This is Hazelhurst, the place where my family lake house is located. Deep in the northern woods of Wisconsin, we gather here every summer from all corners of the globe.
My mom and her siblings all ended up marrying someone foreign, so there is the South African side, the Filipino branch, the Scandinavians, and my side makes up the Israelis.
We practice yoga, paddle board, bike ride, hike, kayak, and canoe every day. At night we all take part in cooking meals, such as the salads depicted in the picture. We make camp fires and roast marshmallows, telling stories around the crackling wood.
Growing up, my step-grandma would leave a present underneath each of our pillows before we retired to our rooms to sleep. They ranged from treats, to toys, to invitations for special “girls days”.
My favorite room was called the “Loon Room”. It had gorgeous views of the lake, and was decorated with loons and tribal pieces from one of my grandfather’s many adventures.
Follow a path from the far end of the house, and you’ll come across our gazebo. Recently we added a path from the gazebo to it’s own dock; the perfect getaway.
On the opposite side of the property there is a tree house adorned with a zip-line that has been there since my mother was a child.
Within the woods we house our compost - my favorite place to dig for fishing worms.
There is also an archery range that my grandfather set up for us.
When we were younger, my cousins and I would spend hours in the woods making intricate fairy houses. Without fail, there would be “fairy dusk” sprinkled on our little homes the next day. It used to boggle my mind and fill it with hope and curiosity. One day I found a jar full of glitter amongst my step-grandmother’s things. I never told her that I had discovered the secret to the fairy dust. But I’m not gonna lie, I was kind of disappointed.
I will never forget waking up to the smell of pancakes on the griddle and freshly squeezed orange juice. I will never forget following my older cousins on my bike as they would run around the entire lake (at 5am). I will never forget fishing with my grandfather from dawn until the late afternoon. I will never forget the memories I have made at Hazelhurst and on that lake.
Next week, all of my cousins and my sister will be meeting up at the lake house. I won’t be there and that breaks my heart.