IMG_0558 Well, this is it. It's our final day at the island. We empty and winterize the water system, empty and defrost the fridge (yes, defrost; this fridge is over 40 years old and the freezer compartment has some ice buildup in it, like in the old days), pack everything, do a last cleanup, double-check that the kids haven't forgotten library books behind, bring some wood in for the first fire in the spring, disconnect the smoke alarms, remove everything that shouldn't freeze and take it home on the last boat ride of the season. Which I typically spend looking back at my island until I can't see it anymore.

It's sad but at the same time it's not. I'm grateful to have a place like this to come and replenish my soul. I'm grateful that we were able to give our kids a sense that nature is something cool yet fragile. They love running around outside and go swimming and help the dog hunt frogs. They also love being able to learn how to handle boats, spot porcupine homes, and generally how to cope with the wilderness.

So yes. Life in the winter is fun, too. But we'll miss this beautiful island.