This post is dedicated to my father-in-law, who also happens to be one of this blog’s most avid followers. I first met Hal in 1981. In the 35 years that we’ve known each other, I feel like our bond has grown into more than a typical son-in-law / father-in-law relationship. We don’t see each other as often these days, but whenever we do, we always have fun conversations about current events, goings-on in the family, and other more routine matters (like how to make a good 7-Up and brandy). We enjoy cooking together (I shared my world-famous lasagna recipe with him!), taking walks in the state parks near his home, and sitting out on his porch – or better yet, down on the rocks along the shore.
Hal spends Minnesota’s warmer months at his home on the north shore of Lake Superior. I’ve probably been up to visit him a hundred times over the years, and I’ve never gotten used to how beautiful his place is. I was recently up at his home with his daughter (my sister-in-law) Ellen to help take care of a few things, and had the idea that it would be fun to write a brief post, trying to convey what it is I love so much about his place.
Here is a photo that might give you a sense of Hal’s personality. Here he is showing Ellen and me his latest Aladdin Lamp acquisition. One of the really cool things that Hal does is to give a gift of a unique and fully functioning Aladdin lamp (generally after he’s done something to make it work properly… he’s a talented craftsman) to each of his grandchildren upon graduation from college. (He’s gifted seven so far.)
On to the property: This video gives you a sense of its beauty. Follow me on a quick 2-minute tour from the driveway down to the Lake.
Hal has had some friends with notable artistic talent over the years. I’m not sure if the fellow who made this fish skeleton weather vane qualifies or not, but it is rather unique. (Doesn’t work particularly well, though.)
These last two photos show the beauty of the shoreline. The first one is of the shoreline facing south, back towards the city of Duluth. One of our favorite activities is to walk/climb all the way to that far point, stopping occasionally to skip rocks.
This last picture I took as the sun was starting to go down behind a tree in his back yard. I wanted to give it a little more time for the sun to set a little further, but that would’ve meant delaying “happy hour” on the porch, which was not an option.
Here’s to you, Hal.