January 18, 2018
The Lake Cabin
The rich people of L.A. often spend three months of the summer vacationing in the south of France or the family villa in Sicily. My wife and daughter and I just got back from our vacation---- a week in Chisago Lakes, Minnesota.

Chisago Lakes is the little Minnesota town where my wife's family has their "lake cabin." That's how they refer to it. I refer to the Lake Cabin as Camp Mildew. For my wife the Lake Cabin is a magical place filled with childhood memories of idyllic summers spent water skiing and hunting frogs. For me the lake cabin is filled with mold and possibly chipmunks.

When I contemplate a vacation at the Lake Cabin I imagine floating on an inner tube or teaching my daughter how to dive off the dock. What I forget to contemplate are the tornadoes and the horse flies. If you don't know what horseflies are they're what you'd get if you gave a pit bull wings.

And for some reason when you go jogging down dirt roads, past swamps near the Lake Cabin large numbers of horse flies feel they have to kill you. You might think horse flies would be deterred by swinging a slimy tree branch that you, in a panic, pulled out of their swamp. Well, you'd be wrong. Swinging a stick at them is crack to horse flies. They get all amped up and more fiercly defend their swamp, the swamp being the Vatican of the horse fly universe.

Of course the sight of a skinny man running erratically, spinning in circles, swearing and wildly swinging an algae covered stick through the air is also agitating to farm dogs. Farm dogs are what you get when you take a German Shepard and train him to chase down and shred anyone or anything that moves. Thank God for the algae covered stick.

But here's the thing. My 6 year old daughter had a great time at the Lake Cabin. She fished and found turtles and drove the speedboat and now my daughter, just like her mother, will, for the rest of her life, have wonderful, indelible memories of own personal Disneyland, the Lake Cabin.

And as my daughter gets older, just like her mother, she will want to share the Lake Cabin with her grammar school and high school and college friends and later on with her own family.

Which means when my daughter gets to the age where she'll, naturally, want to have absolutely nothing to do with her parents, from age 12 or 13 and then well on into her 30's or 40's, she will be forced to spend time with us because that's the price she'll have to pay to be at the Lake Cabin.

So, even though there's horse flies and tornadoes and a heavy dead-fish/musk scent to everything, and did I mention no cable TV or internet access and Lyme disease?, the Lake Cabin vacation is really a wonderfully devious plan to condition our daughter to always spend time with her parents.

Not a bad trade off. Even though one of my horse fly bites is so bad it makes me look like I have a third nipple.