We are back.
We went on vacation last week with my parents. They rent two little lake cabins every year so that we can all spend a week having a real vacation. I don't know how restful it is for my parents, but it gives the kids a lot of excitement and Peter and I get a chance to actually rest as Grandma and Grandpa cook and keep the kids busy.
The resort is in the middle of nowhere. It's along the edge of the Chippewa National Forest, 40 minutes away from Grand Rapids, Home of Judy Garland. We ran out of diapers towards the end of our vacation. We drove 10 miles to pay $14 for a package of Luvs. As I was checking out, the woman remarked that this was the last pack of diapers on the shelf in a size 4. I told her that she had a remarkable memory. She said that, no, she had been watching the supply of diapers and was waiting for the last package to sell before she ordered more. I wondered what would happen if you lived in the area wanted to buy diapers when she was waiting for a shipment. You'd have to drive miles to find any. Of course, so few people live in the area that I imagine there wasn't too much chance of anyone rushing in with a desperate need for diapers. But still. If Target were to run out of Luvs, well, I could buy the Target brand diapers, Pampers, Huggies (two different kinds), and that crunchy brand they're carrying now. And, failing that, I could buy diapers at one of the two grocery stores. It's almost a shame I use cloth diapers.
It was a five hour drive to the cabins and it put us in the middle of the quietest bit of forest that you can imagine. The Northwoods are dense and dark, filled with birch trees and pine and we spent the week enjoying the quiet. In the Twin Cities, we have airplanes flying overhead all the time. At our house, you can hear the blaring horn of passing trains half a mile away and the highway provides a steady stream of white noise. In the woods, all you can hear is the forest and the lake. I never heard an airplane all week. And at night I would look up and see the stars. In the country one can see the stars most people have forgotten even exist. I would look into the sky and be amazed that these bright points of light had been there all along. Even on the clearest, coldest day of the year, these are never seen in the city. And you forget. It made me wonder what else is out there, obscured by the business of everyday life. And I wonder how one goes about finding it.
Whatever else there is and however one finds it, it almost certainly has to be easier than finding diapers in the middle of the wilderness.