I am always happy to see the year end, because I like new beginnings and I make New Year's Resolutions and generally keep them.
I am especially happy to see this one slip out the door (before I kick it out) and to get on with 2011. This year I have seen health and sickness in my family, triumph and tragedy in my community. I have weathered a few personal challenges, which have given my strength and wisdom. I have, sadly, not had much time to experiment in the kitchen.
To celebrate our 21st wedding anniversary, my husband and I slipped away to The Four Seasons Resort on Miscauno Island in Pembine, Wis., where my father began his career in the restaurant/resort business a few years after World War II. It's a 105-year-old establishment with a storied past that allegedly includes Al Capone. History is palpable in the resort, which includes two bars and a dining room, sweeping porches, a nine-hold golf course and much much more. The newer hotel, which is connected, is all suites, and my favorites offer whirlpool tubs. I feel at home here, in part because the new managers have been very hospitable, and in other part because the staff and guests here - back when it was a private club - gave me a start in life with a baby shower. My mother still has some of the gifts they gave me, saved for me.
For two days my husband and I had wonderful food, whirlpool baths, a powerful shower, a fireplace and for me, a day in the house spa. It was a wonderful way to end more than two decades of what has been a good marriage and begin a 22nd year together, which, because of my husband's brush with cancer in 2010, is more cherished than ever.
I am shamelessly putting in a plug for the Four Seasons, because it holds special memories for me, and for my parents. My little world up here on the Wisconsin-Michigan border holds many hidden gems and secrets. Everyday I experience and appreciate something new. I am blessed to be here, and congratulate myself for returning to it 17 years ago.
I wish you happiness and good health in 2011.