I live on Beaver Island.
When counting my blessings, I never mentioned it.
I forget, sometimes, how special it is.
When I was in college, coming back here to work only in the summertime, my daughters complained: they would miss all their friends, there would be nothing to do, they would die of boredom. “Hey, guys, we are lucky to be able to do this,” I told them, “Summers on Beaver Island…that’s how the rich people live!” As it turned out, they made new friends and found plenty to do. Now they wish they could be here in the summertime.
This is where I always wanted to be. From the time I was eleven years old, and we were able to take annual vacations to Beaver Island, I never wanted to leave. No one ever felt as lucky as I did when that finally became a reality.
It’s easy, though, to get caught up in the “day-to-day”.
We work hard here, just to get by.
I doubt any of us here chose this place for the money-making opportunities. We came for the peace, the beauty, the atmosphere…still, we have basic needs.
The “rat-race” here is not a battle that will ever be won.
We’ve been making great strides, but I think our pay rate here is still a bit less than it would be on the mainland. Career opportunities are rare. I am not the only one with a terminal degree working at menial labor. Besides, we pay more for almost everything, from electricity and gasoline to milk and bread. There are a few “frequent traveler” promotions, but we pay the same amount on boat or plane as any visitor. Things break down and need to be replaced, just like they do anywhere.
It’s easy, then, to get caught up in the struggle. In the summer, when there are lots of jobs to be filled, some people work dawn ’til dark, and beyond. I don’t even attempt that pace anymore…and yet, I find myself somehow with several jobs, working too much, with too little time for pleasure. I sometimes get out to see the sights only when I have visitors.
I designed a bumper sticker a few years ago that said: “Beaver Island: Dreamers at Work“. I think that kind of says it all. The struggle is to hold on to the dreams. To remember what brought me here. To remember to slow down enough to enjoy it. To keep in mind all the things that make this place so special.
I live on Beaver Island!
I stopped in the middle of the road on my way home from work the other day, to have a staring contest with a white-tail deer.
I changed out of work clothes last night, then decided to take the dogs for a swim. I grabbed my book and drove down to Fox Lake…in my pajamas.
Wild blackberries are in abundance this year. I’m able to pick a quart every day from the bushes around my house. Before that it was raspberries, from my garden and the field beyond. Strawberries before that. I have eaten fresh berries every day for months!
People know me, and I know them. When they ask how I’m doing, they really want to know.
The water all around…the sky overhead…
I live on Beaver Island!