A beautiful day like today can easily get you dreaming about summer vacation. Minnesota Public Radio essayist Peter Smith is taking some time off this summer, and if you're like many Minnesotans, his plans will sound strangely familiar.
Smith: With summer only a weeks away, school letting out, and family schedules converging, I'm starting to think about a good, old fashioned, North Woods vacation.
Not at one of those big resorts with golf courses and spas and a dining room where they feed you on the American plan. I want a week at one of those family-run places with cabins. I want a rustic smelling, building code-bending two-bedroom-and-a-fold-out-couch, knotty pine Nirvana on a good fishing lake.
For one week-one glorious week-I want to worry about the tenuous state of its plumbing and read and re-read the list of things not to flush down the toilet. I want to be there when my wife finds the mousetrap behind the refrigerator; to smile in the dark when she hears something scurrying in the bedroom wall.
I want to motor the length and breadth of the lake in a rented boat with one of my kids, finding the best fishing spots, plunking and minnow-dunking, brain completely disengaged.
And should the weather take a turn for the worse, I want to idle away a rainy afternoon with one of those Louis Lamour paperback westerns that always seem to come with the place.
Let me get to know the family next door just a little-the Iowans who drove up to fish for bullheads and keep asking how my soil moisture is. Let me marvel at the owners' remarkable combination of persistence, patience, handyman skills, business sense, and hospitality. If I ran the place, I'd come to blows with one of my guests at least once a week.
No cell phones. No wifi. No 3G. No nothing. If somebody needs me that badly, they can call the office and leave a message.
One week. That will be sufficient. When Saturday comes, tired, sunburned, a small patch of poison ivy on my ankle, I'll settle the bill. The family will climb in the car, and a mile or two down the road, we'll merge into the traffic back to the Cities, all rested and quiet and happy...
Al least until, somewhere north of Saint Cloud, somebody discovers a wood tick.