How Do You Go Anywhere With Three Kids?

  “This guy asked me how I go anywhere with three kids.” My ears perked up. I was sitting, blissfully alone, with my computer in a church’s gathering place. The MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group was leaving: moms towing small tots, hauling car seats in the crooks of arms, slinging massive diaper bags, gathering all momentum toward ushering small people in various …

Your Chariot Awaits

  I married a man who loves to ski. Downhill, cross-country. He taught me to ski. And when we moved from Chicago to northern Minnesota eight middle-of-winters ago, glorious ski trails were first on the list to explore. We had a baby. When he grew too cumbersome to haul in a backpack on the ski trails, Mark got to thinking. …

Outside…Everyday?

  November 20th. Winter is here in the North Woods. Temperatures are below freezing, we have cold winds, sleet, snow, ice. I love it. And when it’s just me, and all I have to do is layer-up and wax my skis and head out the door, it’s the best kind of day. However, with three small kids, things are a …

Last Call

This is it folks – Last Call. Order one more drink, figure out where you’re going next; we’re about to flip on the fluorescent lights. Summer’s Last Call is upon us. In the North Woods, summer is short. We do everything we can to suck everything possible out of every single light-filled moment. The pressure!  And now, after an early …

Retreating Into the Desert

Mark and I have gone into the desert. Sometimes literally (he spent four years in the desert in Chinle, Arizona). Sometimes figuratively (backpacking in Alaska from Seward to Hope, or the Kalalau trail on Kauai). We go to withdraw from our regular lives, to meditate, slow down, connect spiritually. We go to disconnect from the internet and phone and schedules …

Dockbound

One of my favorite essays about climbing is Jon Krakauer’s “Tentbound.” What happens when you’re stuck in a tent, with one other person, in a whiteout snowstorm on the side of 17,000 foot mountain? For two weeks? Yeah. You can imagine. So, in that spirit, here we have, “Dockbound.” When gale force winds force you and your vessel to sit …

Waves, Calm to Two Feet

For the past few days, while we’ve been sitting quietly in Ontonagon, the wind and lake have been wreaking all kinds of havoc on our intended route. The Isle Royale Queen, a ferry from Copper Harbor to Isle Royale, ran aground on a gravel bar and is out of commission for a few days. Other visitors to Isle Royale can’t …

How Deep Is It?

  Let me start by saying that Mazurka’s draft is four feet. This means that the keel at the bottom of the boat goes down four feet below the surface of the water. That means we can’t go into water that’s less than four feet. Four feet. We have many items on board to help us know the depth of …

Breathing Room

For the past few weeks of preparations, and the few days of this trip, I’ve been all about taking care of business. You might call it hovering. There are three small kids to take care of, after all. And granted, three kids under age 5 is a lot of work – one can’t walk without me, two can’t poop in …

Maybe we’ll leave tomorrow

  Tomorrow is an ambiguous word. Yesterday (an equally ambiguous word), we finally packed up the remaining stuff to bring onboard. You’d think for all the weeks we’d spent preparing and shuttling, that the final load would be a few suitcases and pillows and a cooler or two. And a toilet. And three tool boxes. And a box of cleaning …