Getting a Word in Edgewise 2011

Written in Fall, 2011

DSCN4150May 2011, I got the chance to introduce the northwoods to a couple of special girlfriends. I wanted them to see the things I love, the quiet of a peaceful lake, the comfort of small town friendliness and the quirkiness as well. Quirkiness is everywhere but in a rural, small town setting, it’s sometimes easier to spot. I often just appears when its least expected. I’d rented a lake front cottage at the Eagle Waters Resort in Eagle River for a Friday and Saturday night.



DSCN4142Carolyn and Julie arrived on Friday about 3:00 pm. We raced to Trig’s to stock up on the much needed drinks and snacks; then we settled in at our two bedroom lakeside cottage, complete with fireplace.






pix 2Carolyn looked relieved since friends had warned her that sometimes what is called a “resort” turns out to be something other than what had been advertised. Our nicely decorated and homey cottage met her standards.






DSCN4155After enjoying the lake view, fresh air and a few toasts to our reunion, we walked down to the lake and out onto the pier, flirted with fishermen cleaning their catch of the day and took pictures on the shore. At dusk, Julie maintained a killer blaze in the fire pit. Girl Scout badges, no doubt, will be awarded.

By the time we realized we were hungry, we’d had too much to drink to allow any driving. So much for a classy dinner I’d planned at the RiverStone in Eagle River. From our lake front cottage, we walked up the small hill to the resort’s lounge and restaurant.


There, as the hostess seated us, she pleaded for our patience. Seems our waitress was just finishing a short set with the band performing in the lounge. “She’s only doing two songs,” the hostess said.

Julie got us drinks to tide us over until the singing waitress, somewhat worn and wrinkled with her hair in an old fashioned bun, finished and bowed to her audience. A local celebrity no doubt, we guessed her to be in her seventies and were, at first, impressed with her high energy level. Once arriving at our table, she spent an inordinate amount of time telling us about her exploits and accomplishments. For her, our hunger seemed somewhat incidental.

Finally we ordered. Along with my entree, I’d ordered sweet potato fries. The singing waitress was adamant; you never use catsup with sweet potato fries. Maple syrup is required. Throughout our meal, the singing waitress checked in several times to see what else we needed to know about her. I’m also certain she was checking to see if the catsup bottle had moved.

Finishing dinner and getting ready to leave, we worried that our new best friend, the singing waitress, was going to follow us back to our cabin. She had so much more she needed to share. Finally, we got away and went home to continue catching up.

Saturday morning, we went into Eagle River and stopped at my favorite coffee shop, Sweet Beans, for breakfast. Then we proceeded to Boulder Junction; the main street is two blocks long, lined with gift, sports, art and jewelry shops, bars and restaurants. A typical northwoods tourist town.

DSCN4169We meandered up the street stopping at several stores and generally acting silly. We tried on some funny looking hats and I’m sure the clerk thought we were nuts when we asked her to take our picture. But she accommodated us nicely. There’s that nothwoods friendliness for you.

A half hour into our shopping, it began to pour, so we sequestered in a pottery shop. The longer there, the more we bought. I’m sure we made the artist’s day. Julie ran up the street to move my Blazer close to the store so we wouldn’t get drenched. She was appalled to hear that I’d left it unlocked and the keys on the console. This is Boulder Junction, I said. The potter agreed.


DSCN4174Once the rain let up, we finished our tour by stopping for ice cream, then headed back to our home base.

Back at the cabin, with more drinks and snacks, the constant chatter continued. We caught up on the trials and tribulations of step-parenting, the challenges of completing a PhD, adjusting to life as a single woman and the condition of the world in general and our lives in particular.

Again, by the time we were hungry we’d had too much to drink for any driving. So, back to the resort restaurant. And the singing waitress descended upon us once again. When Julie and I had finished ordering, she turned to Carolyn and said rather harshly: “So, I guess you want a corn dog!” What’s up with her?

I’d again ordered sweet potato fries and asked for catsup which the singing waitress didn’t bring. So, we borrowed from a near-by table. While on one of her interminable rounds, the singing waitress glared at our table, spotted the stolen catsup bottle and asked in a harsh voice: ”where did you get that?” Then she grabbed the bottle and stomped away.

We were long finished and waiting for our bill when the singing waitress swooped by and without a word, plunked the bill down on the table. She stalked away and we never saw her again. After begging another wait staff to take our money, we naughty little brats escaped the guilt trip adventure into the land of the spiteful mother with our psyches intact.

Once back at the cabin, we joked that the door had to be double locked to keep the axe murderer singing waitress out. Sunday, we returned to my favorite coffee shop for breakfast and said our goodbyes. How could the time have gone so fast and how could we not run out of things to talk about? We could barely get a word in edgewise, picking up where we’d left off the last time as if only a day had passed. If the severity of the sore throats and the hoarse voices experienced is any measure, we had a great time.

DSCN4163I was also happy that I could show these special friends the beauty and simplicity of the northwoods. The singing waitress’s quirkiness was an extra bonus the resort added to our event and I think she’d be pleased to know her fame has been established beyond her imagination.





2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Diana Schramer
    Oct 23, 2014 @ 17:38:22

    This is hilarious! I grew up in a small town, and it, too, had its quirky characters–which was part of its charm. One in particular was Chippy Henning, our town’s garbage man whose front lawn was littered with treasures (apparently to him) he picked up from week to week.

    This post brought up such fond remembrances. Thank you for taking me down Memory Lane. 🙂



  2. CarolynW
    Feb 09, 2015 @ 12:33:30

    Love the story, love the pictures! We must do this again! Maybe you & Julie can come to Winter Park (I know you did this once), for another entry. 🙂



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