summer time

you know what heaven is? it's the sunlight through the leaves, it's your cousin's child crawling into your lap in front of a fire, it's your great aunt playing a polka for you on her organ from the 60s, it's exploring an abandoned party spot that your parents used to hang at on summer nights when they were young, it's introducing your west coast friends to your mid-west roots.

you've heard it from me before and if this time is one too many, well, then you'll just have to forgive me but i can't resist the urge to share the magic that the great state of wisconsin is to me. the buzz starts from the minute i board the plane and builds until the great explosion of smells and humidity and memories and joy release themselves the minute i walk out of the airport once i land.

i even love those pesky mosquitoes; because, whether or not their venomous bites land me in the emergency room, that persistent itch that i carry back with me is just a reminder of alllllll the fun i got in return. a reminder of the fireworks i watched from the banks of lake nebagamon or the waterfalls i got dangerously close to (in my dad's opinion) with my niece and nephew at goosberry falls.

we moved when i was five but thanks to my thoughtful parents the bond with my family was never broken. they shipped me back once a year, during those precious few weeks of summer. i'd cry and wail every time i got home, and i still can't make the trip home without a tear or two, but the promise of next year always re-ignites that spark of excitement. in the mean time, i have those 1,190 photos and 86 videos to keep me going.

photos: j. kurtz