In saying goodbye

Picture of red and yellow autumn leaves in Grand Marais

What? Say it isn’t so!

by Susan Krage

Goodbye summer and, for me, goodbye to Grand Marais and Stone Harbor.

It is a bittersweet goodbye. I LOVE fall (more on this infatuation below), so leaving summer behind is an easy one for me. Leaving Grand Marais and, thus, Stone Harbor—not so much.

The North Shore has been my refuge for as long as I can remember. My grandfather bought a cabin on Poplar Lake early in the 1950s, and our family has been using it faithfully ever since. It was such a relief to head up north to cooler temps and low humidity for our two-week summer vacations. I was so jealous of the kids who called this place home and not until later in my life did I come to realize that growing up on an island in the wilderness might not be so great to a 15 year old. For me though, it seemed like heaven.

And it has been heaven to live here for the last few years. I will miss looking out onto East Bay every day from my office, listening to rocks skip across the ice in the winter, watching to see what birds show up each spring, hearing the screams of kids as they take their first tentative dip in the (freezing cold) lake during the summer and, finally, the storms of November—the sheer power is incredible. So yes, I am fine with summer turning into fall—but I am sad to say goodbye to this wonderful small town and the abundance of beauty that is its soul.

By all these lovely tokens September days are here, with summer’s best of weather and autumn’s best of cheer. – Helen Hunt Jackson

Ah, fall, truly my favorite time of the year (and that is not because I was born on the Fall Equinox—although I’m sure it doesn’t hurt). As a child always counting down the full moons until the Harvest Moon arrived on my birthday just might have been what started this love affair. I have lived in the Middle, the South, the West, and the North of our country and fall has always been my favorite season. Growing up in southern Indiana, fall meant cooler temps, drops in humidity and the always favorite—Persimmon Festival (the only time of the year we could get persimmon pudding and my personal favorite: persimmon ice cream). In Texas, FOOTBALL! When we lived out west—it meant hunting season, What the Hay (go to the link—it’s worth it), the first snowstorm, and the Chokecherry Festival (as much fun as the Persimmon, but not quite as tasty). Here on the North Shore, fall means the disappearance of mosquitos, pulling out your favorite wool sweaters, hunting season (for my dogs) and, of course, Moose Madness and Radio Waves.

The weather, the smells (man, do I love that smell—my mother even sent me a box of fall leaves my first year of college in Texas because I missed it so), the festivals, the colors, and the food—what is there not to love about fall!

I like winter, spring is nice; let’s skip summer and do fall twice. – Rusty Fischer

As you read through all our fall adventures in this newsletter, you will see that I am not the only one on the staff who has a profound love for fall. It really is the best time of the year—no matter where you live.

Picture of the East Bay of Grand Marais on a fall day


Picture of dogs looking at the hills in Grand Marais in fall



Two pictures of dogs in the leaves of autumn. Oh yea, there's a human in one of them too.





  1. Ellen GSep 18, 2017

    Lovely ode to fall and North Shore. I ave only visited, and never in fall, but it’s easy to see what you love about it. I love it too.

  2. SHWSSep 18, 2017

    Thanks for your lovely comments, Ellen! And you are due for an autumn visit! Stop by and see us.

  3. BridgetSep 18, 2017

    A beautiful tribute to a beautiful place–and time. But let me be the first to welcome you, Susan, to a new fall abundance in Wisconsin. It, too, will fill your spirit. And you will still have the Great Lakes a stones throw away. Plus the booyah will become a new fall fav. We’ll teach you all about it. But not on Friday. That’s when we have perch.

  4. SHWSSep 18, 2017

    Booya? We might have to come and visit you!

  5. Susan KrageSep 18, 2017

    Well, we are moving to the town that has the worlds largest soup kettle –
    Perfect for Booyah

  6. AnonymousSep 18, 2017

    Beautifully written, Susan.

  7. Anne HahnSep 18, 2017

    Beautifully written, Susan.

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