Wednesday, August 5, 2015

The Simplicity of Life in Door County

In 1958, my Grandpa, who had seven children, bought a piece of land up in Door County, Wisconsin. On it, he built a cabin for his family right on the bluffs overlooking Green Bay. Every summer, we traveled to this cabin and spent weeks with my relatives enjoying the water, food and being with family. There was no television, cell phones, computers, etc. so we swam, hiked, played at the park, went to the ferry dock to watch the ferries take the people and their cars over to Washington Island, swim, ski, play all kinds of card games, Scrabble {Our Grandma, even when she was in her 90s, could beat anyone!}, put puzzles together, etc.

One Uncle, bought the land right above my Grandpa's cabin where all of his family would stay. Another Uncle, put his motor home right above my Grandpa's cabin for them to live in and a third uncle has a year round home within walking distance where many who need a bed to sleep in can sleep! When Alyssa was born, my Dad bought a small cabin right next to my Grandpa's and my parents built more rooms onto it. Therefore, when we come up here, it's like a neighborhood of families all close together sharing life together. Every place has an open door policy and we visit with each other often.

We've brought our children up to this cabin almost every summer of their lives. They have grown to love it just as much as we do. We still don't have much cell phone or Internet access. We don't watch or listen to much news. Instead, we sit on the front deck and listen to the waves crash on the shore, watch the boats go by, read, chat and watch the sunset each night.

About 20 minutes away, there's an organic farm where we buy all types of grass-fed meats and organic vegetables. It's far from anything that would contaminate it from GMOs and other toxic chemicals. A few minutes from there is a health food store and the woman who owns it already knows us! Almost all of the stores and restaurants are family owned. People who lived up there during the Great Depression could hardly tell there was a depression. They ate fish out of the lake, used all the food they had preserved from their gardens during the summers and had ample amounts of fresh water from the lake.

There isn't one fast food restaurant or stoplight for 50 miles from our cabins. At night, it is pitch black out if there's no moon and the stars are brilliant. The only traffic you hear is the occasional boat passing by. Oh, and the praise music being played in our cabin, Grandpa's cabin and my uncle's place! {At least, this is what I heard one morning as I sat in front of my Uncle's place; the only place to get Internet access.} It's easy to be still and hear the still small voice of God without all the intrusions of the world and its continual diet of bad news.

We go to a little Baptist church near us. There's just a piano with a few people behind it belting out praise songs to the Lord. There's no bass or drums which I LOVE; just the voices of God's people praising the Lord. As I was going towards my seat, the friendly Pastor's wife came over to me and introduced herself. She, along with the Pastor, spoke to all my children and their spouses after the service. {We just came home from spending two weeks up there.} It is a small church and the people are warm and friendly!

There have been so many times when I sense a moment of what heaven will be like when I am there; diving into the warm, calm lake or sitting on the deck watching a spectacular sunset created by our loving Creator. I don't think we're supposed to know all the bad things going on in the world. Each of us has enough suffering and trials in our own families and friends that it's too much of a burden to carry those all around the world; people we don't even know. Yes, we should be praying for the lost and hurting but we shouldn't have a steady diet of terrible and terrifying news. It's sure to take away our joy when we are commanded to dwell on the lovely and the good!

This picture was taken for my Grandparent's 50th wedding anniversary 
in the cabin on July 27, 1967. I am the second child from the right. My Dad is behind me. My Mom is sitting next to me and my sisters are the one on my left and sitting in front of me.

These are my happy kiddos who could make it. {It was Ryan and Emily's first time here and they LOVED it!} My son, Ryan, and his wife, Erin, were home expecting their third and Alyssa and Jon were home to help them with Ryan's two younger ones when the baby came!

Ken posted this picture of them on my Facebook page and wrote, "The only thing that could be better than spending nine days in Door County with these guys is to have all our kids with us; lots of fun, games and laughter with white fish dinners and smoked salmon. Almost paradise with never a bad mood or cross word, just a lot of joy in the Lord for His bountiful goodness! Our God is so good, and so are Grandma and Grandpa with their generosity!"

Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power; 
for thou hast created all things, 
and for thy pleasure they are and were created.
Revelation 4:11