Do you have a special place? A place that makes your heart and soul feel happy and at peace? A place that brings you so much joy and happiness, it makes your whole being feel complete? For me, it’s our family cabin in Rabbit Bay, Michigan. Every summer was spent for the most part up in Rabbit Bay. My mom would pack everything up the night before, we couldn’t sleep, we’d be so excited to get on the road. We’d be waking her up in the morning, all ready to go. My dad usually stayed home as he had to work, but he’d come join us for long weekends when we had extended trips, sometimes he’d take a week or so off.
The best part and something that I look forward to every summer, is the moment you pull into the cabin drive and catch a glimpse of Lake Superior glittering behind the cabin. You open the car door, breathe in the smell of fresh pine, and smiling happily, run down to the lake. The feeling of pure joy. The sand between your toes, the water gently splashing against the shore, and the vast never ending canvas of Lake Superior. True love.
Mornings at the cabin are so beautiful, they make my heart ache. From my childhood to now, it’s still the same. Waking up to the sun streaming through the window, hearing the gentle lap of the water through the open window, and smelling something delicious coming from the kitchen. My grandma always woke before everyone else, making blueberry muffins or pancakes, bacon. The smell of coffee topping it all off. We throw on our swimwear under our clothing and head to the dining room. My grandpa had usually finished eating before we made our arrival, and would be out chopping firewood by the woodshed. He always made sure the sauna was well stocked!
Something I really love about our cabin, is that it has hardly changed over the years. My dad did a few renovations here and there, including remodeling the inside of the sauna, but otherwise, everything is how it’s always been. It’s cozy, lived in, old school style and absolutely has the best vibe ever.
The days are spent swimming, paddle boating, running through the woods, reading books, picking wild blueberries and happily being in the midst of everyone’s company. The evenings are spent enjoying the sauna, occasionally doing a mad dash to the lake to jump in the cold water, and sitting out on the front swing, watching the stars and hoping for a glimpse of a bear. We saw them quite often years ago, but we haven’t for many summers now. Some evenings we go out on the beach for a bonfire, roast some s’mores, listen to the waves in the dark. With my love of thunderstorms, it’s always exciting if there’s a late night storm. Seeing the storm clouds build up on the horizon, lightning decorating the sky, reflecting across the water. And if we were lucky, on a few nights, we’d enjoy northern lights. Every evening a treasure.
When we were younger, and my dad was back home, he’d call every evening and us kids would line up to talk to him and tell him about our day. One time (i believe it happened a few times actually) he had been talking to my mom saying he was heading up in the morning. And suddenly we saw headlights making their way down the drive! He’d surprised us! Oh we were so happy! When dad was there, our fun went to a whole new level. He brought us tubing, boating, jet skiing in the later years, and if you knew him, he was just the best presence to have around. He loved the cabin as much, if not more, than the rest of us. He once commented shortly before his diagnosis, that Rabbit Bay was the closest thing to heaven on earth. I couldn’t agree more. This past summer was so hard without him there and I know forever will be.
We’d typically stay at the cabin the whole time we were there. Maybe once a week, we’d go into Houghton to the dollar store and to get groceries. Those outings were so fun, as we’d get to spend a couple dollars on a treat and toy. Sometimes we’d stop in Lake Linden at the ice cream shop, Dairyland, for a treat. It’s still there and we still go each summer.
In the last couple summers there, I’ve gone out more. Since I absolutely love finding good coffee and donut shops, I venture to town in the early morning often. There’s a little coffee shop in Calumet I frequent, as well as one in Houghton. I love to stop at the donut shop, Roys, where they have the most incredible donuts as well as breakfast pasties. I time it out right so I’m back at the cabin before the beach hours have begun. There’s a fun souvenir shop in Calumet that sells all kinds of candy and cute things. I always make sure the kids get a trip there!
Every cabin feel is still exactly the same. With kids along now, it’s more busy. But they’ve taken such a love to the cabin as well, it’s so awesome to see them experiencing the same sweet summers i did. The vacation there is even more enjoyable for me now. I get to do all the things we did as kids, along with my kids. And forget everything else in life. It’s so refreshing.
The days are still spent on the beach, evenings in the sauna and on the front swing. New memories made, new memories shared, and memories reminisced. To have this little piece of paradise, is something we are so blessed with.