Northwoods summers are something special. My years of growing up there have shown me that. Looking back, I realize how just how lucky I have been to live in such a beautiful place. No matter where I end up in life, the Northwoods will always have a special place in my heart.
Northwoods summers are made of adventures to backwoods waterfalls with those you love, when even the car ride is fun, no matter how long, because the company couldn’t be better. Northwoods summers are made of lazy days out on the lake, on the boat or just the beach, soaking up sunshine with family and a dog who loves fetch and the water more than anything in world. They’re made of weekend picnics, even on rainy days, because if there’s a will there’s a way, and not a single day will go to waste. They’re made of spending every second possible outside, because warmth is short-lived in the Northwoods, but the cold days make us appreciate the warm ones even more.
Northwoods summers smell like brats and burgers grilling and campfires burning, sending twinkling embers into the night sky. They smell like wildflowers on the breeze, soaking up every ray of sun they can get, just like the rest of us. They smell like freshwater lakes, of which there are many, and freshly cut grass in the morning or the afternoon. They smell like the dirt beneath your car tires as you drive down a woods road, the dog content with her head out the window. Sometimes, Northwoods summers smell like the thirsty earth, right before and right after it rains, and some years more than others.
Northwoods summers sound like laughter and fireworks, which are lit off at homes all around town as early as the beginning of June. Northwoods summers sound like kids ringing bike bells as they whiz down country roads. They sound like music from portable stereos. Often, they sound like the beating wings of flying insects, some of which are not so pleasant, but others are welcome guests. Northwoods summers sound like singing birds of countless different species. At my house, Northwoods summers occasionally sound like the revving of a motorcycle engine.
Northwoods summers feel like the sun on your shoulders as you read a book on the swing in your backyard. They feel like the cool water on your toes as early as mid-May, only a few weeks after the ice has melted. They feel like sand and grass and earth beneath your feet, because who needs shoes anyway? Certainly not me. They feel like a refreshing dip in one of countless lakes, sometimes just to wade and other times to lay out on a floating raft, getting the best of both worlds. They feel like the wind blowing through your hair on a bicycle or a motorcycle. They feel like breezes and sunshine on your arms, legs, and feet, which finally don’t have to be bundled up for the cold winter air. Northwoods summers feel like late nights chasing off sleep because you don’t want the day to end.
Northwoods summers are sunshine and the outdoors, but most of all, Northwoods summers are family and friends. At least in my opinion, Northwoods summers are better than most.