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Dusting off Winter

A labor of love May 19, 2024

A weekend for opening up and letting go of winter…

For anyone who has ever owned, been a part of, or had the privilege

…opening up a summer camp is a bit overwhelming and daunting.

Don’t forget to turn the water and electric on, and make sure the propane tank is full.

That first inspection of the property, in its exterior, and interior, is like walking into winter on a beautiful spring day. Depressing.

The air is cold and dank and it’s dark inside.  Curtains are closed, sheets are covering up furniture, and rugs are rolled up.

Dead flies lie on window sills and in the corners.  Unavoidable mouse scatterings lay on the side table next to the stove.  

Yes, they were here.  And they just wanted to make sure you knew it!  Darn vermin!

It doesn’t matter how well you winterize or what kind of traps, Decon, and electronic sound devices you buy; they still get in and host a party during the winter while you are gone.

And then there is outside…

The camp sits in a grove of pines, on a dirt road, along a lake.  Inevitably, the wind blows hard in January, and pine needles, dead branches, pinecones, and oak leaves cover the ground beneath.  

It looks like a bomb was detonated on the porch roofs where everything that hung out over the camp fell.    Who is going to climb up there for removal?  

Gutters need to be cleaned of pine needles, cobwebs need to be taken down from all the corners of the back porch, and everything needs to be raked.  Everything.

The chairs need to come out from hiding underneath the camp, the dock needs to be put in, and the hammock needs to be hung.

Bedding needs to be washed, beds made up, and sills wiped free of dust.  Vacuum, vacuum, vacuum.  

Laundry, laundry, laundry.  The poor septic system doesn’t know what hit it. 

Oh, it’s a chore… and it’s beauteous, all at the same time.  

There are years when it seems all we do is work to keep the place up.  The only serenity comes from the coffee in the mornings on the dock, or a cocktail on the porch in the evening.

It’s been my life, since before I was born.  The rhythm of going up to camp.  

Opening it up, working on it all summer, and then shutting it down in the fall.

All so the mice can hang and have a rager of a party all winter.

I wouldn’t trade it for anything.  

We are coming up on Memorial Day Weekend, friends.  I hope you have plans to enjoy good food and good company, out under blue skies, and sunshine.  

But, if you are like any other hardworking farm family…if the sun is shining you will be knee-deep in mowing hay, planting corn, and other miscellaneous tillage work!

With love,