Some Thoughts About Up North
By Jerry Angst 1995

There are those who think that some of us have lost our appreciation for the Northland. I don't think I have, but perhaps I have lost something.

I was mowing my lawn one afternoon when the guest in Cabin # 4 came out and stood on the shoreline admiring the lake. I shut the mower off and walked over to socialize with her a bit. Almost the first thing she did when I walked up was inform me, without taking her eyes off the lake, that when I mow my lawn I get to do it on the shore of Little Bass Lake. I said "yes, that's true". Then she said "And when you get tired, you can sit on this lounge chair to rest and look at the lake". Again I replied "Yes, that's true", and waited for her to make her point. But she didn't say anything else.......that WAS her point.
There was a similar occurrence a few years ago when I was building a new dock to replace one that was getting to be a tad rickety. It was a cold, windy, afternoon in late April and I was in my driveway nailing the top boards to a 10 foot by 4 foot frame that I had just built, when a former co-worker of mine from Rochester drove in the driveway. As soon as he got out of his car I began to complain about how cold and windy it was and how my hands were freezing and how I had to stay out in the cold to finish this dock and that this time of the year it seems like I have more work than I can handle......etc, etc, etc. In response, he turned around to face the lake, held out his arms, and said "Yes, but look at what you have for an office". That put things into perspective and I quit complaining.

You know, contrary to what my friend sometimes thinks, I haven't lost my appreciation of the lake or of the Northland. But I think maybe I'm not in awe of it anymore! Or perhaps I've become just a little bit numb to it. But neither of those things are the same as "not appreciating it".

I've lived here a tad more than twenty-five years. For the first year I couldn't walk through my living room without pausing to look at the lake through the picture window. Every time I was in that room, the view grabbed me by the shirt collar and made me stop and look at it. After a year or so I quit doing that.......but I still have the same appreciation for it. In fact, I think I actually appreciate it more than I did at first. I'm just relaxed and confident enough, so that now I don't have to wring all the enjoyment I can out of it, every chance I get. I can enjoy it in a gentler and quieter manner. But even with that knowledge, it's still nice when a customer or a friend from down south says something that puts things back into perspective again, and makes me really FEEL how nice it is to live Up North.

Incidently, Autumn is a nice quiet time of the year around here and a good time to relax and enjoy being Up North. I have cabins available for weekday or weekend rentals. If you're interested in renting one of them, send me an e-mail or give me a call.