We spent a week at Birch Haven Resort, a beautiful cottage resort in northern Minnesota, with members of my mom’s side of the family. The resort is “out in the boonies,” north of Bemidji, a good four-hour drive from the Twin Cities.
The resort is owned by Chris’s sister and her husband. There was a small concern when planning the reunion: What would we do? Some researched the area to see if there were tourist attractions or small-town events. We had backdoor plans of visiting friends in the area, just in case things got ho-hum.
These alternatives fell to the wayside. We left the resort once — reluctantly — to pick up some groceries, but that was it. Birch Haven Resort had novelty items hanging about: fishing boats, a small swimming beach, pontoons and paddle boats, playground, volleyball net, horseshoes, a bikerack of old bikes, a tire swing and two swingsets, etc. All sorts of things hanging about waiting to be enjoyed.
The cottages were built in the 1950’s and border the lakeshore directly (it is no longer legal to build so close to Minnesota lakeshores). We caught a ton of fish that led to families sharing their favorite fish recipes. The grills lit up every evening and the families brought their favorite salads, potato dishes, and desserts. The picnic tables were filled with chattering adults as kids ran from their half-eaten meals, content to play with half-full tummies.
As the days trickled by, conversations deepened. Talk evolved through the week. We’re so glad that we all were just “hanging about.” Fishing, eating, talking, enjoying one another. These are what reunions should be made of.