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I keep thinking about our recent trip to Wisconsin. Looking through the photos (there are hundreds!) makes me smile. I think about the memories we’re creating too. Do you know the German word, Sehnsucht? I’ve been feeling that way. Wistful. Nostalgic for a past I never actually experienced.
I’ve shared photos of our trip, but I didn’t write about the meaning of the place. Brandon’s family has been returning to the same spot in the north woods of Wisconsin year after year, decade after decade. I met Brandon shortly after his dad passed away, but there’s a picture of them together, taken in those woods when Brandon was the same age as August.
His family used to rent a place when they went up there, and they eventually bought a little cabin on the lake in 1987. Five years ago, Brandon’s mom and step-dad completely remodeled it, but the spirit of the place is the same.
There’s magic in returning with your family to the same places you frequented as a child. Someday, hopefully, our kids will know the feeling.
That was the place Eleanor had her first s’more. The place where our dog had free roam and a dip in the lake. The place where August could run and run and run. The place where the kids first went fishing, where it took a 30 minute drive to get into town, and where they watched their dad shoot off Roman candles, thinking they were the most amazing fireworks in the world. I didn’t have the same experience as a child, but it sure is nice as a mom.
Did you go to the same place each summer when you were growing up? A little cabin in the woods? A beach you returned to year after year? Summer camp? My family didn’t travel much or take vacations often, but I hope to be able to create those memories now.
It’s a six-hour drive and a tank of gas away.