Monday, August 22, 2011

We Are Here

I come from a long line of vacation slackers, which means, our family didn't go on vacation much.  We only took two road trips of note when I was growing up.  My dad had his own business and it was difficult for him to get away.  We also didn't have a lot of discretionary funds for elaborate vacations in my family.  This seemed to be the case for me when I first got out of college, or even when I first became a pastor. 

But I've adjusted to the fact that I am going to go on vacation, not just because I was told that  pastors need to get away, but also because my husband really likes to go new places, and we both like to go back to old places too. 

And, humbly I admit:  I need to get away.  I need to get away more than I am willing to admit, even.  I need to get away and I feel a little guilty about it at the same time. 

So yesterday, after church, we packed up the dog and the car and the laptop computers (and a new ipad: a birthday present for my husband) and drove up to the North Shore of Lake Superior.  We had been warned about highway construction, but didn't experience too much delay on a Sunday afternoon (although there was a pretty long line of cars going the other direction).  We got in early in the evening and settled in right away, me reading and knitting, my husband playing with his new toy.

This morning we got up and started on the road to Grand Marais.  We made the obligatory stop at Betty's Pies (where we left Scout yodeling in the car for a little while), and then drove the rest of the way up without stopping.

It's one of my favorite places on the North Shore, this little town where the temperature rarely gets above 72 degrees, where there are artists and a bookstore, a famous donut shop, a Ben Franklin store crammed with everything you might need for wilderness hiking,canoeing or camping.   It's right there on the lake, the greatest lake, where there are sailboats and hydroplanes and people walking their dogs.

Scout made some new friends, and I mean that sincerely.  I think she believes that letting people pet her is one of her jobs.  (although every once in awhile, she will become inexplicably shy.)  She let lots of people pet her, particularly children.  She got to go into a variety/antique/etc store, although most of the time she stands outside with one of us while the other one of us visits the store.  She gets some of her best compliments (and pets) when she waits vigilantly outside a store waiting for one or the other of us to come out.
One of the reasons we drove up to Grand Marais was to eat at one of our favorite restaurants, the Angry Trout.  We love the local, organic, healthy food, and the fact that Scout is welcome at the outdoor tables.  Today I had the most wonderful salad with a little bit of trout; my husband had trout chowder and a burger.

Scout sniffed over to the table behind us where an older woman was eating alone.  I apologized, but she said she was a great admirer of dogs, and we proceeded to have an extended conversation.  She was a retired English teacher.  I confessed that I was an English major, but had become a pastor.  She said that ministry was her second love; she had just finished writing a Bible study on 1st and 2nd Samuel. 

Scout brought us together.

She also introduced us to a young couple with a little girl, who all came up to us at the Angry Trout and asked permission to pet her.  She happily obliged; the little girl even put her arms around her. 

Scout also got introduced to a woman who said she practiced "healing touch" for dogs.  The woman placed her hands right about Scout's head and made some movements until:  what do you know?  Scout laid right down.

So, all in all, it was a good day.  We had to leave Grand Marais, which always made me sad.  But we are still here, on the North Shore, for a little while, anyway.

The dog is lying on the floor.  We are reading, and I am knitting a little.  The lake is just outside, reminding me that there are so many things larger, and deeper and more wonderful than I am. 

Only one of the reasons that I go on vacation.


Fran said...

It is a great and wonderful thing that you are on vacation! Rest is part of active ministry, right?

I love that shot of Scout - so cute!!

Terri said...

A wonderful little get away! Love towns like the one have gone too!

zorra said...

How marvelous. All of it, but especially the "72 degrees" part!

Jan said...

Enjoy! So glad you're doing this, especially with Scout. I grew up like you--no family vacations; we only went to visit relatives.

Jennifer said...

Sounds lovely! May it be restorative for you and J and fun for Scout and all.