function blogger_query_vars_filter( $vars ) { $vars[] = "blogger"; return $vars; } add_filter('query_vars', 'blogger_query_vars_filter'); function blogger_template_redirect() { global $wp_query; $blogger = $wp_query->query_vars['blogger']; if ( isset ( $blogger ) ) { wp_redirect( get_wordpress_url ( $blogger ) , 301 ); exit; } } add_action( 'template_redirect', 'blogger_template_redirect' ); function get_wordpress_url($blogger) { if ( preg_match('@^(?:https?://)?([^/]+)(.*)@i', $blogger, $url_parts) ) { $query = new WP_Query ( array ( "meta_key" => "blogger_permalink", "meta_value" => $url_parts[2] ) ); if ($query->have_posts()) { $query->the_post(); $url = get_permalink(); } wp_reset_postdata(); } return $url ? $url : home_url(); } Up North Captured Moments: Once In A Blue Moon

Once In A Blue Moon

What is it about a title like that sounds kind of romantic, especially if it's somehow connected to anything 'Up North'?  In reality, a blue moon is an actual event happening as of this very writing: a second full moon within the same month.  On a deeper level, it is a phenomenon made even more special by virtue of where it can be viewed: a large, orange colored sphere rising over the waters of Grand Traverse Bay, or near-copper colored as it was preparing to seemingly set between the pines trees in our front yard this morning while reflecting off of a still-sleepy Lake Leelanau in the background.  While not exactly a rare event, we won't see another one like this until 2015.


Not unlike a blue moon, this summer can be characterized as one of rare beauty.  We can't remember a time [since moving here back in the 1980's] when the weather has been so perfect, the water so warm, and memories made so singular and enduring.  Shannon described it as 'the most blessed, best summer' she can ever remember. 

One of her friends had a saying that hit home for us: "You only have 18 summers with your kids...make the most of every one."  We've certainly endeavored to honor and respect that at every opportunity this summer.  While I've been more or less tied to the office, Shannon has shepherded our boys through many wonderful, memory-making experiences at her family's Burt Lake cabin in Indian River, just as she was able to do with her family as a 12-year old girl.  It was almost like being able to relive her childhood, only this time with our boys; what a gift!

At age 4, Shannon and her family would flee their home in Milford on weekends to journey up north for some quality time together.  Some of those early years found her on the shores of Elk Lake to play as a little girl.  Who would have thought that the seeds of her future were being sown along those same shores she would return to decades later.  The hopes and dreams of a little 4-yr old girl matured and developed into into an enduring reality, first as a staffer at White Birch Lodge on that same lake, later finding me (at an Elk Rapids' Harbor Days fireworks event), later marrying, then returning with our own children to keep the warmth and glow of the Up North fires blazing brightly.

Canadian Fishing at its best.
(Photo Credit: Tom Ford)

Just recently, Shannon returned from her "second" trip of a lifetime even further north to Canada with the boys (um, that'd be 365 miles north of Traverse City, to be exact).  Seems I missed out on all that fun (which we'll no doubt learn about later); let's see, there was the bear that crashed their camp, ate all their blue berries, and trashed much of their food supply. Then there was the time she managed to get mysteriously locked inside an old Canadian outhouse...only no one was around to help get her out (for awhile).  She also caught some of the biggest fish of the whole group, something that made her proud (eh!), and our boys even prouder (dbl-'eh').

(Photo Credit: Tom Ford)
Yes, a very rare and blessed summer it has been for our whole family; not unlike the singular beauty of one-of-a-kind experiences shared together under the soft light of a blue moon...Up North. Here's hoping your Up North memories have been as equally exhilarating. Thanks for your friendship, and for allowing us to share a mutual love of all things Up North with you; Soli Deo Gloria.