Occasionally my wife and I watch a couple of episodes of “Building Off The Grid.” It’s fun and even educational to watch individuals build a cabin or home in remote areas like Alaska or Montana.
In each episode, something goes haywire, or the weather turns bad. The builders barely get it done before the winter winds fly, but they do. The final scenes make it appear that the home owners will live happily ever after in their new digs.
Recently I left Rochester and went off the social media and news grid for a few days. I headed up north to spend some time with a good friend of mine. My friend, Lee, his wife Sue, two of his brothers, his sister, and even his son were in the mix.
It was a weekend of golf, which included a tournament. One day we ended up on the Eveleth Golf Course, a scenic course along St. Mary’s Lake, up on the Iron Range. The weekend also had loud and friendly cribbage matches and a great deal of laughter.
Many cold beverages were consumed throughout the 2 1/2 days, and way too much food was ingested. Lee’s wife Sue is a foodie, and my goodness gracious, can she cook and bake.
We ate cake, Scotcheroos, warm cookies, and gourmet meals. We all sat at the dining room table for more than two hours on a Friday night, eating and talking. It was that type of meal. What a remarkable evening it was.
I did not check email, look at my phone, or watch television, which included zero college football on Saturday. I was blissfully unaware of the Minnesota Gopher football homecoming debacle.
There was no listening to or watching the news. I was spared the daily report of our federal government crashing and burning and lawmakers not doing their job. Maybe they all need a MyPillow, so they can get some sleep, get up, and do their job in the morning. We’ve all seen that ad five thousand times, and some of us may see MyPillows in our dreams.
As you all can imagine, these few days were good. I wasn’t entirely off the grid as I did text my wife goodnight every evening.
I was privileged to witness the bond between four siblings. Although I did not talk to them specifically about this, this gathering appears to mean a great deal to all of them. This coming together the last weekend in September has become an annual event.
Years ago, Lee and I were close and did a lot together. Our kids were close to the same age. I also worked with his dad. Lee’s son, who played golf on Saturday, is my godson. I’ve been "adopted" for this annual September weekend, and it is indeed a blessing.
There was one more awesome perk about this trip Up North. I enjoyed the fall colors, the water, the trees – it makes an “off the grid” weekend even sweeter. Although I have lived in Rochester for 33 years now, I still miss northern Minnesota.
Lee and I did lose touch for several years. I have always felt that I failed in my responsibilities as a godparent, besides losing that connection with a friend. I should have ensured that we stayed in touch.
My reconnection with Lee, his family, and my gGodson has been meaningful. No matter how much time you lose, you can rebuild important relationships.
Try this at home, folks – remember a friend or even a family member you have lost touch with and see if you can reconnect. Take the time and step off the grid for a while. Scotcheroos and warm cookies are a good start
Loren Else lives in Rochester and also writes the Post Bulletin’s “Day in History” column. Send comments and column ideas to Loren at email@example.com.