Saturday, June 9, 2012

Farmer's Wife Vacation

If any of you out there are wondering "where the heck has she been?!"...the answer is Kjostad Lake, Minnesota. This place is near and dear to my heart, as it's where my grandparents went on their honeymoon, and our family has been going ever since. All three of us sisters even had our senior pictures at the lake. This was my 25th summer at Kjostad, but more importantly, it was Eli's first trip to the lake.

One of our favorite lake activies, floating in from the island
A picture of my Mamaw at the lake in the early years

Also along for the ride were Seth's parents, who got a taste of what a REAL road trip is like. Not too sure if they enjoyed the part of the vacation, but I think they they had a great time otherwise.

Seth's parents enjoying a ride on the pontoon

Vacation at Kjostad is nothing fancy, in fact, that's what makes it amazing. It's a simple life: no tv, no cell phones, no internet.  We spend our days fishing, doing chores around the cabins, laying on the dock, skiing and tubing, and best of all: eating!

This year we went up earlier than what I normally do, but we still had some great weather after all the rain finally went away.  I have a rule when I go up to the lake: you haven't really been to the lake if you haven't been IN the lake. Even the 65 degree water was not going to stop me. A little old trick I learned from my 20 years of competitive swimming is to just dive in! No pansy tip toeing around people, you gotta go all in or you're not gonna get in (or you might get pushed in by someone else!)

Though I love being at the lake, it just isn't the same without my sisters being there. Most of our best memories together were from our times at the cabin.  When we were little we used to play with our American Girl dolls and make up plays with them on rainy days. On the nice days we spent so much of our day in our swim suits that we would have horrible diaper rash. 

Lisa, myself, and Michelle at the cabin
Being silly at Nelsons: Lisa, Michelle, and myself

We would also walk the lane, which barely a 2 mile walk round trip, but I remember when I was little thinking it was the most horrendous thing ever when mom would make me walk the WHOLE thing! I would imagine a deer would come out of the woods and carry me on its back the rest of the way back.  The size of my thighs and tummy at this young age would probably explain why I hoped for things like this. 
Along one part of the lane was a large sand bank that we called "The Pit."  It was a rite of passage from "weenie little baby" to "cool big kid" if you could climb the pit with no help.  This year when we walked by the Pit, I had to laugh about it, but someday I think I'll make my kids do the same thing.

Change is slow at Kjostad Lake. One of the biggest changes over the 25 years that I can remember was when we were teenagers, our Mamaw and Papaw decided to get a Port-o-John on our lot because their septic tank at the cabin could only take so much, even with  the "if it's yellow keep it mellow, if it's brown flush it down" rule. 

My two sisters and I were all competitive swimmers, and when we went to the lake was peak training time for the summer State meet. Dad, not about to let us miss out on getting some shiny medals, took it upon himself to keep us in tip top shape. He took a bright yellow rope to make an underwater "lane line" for us to follow. Down and back, down and back, all along the yellow rope. Everyone in camp would get out their binoculars and watch us. By the time we went to the State meet, I bet those people could've taken our lap split times better than our coaches!

Dad and I swimming to the Big Island, a mile long swim

I could go on forever about the lake. It's provided us with not only so much fun, but it was a safe haven for our childhood.  In the fast paced world with so much pressure, it was a place that we could still be a kid, and it still is.  It was the place where we breathed out our last minute fears and jitters about going off to college, had our first alcohol on a "booze cruise" with family, and where we all hope to take our own kids someday to grow up. Being up north is not just the physical location, but it a state of mind. Even though I just got back, I'm already dreaming of being there again next year....

1 comment:

  1. Made me tear up, sis! Love the's si hard to communicate why it's so special to others but you did a wonderful job! Will point people (hubs included) to this post when they ask about the lake.