It is a quiet Sunday at the resort – Birch Haven Resort, Tenstrike, Minnesota, owned by my daughter and her husband. Saturday is turn-over day and they were expecting a full house, so it was busy from beginning to end. Kate and her work team, daughters Maddie and Emma, cleaned their hearts out. I did a few beds, but my main task was to finish painting the new sign that hangs at the end of the road. It is wonderful. Wooden lettering was purchased that has an elegant font instead of the boxy stencil letters that I’d painted for the last sign. The sign reads: “Birch Haven Resort…Cabins – RV Sites – Ice – Bait – Pontoon Rental”.
Of course, the listing of offerings leaves off plenty. The lodge stocks ice cream snacks and frozen pizza which someone will cook up for you upon request. There is bound to be a puzzle underway that passing guests can stop and contribute time to complete. The grounds has a playground with the usual equipment plus an antique merry-go-round, a volleyball court, shuffle board, a ball game the name of which I don’t know, and the favorite of the kids, a bag swing. As one family left yesterday morning, I watched two little girls go for the bag swing. Their mom said, “They wanted one last time to swing. It is like taking the last bite of the favorite food on your plate so that it is the flavor that stays in your mouth.”
I think the best part is the friendliness of the family that runs it. I guess I am biased, but I’ve never seen such savvy schmoozers. They remember the names of each of the children and the candy they prefer. They’ve listened to family stories. They step up to the plate swiftly whenever there is a need. It makes for a great vacation for guests that come back year after year.
So what will we do today? It is 10 AM and I haven’t done much of anything yet. I plan to take a walk and later Bernie and I will go to town to get some steak for supper. Who knows, we may go fishing, something we rarely have time for. I guess you might say it is a vacation day for us, too.