Following a morning working in the garden and a light lunch on the porch, I had just laid down for a "cat nap" when there was a knock at my door. A dark smiling face asked if we were open--they (I could see five others who had come with him) were interested in wine. My son is the wine maker, I explained, and he doesn't keep regular hours for his "tasting room" until the berry harvest, but I could open the wine shop for you to make a purchase if you would like.
As we walked together to the shop we became acquainted. They were three middle aged couples, all originally from India--but having lived and worked professionally for several years in Milwaukee where they had all met. Two doctors, a chemical engineer, a business consultant, and two teachers. They comprised a "book club" and were celebrating their 100th shared book by making this trip together to Bayfield, a place they had never been before. "It is a beautiful day," I said, "and if you would be interested, I would enjoy giving you a tour of our farm." They would like that--but would I have time for them? "Visitors come from God," I responded.
We stood by the Farmland Protection monument in the shaded picnic area across from the shop as I shared with them our family history regarding our decision to settle near Bayfield, to make a home, raise a family, and establish a farm business. They were interested in it all, asking many questions, and sharing relevant stories from their own experiences. We walked the path that begins behind the house, through the forest, first to the bee yard and then on through the sugar bush to the maple syrup shed--pausing along the way to talk about bees, honey, the trees of the forest, and the making of maple syrup. Out of the forest and onto the fields, the questions and conversation turned to berry farming in all of its detail. Two hours later we were back at the shop where they each purchased wine and honey to take home.
Pictures were taken. Appreciation was expressed by both sides, Warm hand shakes were shared. "This was the best experience we have had on our trip to Bayfield and the Apostle Islands!" one of the visitors expressed.
"Your visit was the best part of my day," I returned.
We parted as new-found friends.