From Navy Captain to Yooper Girl


December 20, 2017. I’m about to purchase a rough and undeveloped patch of land on the waterfront of Huron Bay in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (U.P.). It’s so rough that we can barely walk through it…lumpy and wet and thick with underbrush and fallen branches and rotting logs. Jeff is my partner in this adventure and has convinced me of its potential. We both grew up here, so we’re “Yoopers” (natives of the U.P.). I left at 18 and traveled the world, primarily through the Navy. He stayed, and traveled little. We are both adventurers and visionaries, in very different ways. He has a vision for this piece of land. I don’t have it yet, but I’m going to trust his — because I yearn for a return to nature and the chance to create something with it. Nature is a great healer. No matter where I lived or how immersed I was in my career, I sought out places to be alone with nature. What I didn’t know, until lately, is how much I would rely on nature to keep my balance as I grew older. I didn’t know how much it would heal me. I didn’t even know I needed healing.

This is a blog about creating a rustic camp in the far north woods near Lake Superior, and my partners in its creation – both human and animal. It’s about noticing small things each day and allowing joy to grow. It’s about finding peace when the world seems far from peaceful. Sometimes it’s about escape; more often, it’s about insights through observation. It’s about allowing both escape and insight to bring healing. And it’s about letting go of the need to write with purpose — something I did all my life — and write for pure joy. I write for myself and not for you, but I welcome your visit! (To read this blog as a chronological journal, click “next post” below.)

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