A couple years ago, my dad bought some land up lake country so he can be the Minnesotan that he acts like. This summer, he builds. We step through the deep growth to stake out a space, determining which trees will go.

It’s daunting, these decisions. Siding, windows, counters, paint, flooring, fixtures, trim. It’s all gotta fit together, look good and not cost a million dollars. There will be a garden, and a shop, and a dock. He already rides a bright orange tractor. A woodlot from the cleared land will fuel a stove.

A stand of trees with one labeled HOLLE.

The trees trip and slap us and throw worms.