My Heart Knows 7/29/15


It’s the place people go to escape,

A place made of cabins, pine trees and lakes.

But no matter how far you drive

There’s no sign to say “you’ve arrived”.

So just follow your heart till you find . . .

Your special place that brings peace of mind.

As you breathe in the air and unwind . . .

Your cares are all left behind.

It’s no mystery where the northwoods start

When you arrive Up North you’ll know

In your heart. 

Suzanne Kindler

It happened for me on Monday afternoon as I was driving somewhere between Flint and Gaylord, MI.  Ted had been napping, but I knew he was awake.  We had reached that point on the upper limits of I-75 where the highway separates, the billboards disappear, and between the northbound and southbound lanes the space is filled with trees. For a few miles it’s miscellaneous green, and then you begin to see the trunks of white birch. 

I reached over and touched Ted’s arm and said, “We’ve arrived.”

“Arrived?  Arrived where?” he said, looking out the window.

“Arrived where I’m a different person from who I am anywhere else,” I said. 

Ted smiled.  He’s used to me going all mystical on him when we’re up north.  I smiled back, feeling my body relax and the magic of the northwoods turn the corners of my lips upwards.

IMAGINE . . . .

Think back to your childhood and try to remember the most fun you ever had.  Chances are one of the first things that will pop into your mind is summer camp – at least if you were ever lucky enough to go. 

Being at Sue and Terry’s place on Black Lake is like that . . . .

Our place . . .

Our place . . .

It's a log cabin filled with sink-down-into-them sofas. . .

. . . is a log cabin filled with sink-down-into-them sofas. . .

. . . windows and door that are never closed . . .

. . . windows and doors that are never closed . . .

 . . . and doors at the front and side that slam shut when they closed and squeak when they open.

. . . and screened doors at the front and side that slam shut when they close and squeak when they open.

There's a dock lines with American flags . . .

There’s a dock lined with American flags . . .

. . . kayaks . . .

. . . kayaks on a sandy beach . . .

. . .  a fire pit, a swing, a hammock . . .

. . . a fire pit, a swing (it squeaks too), a hammock, chairs designed for conversation (that’s Sue and Terry’s cabin behind the trees) . . .

. . . and two resident Goldens (Brinkley and Ruby) that have made Bear and Maddie welcome.

. . . and two resident Goldens (Brinkley and Ruby) who have welcomed Bear and Maddie with open paws.


We sleep at night with the cabin wide open and the screened porch aglow with sparkling lights.

At night the screened porch glows with sparkling lights . . .

. . . and we sleep amid pillows piled high on a tall bed close to open windows.

. . . and we sleep amid pillows piled high on a tall bed close to open windows.

For three weeks we’ll call this beautiful setting home. 

My heart knows we’ve arrived

22 thoughts on “My Heart Knows 7/29/15

  1. My boyfriend and I went “Up North” last weekend and I made the comment that I finally felt like I was “Up North” when the trees filled up between the north & south sides of the expressway 🙂 it truly is a magical place!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a gorgeous cabin/spot. Absolutely love it! I am heading to Northern MI and than to Mackinac Island next week. I can’t wait! Have a wonderful time Ted and Brenda and Maddie and Bear.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. How wonderful!! It’s looks like such a serene location and beautiful cabin. How lucky are you both! I know exactly what you mean about “arriving” and I know the area you are talking about when you really feel like you are “up north”. For us folks living in the southern part of the state, we know exactly what you mean! Enjoy!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh, my goodness. You just described my days at Carp Lake. And those trees on the highway. It’s a feeling that almost can’t be put into words. Makes me smile. I sure miss the Michigan summers that allow for always-open doors and windows. That is not to be in the Kentucky heat/humidity… makes me a little crazy at times not being able to let the outside in.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Tony looked at me after reading your blog and said “that is you”. The stress just floats out of my body the closer I get to Mackinac. Usually I fly which includes a layover at Chicago Ohare so there is always extra stress! LOL! When I land in Traverse City and start driving on a 2 lane highway to get to Interstate 75 my smile gets bigger.

    Thanks for sharing your special story.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I got goose bumps reading about your trip up I75. Once we cross the Zilwaukee Bridge I start to relax and totally forget about everything at home. I know that feeling well and I crave it right now! The cottage is beautiful nestle in the woods. You and Ted are so lucky. Wow, I’m jealous. I’m so close, yet so far. No Mackinac Island for me this year because of health issues but I’m looking forward to next summer already. So for this year I’ll have to live my Mackinac Island dreams and Black Lake experience through you. Have some extra enjoyment for me !!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. What a wonderful blog! I do the same thing…when I notice the white birches on I 75, I know it won’t be long until I’m on ‘the island.’ We’ll be there August 30 for a week….so looking forward to it. Maybe we’ll run into each other..that would be nice.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Love the poem. I will get some up north time mid Aug. I can hardly wait to get on the boat to the island. Enjoy your time at Black Lake and maybe we’ll see you on Mackinac.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Love your poem. I can hardly wait to be headed north mid Aug. and head to Mackinac Island. Enjoy your time at Black Lake and maybe we’ll see each other on the island.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Sounds like we all know the feeling of arriving “up north”! I remember the first time we went up to the UP and thought there were endless trees and nothing else! Now we can’t wait to get there. Enjoy your time there!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Enjoyed reading your description of arriving Up North and the pics of your 3 week vacation spot are lovely. Being a Michigander, it is fun to hear/read how you ‘see’ our State. Thanks for sharing and may the weeks be ones of respite.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Brenda,

    I hope you won’t mind too much, but I copied and saved the poem.

    I won’t say I’m envious of you & Ted because I’m so happy for you being able to be up north, but I wish I could be there too. The pictures are just perfect.

    I know exactly about the feeling of being up north. For me it’s a few miles north of Clare. The highway goes up a little hill, the farmland stops and the trees begin. I can feel myself relax. What a feeling. Those who haven’t experienced it have no way of knowing what we’re talking about (and probably think we’re a little touched in the head), but if they do experience it, they’ll know -they’ll just know.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Your pics look about as relaxing a place you’ll ever find! Enjoy!

    I love your line about where the highways separate … We are going to Mackinac Island next Sunday for 5 days, and when we get to that point on the trip where we the highways separate and all you see is birch trees, I just feel a heavy wait lifting off my shoulders and a ‘perma’ smile appears on my wife’s face. Counting down the days!


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