My father's parents, Gil & Belle, lived on the water of Big Arbor Vitae Lake in the north woods of Woodruff, WI. Our family still has a cabin there where we spend summers. Before winter hit, Zora and I visited to spend some quality time with my parents.

My parents have been married for over 50 years.

They have been blessed with 4 children by birth, gifted 2 by adoption AND are lucky enough to spoil 13 grandchildren! Family really means everything to them. While the last few years have been harder, they've made it through like the strong Wisconsin stock they come from and lead the family still.

I don't remember having much of a relationship with their parents but when I became a parent they were with me every step of the way. I love the way they love my daughter. From her first breath, my mother cut her umbilical cord that early May morning she was born and held her in the hospital even before me. I'm pretty sure that's part of the reason NaNa is Zora's her favorite person ever. My dad was there too... safely around the corner and out of sight.

Zora surprised us all.

90% sass we like to say, but really with a heart of gold. She's won their hearts and is very much the spoiled baby of the family. But isn't that what grandparents are supposed to do? I believe "Boppa" and was the name my oldest niece gave my dad and its stuck through all 13 grand kids. Maybe because he bop-bop-bops on the drums. He's been a professional for over 40 years.. Still at over 70 years old he bops around like a man 30 years younger. "NaNa", well that was easy for little faces to say, easy for little hands to help and little arms to hold.

We got a bonus weekend UP NORTH this year, a rarity with my crazy schedule. We usually go in July but October is the perfect time to experience this area.

Counting acorns and "catching" squirrels while taking nature walks with NaNa & Boppa really showed us the beauty of the Northwoods.