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A Season of Change

Summer is rapidly becoming a distant memory. The last swim of the season is already in the rear-view mirror (on Oct 11th in Lake Michigan's East Grand Traverse Bay), and we've already experienced accumulating snow. Some more is in the forecast for the near future. Strong north winds are slowly stripping the trees of their colorful leaves (albeit a little more muted; the soft colors came and went fairly quickly this year).

While the season of 'fall' is a time to remember the fun and warmth of summer, it's also a time to ready for the long winter months ahead. We're told this one may be milder for us than past years. We take what we get, don't complain, and make the best of whatever comes. Like all of our seasons, this one is no less a season of transition. As in nature, so in life.

Only a few short weeks ago, we sold our beloved Victorian home on Lake Leelanau's east shore that Shannon and I helped design and build in favor of a much simpler lifestyle. Leaving our beloved Leelanau County wasn't so easy; we've made some wonderful memories there with our family (visiting ice caves in winter, hunting for Leland Blue Stone, hiking the Whaleback, fishing on many of our county's lakes, and so many other things we've blogged about here). We moved even further north to the iconic village of Elk a much smaller home made almost entirely of large cedar logs only blocks from the village...and the water.

With no basement, and storage space at a premium, it meant letting go of many things--many of which we have carried with us through life. Possessions, trinkets, mementos, furniture, antiques; some treasures, and some not so. With little room for extras, it's forced us to live more simply. And does the simplicity ever feel good!

There is something about shedding the weight of excess baggage that is very freeing - mentally and otherwise. We've learned so many things along the journey of the past few weeks, not the least of which are some important life lessons:
- if we live in a large house, we tend to fill it with 'stuff'
- more stuff = more burdens to carry through life
- more square footage = higher expenses to maintain the 'stuff' and space it sits in
- more to maintain = less time to do the things that bring you real happiness

There's a wonderful photo Shannon found at the iconic 'Ben Franklin' in Traverse City that kind of sums up the beauty of a simpler life. It reads, "Remember this...that very little is needed to make for a happy life." It now graces our new home as a reminder of our new journey.
Photo by Craig Taylor 

As we navigate through this beautiful season, this is a time to take stock of our many blessings, while looking forward to living more simply in the gentle confines of a cozy log home...Up North.

Looking forward to making new 'Up North' family memories and sharing them with you.