When you are awakened by a late-night call,
just as you’re drifting off to dreamland,
inviting you to escape the next morning
for a long-weekend getaway into the north woods
with two of your favorite friends –

and your kids are away for a few days,
and you have no plans to speak of,
and you were sort of dreading your quiet weekend alone –

but you’re also a bit of an introvert,
and you don’t switch gears as fast as some,
and it’s a rainy night that kind of makes you want to snuggle in all weekend
and what will you wear
and is any laundry clean –

Do you roll over and go back to sleep?

Or do you set the alarm for “early” in order to get packed in time?

up north - shorts and longs - julie rybarczyk14Yes. That is correct.

You say, “What time are we leaving?”

up north - shorts and longs - julie rybarczyk01

And – after a leisurely road trip of spontaneous antique-slash-junk-sale stops – you arrive at a lakeside room that is infinitely more luxurious than you ever envisioned.

up north - shorts and longs - julie rybarczyk02And you whip up some appetizers to eat on the patio, using the new wine glasses you scored along the way ($2 for 4).

up north - shorts and longs - julie rybarczyk03

And you smile.

And maybe also cry. Just a little.

up north - shorts and longs - julie rybarczyk04

But you also laugh.

A lot.

No, seriously.

A lot.

Until you are spitting out your drink on the granite countertops.

And you also sleep.

A lot.

up north - shorts and longs - julie rybarczyk13

And when you wake up, you eat breakfast at the best place in town.

up north - shorts and longs - julie rybarczyk12And you explore.

up north - shorts and longs - julie rybarczyk05And you bike.

Twelve miles.

With a stop halfway
at the local Supper Club
for cocktails.

And you sit on the beach with a book that makes you laugh out loud
until your friends get sunburned
(but not you because you’ve been tanning-for-sanity all winter long
and also because your friends are wearing tank tops
while you are still wearing three layers
and a scarf).

And you have steak for dinner
and scotch for dessert.

And you hashtag everything “#upnorth.”

And your tummy
and your heart
are both as full as they could possibly be.

up north - shorts and longs - julie rybarczyk09
And you pretty much can’t believe you just got that lucky.


That’s exactly what you do
when you get that call.


(P.S. Kristin and Jenni, here’s to plate gardens and single moms and next year. You rock.)