When I think of summer vacation, I think of being a kid and going to my grandparents hunting cabin. We all called it The Shack. It’s still referred to as The Shack.
We loved going to The Shack. When at The Shack, we got a taste of what it was like (in our child minds) during the pioneer days. There was no electricity and no running water. There was a well and a pump. We pumped water for drinking and cooking and used the water from the rain barrel for cleaning and bathing. We had fields to play in and trees to climb. The Shack wasn’t too far from my grandparent’s farm and we’d go visit them and they’d come to visit us. Often, we had large family reunions at The Shack. Many of our aunts and uncle and cousins would gather for the day, and some for the entire weekend. Fun times are remembered by all.
We have always called it The Shack. It really was just an old cabin. My grandfather, my uncles and my dad used it during hunting season. It was tradition and a right of passage for the boys. It became a family destination during the summer months. Later when our children were small, my husband and I would take them to The Shack for weekend vacations.
When my grandfather passed on, The Shack was sold. Since then, our summer vacations have changed. We’ve gone to other places, often times to a resort on a lake. We still meet once a year for family reunions. There are four generations who are still coming to the reunions. Our mom is still enjoying the family time. My brother- and sister-in-laws still show up every year. The nieces and nephews still make the trip and are now bringing their children. Often there are 20 or more people who gather at this resort. I’m sure the owners LOVE it when we are all there – we book one whole end of the resort! The older ones sit and visit. Teenagers end up on the lake in canoes or paddle-boats. Children fish off the dock. We go for hikes. Everyone plays lawn games. We end each evening the same way. A communal dinner is always enjoyed by everyone. Afterward, we gather around the campfire for s’mores, cocoa, beer, or wine. Some music is always played and there is lots of conversation.
This year, not only will we go to the big four-generation family reunion, but we are also looking forward to a smaller gathering with just our own children and grandchildren at our modern version of The Shack. My husband, my daughter’s boyfriends (some have turned into their husbands) and my son built this cabin in the woods.
We purposefully, kept it rustic but with a couple of modern conveniences The Shack did not have. We have electricity. Not only do we have electric lights, we have an electric stove instead of a wood cook stove. Our refrigerator replaced an ice-filled chest cooler. We have a very efficient and easy to use, wood burning stove for winter heat, instead of just the wood cook stove. A well has never been dug, but we do have quite a few 5-gallon jugs of purified water available and a stand holding a crock to keep the water cool. We do still have a rain barrel for doing dishes, cleaning and bathing water, but we have one with a screen on it to keep out the bugs. We have a dehumidifier and air-conditioning, for our summer vacation comfort.
Our outhouse is still an outhouse, but it has electricity and a heater for winter use. We even have cable TV, Wi-Fi internet and a health club 5 miles away with showers and a great weekly or daily rate!
We all know that vacationing with family can get a bit hectic at times, so here are a couple of Feng Shui and Aromatic Tips to help you maintain your sanity while surrounded by your loved ones.
If it can’t be a whole room, even a quiet chair out on the patio or the dock in the early morning hour as the sun rises will serve. Use this space to mindfully organize the upcoming day or events, or just simply for escaping the noise. If possible, place something special there that makes you smile – a seashell, or a pine cone, a small artfully stacked pile of rocks – you get the picture.
If you are hosting the event and decorating for the holiday, be sure to remove some of the everyday things to make room for the seasonal decorations.
Whether you are hosting or are a guest, plan for a simple menu that includes fresh fruits, vegetables and plenty of water. It’s too easy to overeat, so keep healthy snacks and treats at the ready. Be sure you are staying hydrated by having sparkling water, energy drinks, and lots of cool regular water on hand (this is where I miss that well we had at The Shack!)
Organize your vacation suitcase and include sunscreen, a hat, a light weight long sleeved linen shirt and remember to pack a summer first aid kit. Some of my favorite essential oils to include in your first aid kit are:
An antiseptic to stop stinging and itching of insect bites, scrapes and owies, poison ivy, tick bite (apply after tick is removed).
Good for sunburn, cooking oil splashes and is also good to have on hand for headaches, insomnia and scrapes and owies.
A great anti-inflammatory for swelling or bruising. Mix 4 drops into 1 tablespoon of carrier oil (olive oil will work for this) and rub onto the affected area. Substitute a drop or two with Lavender or Helichrysum for maximum effect (safety tip: no more than 5 drops of essential oil total to 1 tablespoon of carrier oil).
Great for motion sickness or driving fatigue. Place a drop on a tissue and wedge it into the car air vent.
If you have a vacation cabin or condo and are interested in a remote Floor Plan Analysis, contact me via this form or call me at 612-272-8425. I am offering a June 2018 Summer Vacation Special. Normally, the charge for this remote appointment is $108. The 2018 June Vacation Special price is $99. Contact me soon — I only have 6 spots available!