Everyone has certain places they feel connected to – certain places that automatically feel like home whether they are or not. Since I was a child that is how it has been for me with the house my Grandfather grew up in at the edge of Baileys Harbor in Door County. It is a craftsman style farmhouse on rambling fields that once were orchards. The land is dotted with various outbuildings all fastidiously up-kept by my Grandfather, who I find to be my kindred spirit, always making the choice to preserve rather than replace. And if a house needs someone to maintain the structure, it also needs someone to make it a home. That duty falls upon my Grandmother, Claudia, who fills the house with the smell of baked coffeecake, the sound of well-meaning Scrabble banter, and the feeling of fresh linens. She is the person who sees the good in everyone, and knows exactly how to express it.
When I was a child my brother Joshua, my cousin Danielle and I would run wild up there. We would climb the big crabapple tree, get lost wandering the fields and create houses in the “cedar palace” as we called it. The overall feeling was an intense sensation of freedom.
As I’ve grown older, the place has remained close to my heart, and it was such a joy to find that Ben saw all the wonderful things I see in it, and that it could become a place we could cherish together. Memorial Day weekend is always our first trip up there, and this year we were particularly excited to bring Pieper up for the first time. We knew she would love exploring the trails, nights around the campfire, and playing with Echo (the cute, fuzzy thing in the photo under the chair).
We packed the weekend with the Maifest parade in Jacksonport, breakfast at the Carroll House, ice cream at Wilson’s, and an evening at Skyway Drive-In… all surrounded by various games of Scrabble, bocce ball and many rides around the field on bikes, four-wheeleers and (yes that is a) golf cart. Ben and I took our film cameras along in hope of sharing the timelessness of how we experience our time spent “Up North”.