Haven of rest

May 25, 2010 | My Jottings

Michael and I need like to get away every several weeks so we can have some quiet time, some sleeping past 5:30 a.m. time, some reading in front of a fire time. A few weeks ago we went in the middle of the week to someplace we’d never been before, where we rented a cabin right on the brink of Lake Superior. It wasn’t far from home but it seemed like a world away. We turned off of Highway 61 when we saw this sign, and drove down a dirt road toward the big lake.

We were pleasantly surprised when we saw that our cabin was perched among some trees, right on the edge of Lake Superior. Less than a stone’s throw from the water. Closer than that, even. Close enough to sneeze on.

That afternoon and most of the night, the rain poured from the sky and the wind whipped up the lake and brought huge, crashing waves on the rocks below our windows.  In the morning the clouds began to lift and we could see the sun in the east over Lake Superior.

It was wonderful spending the day inside. Michael found something he loves to do but I don’t have the patience for:

And I found something I love to do that Michael doesn’t have the patience for: these are my relaxed feet propped up on the arm of the couch, and that is my Kindle, which can hold one thousand books.

We loved being in our cabin with a cozy fire crackling in the fireplace. We treated ourselves to a couple of these little bottles too:

We took turns in this gliding rocking chair by the window. Did I mention that right outside was the biggest fresh water lake in the world?  We love that lake. We live close to that lake. We’d like to live even closer someday.

A photo of favorites — favorite socks, favorite shoes, favorite man.

When the rain stopped the next day, we went to Gooseberry Falls and the visitor center there. I bought some bird bookmarks and two CDs, one of which I am now playing compulsively (but quietly) each night in our bedroom as we go to sleep. At the Gooseberry Center is a huge, stuffed Timberwolf. We have lots of these in our part of the country:

Michael explored the rocky shore right outside our cabin. He has always loved to hunt for agates.

Our last evening there we ate dinner at the Grand Superior Lodge, which is quintessentially Minnesotan in every way possible.

The menu was full of wonderful meals made with Minnesota things, like pink lingonberry butter to spread on dense homemade wild rice bread, fresh-catch walleye, and venison. I ordered apple brandied chicken stuffed with Brie, sprinkled with fresh herbs, pecans and cranberries, and maple syruped sweet potatoes. It was unique and eye-rollingly delicious.

Michael loves walleyed pike, one of the best tasting fresh water fish in the world. He fishes for walleye whenever he can, “winter, spring, summer or fall, all you have to do is call, and he’ll be there, yes he will, he wants a walleye,” and orders it often when we go out for dinner. His walleye came with Minnesota wild rice pilaf, and everything was cooked to perfection.

Michael wanted dessert and ordered a frozen chocolate mousse with raspberry coulis and sprinkled with ground pistachios. He loved it; I had a bite and thought it was okay. I would have been fine with a few miniature Reese’s cups.

When we were getting ready to head home I asked Michael if he thought he could live in a two-bedroom cabin like the one we stayed in. He didn’t take more than a half-second to say yes.

Where do you go when you need to rest and refresh?


  1. Patty (Rugersmom) says:

    What a wonderful respite from the world. I must say that I am shocked that your favorite socks are not hand made creations from Three Irish Girls yarn. 🙂

  2. Just Julie says:

    Sssshhhh – don’t tell anyone Patty! Wait a minute, we’re good – Sharon wears SmartWools all the time too!

  3. Savannah says:

    “A photo of favorites — favorite socks, favorite shoes, favorite man.” This is probably the sweetest thing I have ever heard.

    I loved this blog — I wish I could go there…
    I can’t wait for the day when I’ll be able to do this! Unfortunately, right now I have to work (I need that green stuff) so I can’t “get away” to rest and refresh… but here’s what comes close.

    On some days when I don’t feel like being in the house (which is most days) I love to walk through the trail in the woods behind my house (I say woods, but it’s about 1 acre of trees… remember, I live in town) into the town cemetary… The trail leads into the back, so you are actually standing underneath a bunch of pine trees and away from the road. The ground is open and bush-less, grassy and covered in pine needles. It’s slightly higher than than the rest of the cemetary, so if you sit under the trees, you are above and facing the cemetary… it’s away from houses, and it’s a good place to talk with Jesus. Some say it’s creepy to spend time in the cemetary, but it’s one of my favorite places.

  4. Just Julie says:

    I love cemeteries, Savannah – and take my grandchildren there sometimes. They can be beautiful, peaceful places.

  5. Sharon says:

    What is this rest and refreshment you speak of? Is it available to mere mortals?

  6. Kay says:

    I am a frequent partaker of your kind of R & R…I also enjoy an afternoon nap. Some may call me lazy…I disagree, I simply believe that a rested body is a more productive body. 😛

  7. Just Julie says:

    I just might quote you on the blog sometime soon, Kay. Yes, yes, yes….

  8. Diane says:

    I am so glad I succumbed to work-avoidance today instead of lunch . . . “what is happening at Julie’s blog . . . hmmm . . .”

    We just finalized arrangements up the shore for our 39th and now I know where we can look for your shoes’ footprints among the rocks, and for a good meal! We plan to take our time meandering up the road to Beaver Bay all day tomorrow. Then, I plan to stare at the lake until the words have all exited my head and silence fills the void!

    Your description and pictures of your trip are a feast, Julie.

    Thank you, Julie and Michael, for being such beautiful people. I love you!


  9. Ember says:

    To rest and refresh? I go and stay a couple of days in York, so I can go to the choral evensong at York Minster, which is one of my favourite places on earth. Picture of it at the following URL:


  10. Just Julie says:

    We should go out to lunch or dinner together up the shore sometime, Diane….I hope your trip is wonderful and restful.

  11. Deb says:

    When I need a quick “rest and refresh” time, I go on my deck with my adirondack rocking chair and a decent beverage. If I turn my chair just so, I don’t see any buildings and I can pretend I’m in the country with only the birds for company! This peacefullness is interrupted only by the sounds of airplanes flying overhead, the neighbor’s barking dog, Ed’s lawn mower and the occasional automobile……..but hey, I try!!

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