How I Became a Wilderness Person

Before arriving in the wilds of northern Minnesota, I lived for a while as a child, on a small farm with no running water or indoor plumbing. Mostly, though, my life was that of any suburbanite. With the possible exception that I was a geek before the term existed. Not technically, just that I always liked to learn and, especially, to read and my parents encouraged this somewhat antisocial activity.
Then I got married, had five kids, and discovered that hubby disliked cities as much as I did, so we bought a resort about a hundred miles south of the Canadian border and thus began an education about wilderness living that continues to this day. Such as:
A cougar’s cry sounds just like a bird’s song. We discovered that as we strolled through a home and garden show and heard the song of a bird that we’d noted on walks through the forest but had never been able to identify. We thought someone had brought a bird in a cage to spruce up a display and went to see what kind of bird we’d been listening to all those times. Needless to say, it wasn’t a bird. It was a cougar and we were very glad our dogs (two of them, both large and protective) had gone on those walks with us.
And we learned how to spot a developing storm over the lake, something I was very glad for one day when our kids were fishing with their cousins who were visiting from Chicago. When a tiny cloud appeared in the west, our kids hauled up the anchors and made directly for shore instead of heading for the resort, which would have meant crossing a large area of open water. They did this over the protests of their cousins who couldn’t imagine why one tiny cloud concerned them. Before reaching shore, but close enough that the trees broke the wind, the storm hit. If they’d have waited even a minute, they mght not have lived. As it was, they had to go alongside the beach to reach the docks and even that short distance without the protection of the trees was perilous.
So we learned and continue to learn. Those were lessons that were important and somewhat scary. There were more of a completely different nature. Emotional. Funny. Peaceful.
Though we sold the resort long years ago, we still reside in the woods, though our present home is closer to town. We cannot imagine any place we’d rather be.

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