very anxious to get AWAY from southern weather and into the frozen north, we headed up to the very tippy top of the upper peninsula to Lake Superior and its wildness for a few days. We found a very cool house that was built like a caboose that stood high on a bluff overlooking the lake and made ourselves at home.
Three of us faced some of our greatest fears to arrive here.
Justin: flying. Ever since being an aircraft disassembly guy and knowing exactly how those wings are held on to the plane, he has had a few qualms about flying. Imagine that!
Addie: heights-specifically bridges over water. The Mighty Mackinac stretched her a bit.
Alison: icy/snowy/slushy roads. The trip north (oh, only eight hours or so) in total slush that made my husband who very rarely feels daunted by driving refuse to use the left lane to pass (you have no idea what a big deal it is for Christian to follow slow cars instead of passing) and caused his hands to be wrinkly from gripping the wheel so tightly for so long,was not my very favorite car ride.
BUT, we made it safely and happily and all of us including Lily snuggled in 30 miles from anywhere to even buy a gallon of milk. No cell phone service, no wi-fi, just games and food and each other. Upon arrival we found a TV and satellite radio. The kids quickly decided that the TV would not come on. This meant no movies, no shows, no weather channel. Nothing. We only got tempted once from a weak moment of boredom, but banished the thought quickly.
Satellite radio provided us with music to dance to and laugh at and change the lyrics to. The song “Uncharted” became “I sharted!” and other such nonsense.
We arm wrestled…
We played games…
Some of us took a polar plunge…
And we completely fell in love with the U.P. all over again.
We survived snow, sleet, hail, thunder, crazy winds and were happy as could be next to our little woodstove.
I must say it was a challenge for some of us to totally “unplug” from the usual technology. At our house we call our devices rectangles to avoid the confusing iPad, iPod, iPhone, names. We frequently will take Sundays off from rectangles in order to stop texting, facebooking and the like and actually look at each other’s faces, but to take four whole days and not check an email…? It was different, but it was oh, so good!
Several times there was just a precious silence as we all were just TOGETHER. It was our favorite part. Just five of us, not distracted, just together. Just like folks did once upon a time when families would take a drive to visit other families and sit on couches facing each other and talk and tell the same old stories over and over again.
Is what we’ve created with technology so much better? We share our moments with hundreds of people instead of the few right in front of us that matter the most. This is amplified a million times more to me these days as having my son in the next room, even just sleeping, is a priceless gift.
The gift of cherished time is one of the most beautiful things in the world.
We have it, yet we throw it away so often.
Today, just take a look at the faces around you. Maybe avoid some screens (rectangles). Let’s not fail to live this moment…