“A Romantic Get-Away, A/L/A “Griswold”
Inspired by the movie, “Same Time Next Year”, my friend searched for a remote, quaint, comfortable sea-side cabin, where he could take his wife to celebrate her October Birthday. His wife also loved the movie (except, the adultery plot). My friend found the “perfect” accommodations at a “Lodge”, in Door County, WI.
The Above YouTube Music Video Lyrics Apply to My Friend & His Wife’s loving relationship. (And Not the Movie Plot About Adultery) From their 1971 Courtship to today – 52 years later – their feelings remain the same.
Door County is Nature’s Jewel – a peninsula between two beautiful bodies of water, Lake Michigan to the East and Green Bay to the West. Quaint shops & Inns dot the small towns along the abundant shoreline around the peninsula. No Big Box stores nor Fast Food Franchises here. Just God’s creative fingerprints on rolling hills, delightful trees, surrounded by beautiful, blue water. It’s an idyllic place.
So, my friend booked a “Private Cabin” with a waterfront view, in early October. The throngs of summer tourists were gone. Just the locals in sparsely populated towns remained. The amenities of the “Lodge” were as advertised. Their cabin had a spacious living area, with a large stone fireplace, a master bedroom suite, with modern bathroom fixtures. An efficient kitchen & breakfast nook sufficed, because all meals were served in the Inn.
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner were served in a delightful dining room, at their “Private Table” with a view overlooking the lake. Their table was covered with white linens, graced with Waterford crystal goblets, fine china, and sterling silver utensils. The servers were courteous, attentive, and unobtrusive. The distinctive, delectable meals were prepared by Master Chefs. The entire dining experience was a reflection of “Traditional Elegance” expressed in a comfortable manner.
The first few days included a brief walk after breakfast, in the crisp Autumnal air. That allowed the rising sun to provide warmth for a “competitive” spousal tennis match. My friend’s wife was an excellent tennis player, playing competitive tennis in several women’s leagues. My friend’s State League Team won the WI State Championship (He played at # 2-Doubes.) These mid-morning matches were not for the faint of heart.
A stroll through the town’s unique boutique shops provided a pleasant “cool-down”. They purchased a few water-color paintings from a local artist that captured the peninsula’s essence. A relaxing round of golf after lunch was an enjoyable way to savor the many splendid, changing fall colors, of myriad deciduous trees. A brief rest back at the cabin, prepared them for an evening of Dining & Dancing. Back in their cabin, some glasses of fine wine provided memorable romantic moments, on the floor’s thick, comfortable rugs, before a crackling fire. Repetition of that daily sequence never got old.
The above YouTube music video captures the essence of my friend’s daily experience at Gordon’s Lodge.
However, the day before departure, my friend thought that they should take advantage of what Lake Michigan had to offer. He decided to rent a boat for an “outing-onto-the-lake”. Unfortunately, the only boat available was a small, aluminum row boat, with an 8 horse-power outboard motor on the back. His wife was dubious about this “boat-outing”. It was a windy day, and Lake Michigan was no Disney World pond. Undaunted, my friend was “Full-Steam-Ahead”. Like the movie, “Titanic, my friend pictured the scene of a romantic couple, undaunted, on the open seas, expressing that “Their Love Will Go On”.
The above YouTube music video captures the essence of my friend’s imagination about a boating outing. The Man, Strong & Supportive. The Woman, Loving & Trusting.
My fiend cautiously left the dock. His wife sat on the front seat, my friend, on the back seat, by the motor. For a while, the boat safely hugged the shoreline, oscillating back & forth, to accommodate his wife’s skepticism & fear. Encouraged by his command of the vessel and the steadiness of the boat, he turned the craft 90 degrees, and headed towards the middle of Lake Michigan. His wife begged him to turn around, and head towards shore.
Like Captain Ahab & Moby Dick (A/L/A Griswold), my friend was going to conquer Lake Michigan. It didn’t take long for the reality, that the waves were higher than the sides of his aluminum row boat, to convince him that he made a terrible mistake. Instantly, his mind recalled the sinking of the “Edmond Fitzgerald”– a massive seaworthy freighter that succumbed to the lore of lake Michigan’s rage, memorialized in poem & song. The words, “My God. What have I done?”, flooded his brain.
In a lucid moment, reality replaced bravado. He could hear his wife’s frantic screams over the howling wind. Turning the boat around was no easy task, He had to make small, measured movements to prevent capsizing, while not panicking, as waves washed over the side of the boat. Time stood still. While completing the turn, and the voyage back, death was only a wave away. Only by the Grace of God did they safely return.
The above YouTube music video captures the the Unforgiving, Secular, Hardened Heart’s reaction to a Lover’s indiscretion.
All the idyllic moments of the previous Door County days were temporarily “Gone with the Wind”, but the warm, romantic memories in front of the Gordon Lodge cabin’s fireplace were rekindled upon arrival at home. My friend’s wife’s righteous anger was a “Tempest in a Teapot” – Insufficient to capsize their marital voyage, but sufficient to teach my friend a valuable lesson in humility.
The difference between the harsh lyrics of the above music video and the forgiveness of my friend’s wife, is the distinction between the Secular Culture’s demand for “Justice”, and the Christian’s “Mercy” of the Redemptive Cross.
Loving one another unconditionally, expecting nothing in return, conquers all.