Something is missing
July 10, 2020
by Ivan Raconteur

It’s been a surreal sort of week at the old bachelor estate.

The evil geniuses at Facebook keep taunting me with photos and reminding me that last year at this time, I was exploring breweries across northern Minnesota.

My calendar tells me I should be on vacation this week – but our annual vacation was canceled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Too many people in our group are at high risk, so they understandably did not feel comfortable going forward with normal plans.

It feels very strange. Every July for more than three decades we have made the pilgrimage to Sunset Point Resort on the shore of beautiful Bass Lake in Cohasset.

The rustic white cabins with Iron Range red trim are as familiar as my own home.

Stepping out of my vehicle each summer, I always take a moment to savor the fragrance of the north woods, listen to the wind playing among the ancient trees, and look at the sunlight dancing on the surface of the water.

If I close my eyes, I can hear the familiar sounds of forest creatures going about their business, outboard motors on the lake, boats jostling against the dock, screen doors banging, and people laughing.

The annual family vacation is an institution that has endured births and deaths, marriages and divorces, and the comings and goings of friends new and old, but for this year at least, it was not able to survive COVID-19.

Even the resort at which we stay has been forced to implement new procedures in the face of the current pandemic.

Cabin week is not something I give much thought to during most of the year. Perhaps this is because it has been such a consistent part of our lives for so long.

We don’t need to question it – it just is.

Reservations for the following year are made before we leave. We know when we will be there, and what we will do when we get there.

For our family, cabin week is something pleasant and reliable in an increasingly chaotic world.

This may be why I am feeling a sense of emptiness this week.

It seems everything is different this year, in every area of our lives, so to lose this tradition that helps to ground us is especially difficult.

For now, I’ll have to be satisfied with going through some old photos, remembering some old stories, and looking forward to seeing the gang at the lake again next year.

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