Vogt's Notes: It’s the most wonderful time of the year

Summer brings long days, color and fun times.

Photo illustration, Shutterstock, Inc.

I absolutely love this time of year.

I’m not sure when it happened, but sometime over the past, oh, 30 years, summer became my favorite season.

Within the past couple of months, our landscape went from drab and dead brown and gray to lush green. It never fails that this seems to happen magically overnight.

Colorful flowers are in full bloom. Birds are chirping and singing. Squirrels and chipmunks are running amok as they play and can be so entertaining to watch. (That’s sure the case in my yard anyway, much to the delight of my indoor cat. I’ve heard him crash into the sliding glass door going after the critters running around on the deck.)

The air smells fresh and clean. People are out walking and biking. Families are in their yards tending to the grass and flowers while children play.


I absolutely love it all.

My husband and I spend every night on our deck, surrounded by pots of blooming flowers that are a riot of color. They always look so sparse when we plant them, but by July they’re crowded and overflowing.

We grill dinner and eat at the table outside while absorbing all the nature around us. We need to make nightly bike rides through the neighborhood more routine.

We work hard all week so we can play hard all weekend. We haven’t gone four wheeling or fishing yet, but we’ve been to the sandbar on North Long Lake a couple of times and have spent quite a bit of time at my father-in-law’s cabin.

I even love the heat. That definitely wasn’t always the case. I often share the story of June 1995, when my daughter was born. We didn’t have an air conditioned house, and the air in my car was broken. I was on maternity leave so I couldn’t escape the heat by going to work.

It was just me and my very hot baby suffering through the excessive heat. It was the first time I remember hating summer.

After we got air conditioning in our home, that hatred eventually evaporated until one day many years later I realized just how much I love summer and all it has to offer. I just love the longer days and being outside. A cool summer thunderstorm is always nice (and desperately needed right now).

Yes, life is good. Even when the thermometer soars past 90 degrees.


A few random parting thoughts:

  • I think the Jack Pine Center in Pequot Lakes is the coolest building. Check out the shops inside the unique spaces.

  • I don’t eat a lot of bread, but I appear to be addicted to cranberry wild rice bread. Pick up a loaf at Schaefer’s Foods in Nisswa or the Pine River Bakery. It’s delicious from both places.

  • I also don’t eat a lot of ice cream, but it’s just not right not to try new flavors offered at area ice cream shops, including the Chocolate Ox in Nisswa, Lake Country Crafts and Cones and Crosslake, and Sweet P’s Treats in Pequot Lakes. What’s your favorite flavor this summer?

Nancy Vogt may be reached at 218-855-5877 or Follow her on Facebook and on Twitter at

Nancy Vogt - Vogt's Notes.jpg
Nancy Vogt, PineandLakes Echo Journal Editor

Nancy Vogt is editor of the Pineandlakes Echo Journal, a weekly newspaper that covers eight communities in the Pequot Lakes-Pine River areas - from Nisswa to Hackensack and Pequot Lakes to Crosslake.

She started as editor of the Lake Country Echo in July 2006, and continued in that role when the Lake Country Echo and the Pine River Journal combined in September 2013 to become the Pineandlakes Echo Journal. She worked for the Brainerd Dispatch from 1992-2006 in various roles.

She covers Nisswa, Pequot Lakes, Lake Shore and Crosslake city councils, as well as writes feature stories, news stories and personal columns (Vogt's Notes). She also takes photos at community events.

Contact her at or 218-855-5877 with story ideas or questions. Be sure to leave a voicemail message!
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