My family has been vacationing at the same lake in Minnesota for as long as I can remember. Before I was bringing my children up here, I was tagging along with my parents and siblings. It’s from this locale that I find myself drafting up the current blog post.
While the location of our holiday remains the same, nearly everything else that surrounds our vacation is years removed from the time when I used to swim all day long, breaking only for my grandmother’s homemade soup or to help my grandfather with whatever project he was currently inventing. So much has changed since these childhood memories occurred. Resort owners have retired, some have died. Neighbors have long ago sold their trailers and ceased making the long trip up north. I haven’t been here with all of my siblings in many years, and probably won’t ever be again. We all have spouses and kids of our own, now, and coordinating the schedules and budgets to accommodate such a large family is all but impossible.
Other things have changed, too. The “little bait store” in downtown Walker has moved buildings, opened a location in another town and generally feels more like a sporting goods emporium, now. Cabins from the old resort were sold, put on a truck and placed in different locations inside the Native American reservation, only to be abandoned and left to rot. The wildlife park that used to shelter dozens of nearly tame white-tailed deer that children and families could feed by hand has been closed for several years. Even the once woodsy and wild Pine Point has been sectioned off, sold, and cleared out to make way for several million-dollar summer homes.
I’m trying to get out and walk every day this vacation. My job back home requires very little movement nowadays (I can attend every meeting from my desk – or even my home – with the latest collaborative technologies provided by my company) but on vacation I have the time and good weather to make an effort to be more active. The other day I took a walk up the road with my oldest son, past the resort that I used to frequent as a lad half his age. Beside the driveway to that resort is a good sized rock, large enough that I cannot put my arms all the way around it and tall enough to reach somewhere between my knees and belt. I told my son of the days when I would accompany my grandma up that driveway to the mailbox, stopping every time to scale that rock. Reaching the summit was less of an accomplishment with each passing year, and I remember joking with my sister about the day when the rock would look more like a pebble than a mountain to our adult eyes. Though that day has arrived, I decided to scale the rock one more time, and I even talked my son into doing the same.