Happy Independence Day

(Friday, 04 July 2008) by Michele Cozzens
















We have a saying in the Northwoods: There are two seasons, Winter and The Fourth of July. The latter is a quick 24 hours of tradition, which always includes a trip to the parade in downtown Lac du Flambeau. Except for when the 4th fell on a Saturday, we haven't missed it in 16 years. What was different about it this year is that our girls, Camille (left in photo) and Willow, didn't participate. It's not enough I had to face my daughter becoming a teenager this year, I also had to face that they're both now too old (or is it too sophisticated?) to participate in the kiddie bike parade that begins the festivities? Awwwww.

It's been a beautiful day here in the Northwoods. Perfect, in fact. Happy Birthday America.

After the parade, I sat on our front porch to read and keep an eye on the shop, when our guests from Lakeview Lodge happened by. A lovely woman named Joanie, who has come to the resort with her family for 11 years, came and sat with me for what we try to make a nice, annual conversation. This year we had a lot to talk about, including the death of her mother, Barbara, who was the person with whom I originally spoke and "sold" Sandy Point as a vacation destination for her family. Her mother had been ill for quite some time and Joanie was kind enough to phone me in April when they lost her to let me know. I'm grateful to our guests who do this--include me in the family news--rather than wait until they arrive and start out the vacation with bad news. Anyway, she told me that when they put photos together to display at her wake/funeral, they found very few photos of Barbara. All of them were of the kids, of course. Apparently Mom/Grandmom was behind the camera. Joanie encouraged me to make sure there were a few photos of myself available in the family archives so some day, my kids wouldn't face the same thing. Funny, just hours earlier at the parade, Mike grabbed the camera from me and said, "you're always taking the photos! We need one of you!" This is why I've opted to share this photo today.

And by the way, Joanie indicated that what photos they did find of her mother, were all taken "up North," both here at Sandy Point in her later years and in the earlier years they had spent at at resort in Hayward. Something about the Northwoods, I guess, brings out the need for us to record our happy memories and traditions.


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