Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Your Sabbatical Questions Answered

You had questions. I've got answers.

Let's get to it, shall we?

Richella asked:  "Where did you live for the month? In a cabin on that gorgeous lake? In a lodge? In a cottage? In a tent (I think probably not)?" 

Ha! A tent! Perish the thought! Actually, Richella, we stayed here.

This two bedroom, two bath cottage is about 10 feet from the water. There was no air conditioning (none needed except for about two of the days), but all of the windows opened up. We left the windows wide open most of the time, so in the morning we woke to the sound of the water lapping the shoreline.

And this was our view. Every morning.

Except for one morning when we woke to basically whiteness. Fog was everywhere! You couldn't even see the water at all and the sound (or lack of it) was surreal. That was an interesting morning.

Speaking of mornings, Glenda wanted to know if I slept in or watched the sun come up over the lake. Well, in northern Wisconsin the sun comes up awfully early. We're talking 4:45 a.m. And there was a skylight in our bedroom, so by 6:30 or 7:00 I was awake and ready to go. And even at that early hour, I had already missed the sunrise!

"What was the weather like where you were? It's been hot as blue blazes here; I'm hoping you were in more temperate climes." Sorry to hear about your heat, Richella. You should head north. Seriously, we had the best weather and I've got the tan to prove it. Except for the week my parents visited us from Arizona (I think they brought their hot weather with them), the weather was between 70 and 80 every day. It was a little humid, but no big deal. And at night the temps would go down to about 50, which is perfect for sleeping.

And the best part? Hardly any mosquitoes! We brought all kinds of bug spray with us, thinking that the Wisconsin state bird truly was the mosquito, but we really didn't need it. I think I used bug spray maybe twice.

Glenda asked: "Did you read anything fun?" Oh yes, but my reading was really across a large range of topics. Some was research, some was for fun. It was such an eclectic mix that I'll just list it out for you here.

1. "The Courage to Teach" by Parker Palmer. (Just getting ready for my next big adventure.)

2 and 3. "The Weed that Strings the Hangman's Bag" and "A Red Herring without Mustard" by Alan Bradley. These are the second and third in the Flavia de Luce series. The first was "The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie." Oh how I love Miss Flavia!

4. "In the Woods" by Tana French. No comment.

5. "Give them Grace" by Elise Fitzpatrick.

6. "Heaven is for Real" by Todd Burpo and Lynn Vincent. A friend handed me this book and said, "Have you read this? Here, I'm finished. Read it." So I did. It didn't take long, but it will stay with me much, much longer. Still thinking about this one.

[edited to add: 7. "The Red Queen" by Philippa Gregory.]

(self-incriminating photo of me reading)

You know what I didn't read? Blogs. No internet (unless we drove to town).

Here's a great question from Genda: "Learn anything new about your husband?" Hmmmm. I'd have to say yes and no. No, because it's not so much stuff I learned, but yes in that I needed to be reminded of a couple of things. Like how much he loves to be outside. I'm telling you, my husband was in his ELEMENT out on the lake. He'd get up in the mornings, throw in a line or twenty, come in for breakfast and then head back outside. He was like a little boy. "Bye Mom! I'm going out to play!" and zoom, the back door would slam and he'd be gone. He also loved paddling his little boat around or taking long bike rides. My guy was happy! (I'm thinking through another post about stuff I learned while on sabbatical, so maybe I'll write more about this later on this week.)

Last question: "Did you cook simple meals or more complicated ones?" Glenda, my dear, the most difficult meal I cooked was steak on the grill. We definitely ate out too much, but when I did cook, the meals were ridiculously simple. Whatever we could grill was pretty much our fare.

So, you can see that relaxation was the name of the game on our sabbatical. We did a lot of driving around and exploring, too, which brought us to tears in laughter sometimes. Come back tomorrow for a glimpse into the more funny side of life in the Northwoods.

Linking up with Amanda at Serenity Now--Weekend Bloggy Reading.



  1. Did you like "Heaven is for Real?"

  2. Thanks for answering my questions. Your time must have been amazing.

    Next coffee date . . . let's talk about Heaven for Real.


  3. What a beautiful place! I'm glad you had a relaxing time away.

  4. Welcome home! I look forward to hearing more about your stay at the lake.

  5. Welcome home!!!! Thanks for all the answers. The weather sounds amazing. This summer in Louisville has been so hot, it's almost been unbearable. Not the kind of days where you can send the kids outdoors, let alone, open a window.

    Looking forward to it cooling off a bit.

    Love that you read so much. If my hubby and I did that can of vacay, he'd be out fishing and I'd be inside reading, too. (you look adorable in that picture, by the way).

    Looking so forward to chatting with you over our blogs, now that our "sabbaticals" are over.


  6. Oh, Shelly. This sounds divine. Absolutely divine.

    I think I could use a sabbatical in the woods. Like, right now.

  7. By the way, I've been wondering about Heaven is for Real. I know it would be a quick read--do you recommend it?

  8. i am sure you had an amazing vacation-it looks and sounds relaxing with those views and no internet!

    popping over from amanda's party

  9. I loved "Heaven is For Real". My theologically correct friends argue its accuracy but I'm like a child, and I know it's true that Jesus REALLY loves children. : ) Even if they don't get everything perfect. His grace is amazing.

    Welcome back, my friend.

  10. It sound alike where we go every summer...Door County, WI...We LOVE it there! I wrote a whole post about it

    There were horrible Mosquitos last year but none this year. I think because there was so little rain.

    It seems like a taste of heaven, doesn't it?