Reflections on My Mom & The Lake

 

Veronica shares touching memories of her Mom and the wonderful adventures they had together spending it up in the Northwoods of Wisconsin.  Thank you for sharing these truly heart-warming words!  This is solid proof that love is found at the lake.

My mom used to joke that when I was little I had no concept of travelling to a tiny town called Danbury, Wisconsin. To me it wasn’t called Danbury, it was called Up North and it was as real a place as any. I loved it for a million reasons, but most importantly I loved it because I was going to this place with her. Up North-Mom was even more fun-loving and fun to be around than regular mom, because we were heading to our favorite place in the world together.

 Vintage photo of woman driving a boat

Since she was little, my mom had spent her summers in the Northwoods of Wisconsin. It was a tradition that carried on once she had a family of her own. I waited all year to head Up North again to that little town of Danbury where my mom had spent all those summers as a child. We’d load up the car and drive about six hours north to Burnett County, Wisconsin. I always loved that drive with her, it was time for us to be alone together. Often my dad and brother would drive up separately with all of their fishing gear. My mom and I would listen to Willie Nelson, eat Twizzlers (her all-time favorite) and plan out all the things we’d do once we arrived at the lake. This magic place in the woods on Love Lake is where I hold some of my happiest memories of being with my mom and family. From hours spent in the water, to watching for loons or blue herons or eagles, to driving into town for French fries and root beers in frosted mugs at the Webster drive-in. She taught me that there’s nothing to worry about when you’re at the lake. There’s a peace found at the lake that shouldn’t be taken for granted. It’s a place for bonfires and happy hour with the neighbors and boat rides at sunset. This place is still just as special to me. I have a lifetime of happy memories in this place with her, my best friend of all.

It’s where my mom is buried now, in her happiest place. There’s a magic to Up North that can’t be fully be explained. It’s the coziness felt during a nighttime thunderstorm, waking up to coffee on the pier, a million sun sparkles on the water, and also being in the midst of all the beauty of nature. These are things I’ll always equate with my mom. This year will be my second Mother’s Day without her. She passed away when I was twenty-six, and I had always planned on having double as many summers at the lake with her. Now that I’m a mom myself, I want to raise my son with the same love of this place called Up North that she taught me. When I’m missing her, I try to picture her at the lake, sitting happily on the dock, with her legs crossed reading a book [with a bag of Twizzlers and a Summer Shandy not far off] and it gives me peace.