boondocks — 1910s, from Tagalog bundok “mountain.” Adopted by occupying American soldiers in the Philippines for “remote and wild place.” Reinforced or re-adopted during World War II. Hence, also boondockers “shoes suited for rough terrain” (1953).
Remote and wild? Well, my cottage is in a remote area and there is a lot of wildlife around us.
Wisconsin is where my husband and I and our two cats live now. We live on a lake in a pine, maple, oak and birch forest. Within fifty mile radius of our home, there are 2300 lakes. No wonder, it’s called the Lakeland Area. Two national forests, the Nicolet and Chequamegon are also nearby. Also, Sylvania Wilderness north of us is one of the few old-growth forest preserves in the Midwest.
I suppose that some might wonder why it is important to mention where I live. I think that is because most Americans live in many different places in a lifetime. I was born in Texas, grew up in Illinois, raised my children in Iowa and now live in Wisconsin. And I don’t think anyone can argue that where one lives makes a difference to a life. Whenever I plan a story, I always start with a place. What a person does for a living and where are a big part of a person’s life. Very few lumberjacks in Manhattan, right? Places draw certain kind of people. And the northwoods drew me–unexpectedly that is.
Since the Lakeland area is also near Lake Superior and Lake Michigan, French fur traders in birchbark canoes arrived in the area in the 1600‘s. I personally arrived here in the 1970’s when I became engaged to my husband who let me know that living here would be his first choice. It was not my choice at all. I loved it for a vacation spot, but had no intentions of moving north. In fact, I told him I never intended to live farther north than the Wisconsin-Illinois border. He married me anyway.
But times change. We were able to buy an old (and I mean built in the 1930’s old) fishing cabin on a rise over the lake near a swamp. (I know many use the nicer term ‘wetland’ but swamp does it for me.) Eventually we tore the old cabin down (that carpenter ants were feasting on) and built our present retirement home on it.
Due to a lay-off in the economic tidal wave after 9/11, we ended up “retiring” here in 2003, much earlier than anticipated.
Many of my friends wondered at our decision to live in the boonies. I mean I have to drive over an hour to a mall. I can’t get cable TV or super fast Internet. Except for Walmart, all the stores in town are for tourists. So why do I live here?
Well, blue heron, loons, sandhill cranes and other birds enjoy wading or swimming out in front of our cottage. Every spring at least one large (I’m talking 3 feet long and almost as wide) mama turtle climbs our hill and lays somewhere around 300 eggs in a nest in our drive. (With a snow shovel, we try to carry her to a less trafficky area but she gets really testy with us.)
And the northwoods Lakeland Area presents me with a unique setting for stories. My Christmas novella, Loving Winter, is part of a boxed set of holiday novellas, Sweet Christmas Kisses 4. It is one of 14 novella by New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors.
Usher in the holiday season with 14 heartwarming all-new, stand-alone stories from New York Times, USA Today, national bestselling, and award-winning authors.
Sweet Christmas Kisses 4 takes you from the Pocono Mountains to sunny Florida, and as far away as Portugal.
Curl up with your favorite hot beverage and enjoy this sweet romance boxed set that’s sure to put you in the mood for Christmas.
Lyn Cote’s, Loving Winter.
At her cousin’s wedding, Winter Woodard, owner of her family’s garden center, isn’t expecting to meet her match in local football coach, Clay Dixon, (she isn’t IN to sports!) but he stands by her through a holiday season fraught with unexpected setbacks.
So where do you live? Did you choose it or did you just end up there? Would your life had been different if you’d lived somewhere else? All good questions to ponder. I wish I’ll go out and sit on our porch and ponder it–but I’ll wear a jacket now. Ice will come soon!