Fish Creek, like every other township in Door County, has a main drag. Appropriately called Main Street, it has all the vacationer un-necessities: the boutique grocery, several beautiful jewelry and art stores, a fudge shop and a confectionary that sells special “Door County candy” for kids hopped up on sun and fresh air.

Not much has changed since my family started visiting the peninsula when I was about three. If you know me, you probably aren’t shocked to find that that’s one of my favorite things about Door — its ability to remain time-warped in spite of my ever-shifting life.

Our lodging has changed throughout the years, from Gordon Lodge to Bay Shore Inn to Rocky Shores. We were down a father for awhile but gained a step-dad who appreciates Door County’s beauty as much as any of us ever have. It’s seen guests and boyfriends come and go. It’s watched the Worthy daughters pass milestones — the first summers after 16 and flying down empty county highways, Paige’s first summer after 21 that undoubtedly passed with the glory of finally being able to join the big-kids’ club at family dinners in town: cocktails before and wine with dinner. (This year, mine passed with less grandeur, sipping one glass of my favorite sauvignon blanc in leggings with my mom on my final night.)
It’s seen Paige grow up and out of family vacations, and it’s watching me hold on for dear life — or struggle with whether I want to. And still, it’s there, year after year. It’s there with its winding roads and gentle shorelines and electric sunsets and time-warped towns. It’s there year after year for me to love. So I have, and I do.

Fish Creek, like every other township in Door County, has a main drag. And this year, it was looking pretty dependably familiar with its vacationer un-necessities — wait. What’s that gray thing? That wasn’t here last time I was. And where’s the toy store?

A wave of panic.

That gray thing is a brand-new restaurant — Cooper’s Corner — that replaced the hole-in-the-wall C&C Supper Club, built complete with a two-story fountain and second-story deck for outdoor seating. The toy store has been replaced with a “Visit Door County” store (as if the people IN Door County need to be told to VISIT Door County, but don’t get me started). Well.

If you know me, you probably aren’t shocked to find that I threw a minor stink.

And then this quote went through my head: “‘I like change,’ she said, ‘as long as I remember I like change.’”

I’ve never considered this applicable to my life. A lover of routine and a stickler for tradition, change is not a word I like unless it’s clanging around in my pocket to make exact at Starbucks.

But this summer has been about nothing but change. Adaptation has been the name of the game, and rolling with the punches has been my (attempted) specialty. At this point in my life, “What’s next?” is my favorite question, even though I rarely have the answer.

I’m back in Chicago now. But I guess what that means is that C&C is allowed to become Cooper’s Corner, as long as Fish Creek keeps that time-warped, unnecessary-filled charm. Besides, cheese curds are cheese curds, and the rest of the food was still subpar. Not that much changed, apparently. But in the future, remind me to remember.

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