Time to Reflect….
Much of our time up north on our annual family trip is spent reflecting on the past year of our lives. Every year, the trip seems so far off and it isn’t until the night before when we are scrambling to gather up all of our necessities for the week ahead that the reality of the trip starts to take hold. Even as we start off on our drive, it doesn’t feel like vacation yet, but the moment we turn down Blue Lake Road, it feels as if we never left. The roads and woods are familiar to all of us as we’ve been coming here for 17 years.
Our oldest son, Noah, was 4 and our youngest son, Will, wasn’t even 1 yet when we made our first family trip up here at the beginning of September in 2001. I had just released my Pictures CD on August 10th, 2001 and we had moved to our new home in Red Wing, MN. We shared a cabin with my Brother-In-Law Jeff, his Wife Cathy and our niece, Kate, who had just turned 1. I was only able to get a couple days off of work so we headed home after a great time at the lake and I returned to my job in Edina, MN on 9-11-2001. What a surreal first day back it was. I was digging through emails and trying to get caught up when a co-worker came in to tell me that a plane had crashed into the world trade center. I assumed it was a small plane and I didn’t give it much thought. When he came in a little while later to inform me that another plane had crashed into tower 2, I realized that something indeed was not normal or random about this situation now. After the 1st tower fell, the owner of the company sent us all home to be with our families. I was listening to the radio in my car and driving on 494 when the 2nd tower collapsed. I remember crying and calling Beth. She turned the TV on and soon joined me in crying. It was a horrible, devastating feeling that is forever seared into my brain.
Last week, while we were still at the cabin, we all agreed to attended a poetry reading at a local library and we were happy to discover that they had some books for sale. I bought a couple of John Grisham novels that I hadn’t read yet and Noah bought a book called, “Falling Man”. It is a story about 9-11 and the cover has the 11 enlarged to represent the two trade center towers. In the center of of one of the 1’s is a silhouette of an upside down man jumping from the tower on 9-11 to escape the fire. As I looked at the cover of Noah’s book and realized what it was about, I was immediately transported back in my mind to the days we spent at Blue Lake just before 9-11 in 2001.
All of our lives have been forever changed by the events that took place on 9-11, but I am grateful that for at least 1 week out of the year, my little family can get together and create new memories while we reflect on the past in the northwoods of Wisconsin. Blue Lake is restorative to my soul and I hope that you have a place where you can take time to reflect and count your own blessings.
Talk to you soon,