Sunday, June 5, 2016

Hi, Lake! I'm Back!

Rick and I headed to the lake to open the cottage in the Land of No Internet after months of being closed during the winter. It's exciting going the first time -- you hope there are no "incidents" (a tree on the house, which hasn't happened; a winter 'guest'  which has in the past -- probably a squirrel -- that ate every piece of Kleenex in the house, along with pillows and other things -- and had no respect for the concept of litterbox.)

No ugly surprises. All was well. Our never-ending screen repairs of last year (three years, eight trips to Lowes) had held! And so had the protective sealing our foundation repair guy left on the cottage when he finished part one of the job. We'll be ready for part two as soon as he can get there!

After spending the first couple of days under the guest room bed, surfacing only for meals, Lizzie rediscovered the porch. She was captivated by trying to catch the evening bugs.

And delighted to eat the grass that seems to grow in by the crack in the door.

Rick was in seventh heaven, too -- back on the bike in Michigan's "Otsego Alps."

It appears the neighbors we weren't fond of on the other side of the vacant lot have sold. That's the good news. The bad news is that the new owners, who weren't there, have cut down a number of the trees on the lot which can only mean one thing -- building coming soon. Hopefully, an appropriate structure, not a McMansion. Nonetheless, it was hard to worry about it too much when the sky looked like this each evening.

There was work to be done like raking the pine needles from the yard, putting the porch together, making the beds. But we managed to find time for a nature walk (aborted by swarms of mosquitoes in the woods) and a visit to a nearby little lake where we engaged in a rather long conversation with a kid walking his grandparents' dog. I know a lot about that dog now.

Rick practiced hours on his guitar and you could tell. It was fun to finish off three books to a musical accompaniment!

And I had some art time. I redid my "Let Rick Ride" watercolor (on the left). I can't decide if it's better or worse than the first time. (The original is on the right)

And a friend's cat. As a cat it looks pretty good but definitely not quite right for the original model who has a little more black versus gray. Still, getting better at animals.

There was time to visit my friend Fran's kids, engaging in the sad work of going through her things and being at her home for the first time since my Lady of the Lake left this world. It felt right to sit in the chair I always did during our conversations, talking to her two daughters. I thought this picture was a bit of a metaphor -- it's a view of the lake where there is sun and all the brightness it can bring but with it the very real possibility that the darker clouds in the sky could open with tears.

There was time to read, time to Sharpie a couple of scarves and time check out the action in town (not much).


And we leave as we began -- with time to watch the sunset.

There will be a few more months of this, some with family, some with friends. And oh, I can't wait.

Life is good.

This post is shared with Thoughts of Home on Thursday and Share Your Cup! Check out the great links there!


  1. What a lovely place and your pictures of the sky are incredible. It's fun to see your husband on his bike, my husband is an avid bike rider as well as our middle son. Road, Mountain, you name it they do it haha.
    It was fun reading your post and I'm glad I stopped by. I'm a no-reply blogger but I do appreciate visitors.
    Have a great week

  2. Oh, the lake is so pretty, Jeanie. And I bet the sunsets that you saw each evening were pretty as well. I try to take picture of the sunrises every chance I get. There's nothing like spending time in nature. It brings us such peace. I didn't realize you painted with water colors, what a talent! The cat picture is fantastic.

    I'm glad you got to spend some time at the lake. That last picture is simply lovely.


  3. A wonderful beginning to your summer!

  4. Wow! I love that last picture, but your post just made me want to come and play with you by the water. How I would love being there and sitting with you for a long chat or just to sit with music and read.

  5. Sounds like you had a wonderful time. The photos are beautiful. I too would love to finish off some reading with guitar accompaniment. I think your watercolors are all lovely.

  6. Lake escapes are the best. Love your post. Looks like it was wonderful recharge time and can't wait to see more when you go back next time. Hugs-Erika

  7. Sounds like a wonderful few days.!

    I'm glad you didn't find any nasty surprises waiting for you, and hope the new lake neighbours won't be building anything ugly that spoils the scenery.

  8. Love. LOVE!

    We are made of water. We must be near it, we must ingest it, we must see it, hear it and most of all, PRESERVE it.

    To be near the lake again Jeanie, you must be BESIDE YOURSELF! I am now off of school and yesterday, my friend and I went to Minnehaha Creek where we took photos. WHAT FUN did that babbling creek make for us; here I am 58 years old and I felt like I was 10 years old again, hiking up and down to reach the shores off the little hill from the street. Nothing like summer to make you feel young. HAVE FUN and safe biking travels to Rick, and YOUR ART! WOWOOWOOOWOW!

  9. Jeanie, so happy for you and Rick to be back at the lake. Knowing how you love being there reminds me of how I love the beach. Happy to hear no surprises and all to do is routine clean-up after being closed for the winter. Glad Lizzie finally came out from under the bed and I think both paintings are fab. Lovely sunset………….Special times!

  10. I think that cat portrait is great. You really are getting better. That's how it's supposed to happen, right? I need to mentally re-imagine my apartment as my lake cottage. That way, I wouldn't be so envious of yours! Actually, it's always amused me that the things we do at lake/beach cottages is much like what we could do while at "home" if we so choose. Watching sunsets, talking walks,all of that -- takes on a little magic when done in a different place. But, maybe they could be re-magic-fied even at home.

  11. Sounds like an incredible weekend! I am glad that the neighbors you didn't like have moved on but hope the new ones build an appropriately-sized house. The county where my parents built has extremely strict rules about the % of non-permeable structures you can have on your lot. So that sort of keeps the homes in check.

    That's great that you got to fit in so many of your favorite things - painting, reading, listening to Rick play guitar, visiting with old friends. That's an ideal kind of weekend! And the photos you shared are gorgeous! I won't be up at the lake again until the week of the 4th but I know that week will come fast. I'm going to be up there Wed-Sun which is the longest stretch of time I've spent at the lake in as long as I can remember!

  12. Do you know my fondest memories of my childhood were spent at my grandparents lake house. There is something magic about the lake. They too had a favorite set of neighbors. I'm so glad you have the lake house and I too hope some dumb mcmansion doesn't go in next door.

    Your watercolors are so beautiful. You have talent.

  13. Joy, sadness, hard work, and time to play. The beauty of the lake trip says it all. It's a wonderful post and I think it shows the happiness both of you have at this special place.

  14. What an amazing scrapbook of a lovely time comunicating such a deep serenity, I heartily thank you, my adorable Jeanie !

    Sending blessings of joy on the remainder of your week, may it be filled with love

    xox Dany

  15. Oh what fun! And I love your watercolors.

  16. How special to be back at your lovely lake property AND with no big surprises either.
    Your watercolors are fabulous Jeanie WOW!
    Such glorious sunsets with so much nature to enjoy.
    Happy June at the lake oxo

  17. I love your lake house and want to see inside..:)
    What lovely photos...and so sorry about your friend passing.
    I always love seeing your paintings...both of those of Rick look fantastic to me.
    Have fun and send pictures...xoxo

  18. My Dear Jeanie,

    What a lovely retreat to remove oneself from the world.
    I can smell the pines and feel the breeze from the lake on this warm Texas morning.

    I know that your heart is still fragile from the loss of the Lady of the Lake.
    Perhaps spending time here will help to heal it.
    When Momma passed away I spent hours and hours, days and days and weeks in her garden and home. It was a good thing.

    Thank you for sharing this lovely and enriching part of your life with us at TOHOT.

  19. Beautiful lake photos Jeanie! I think your watercolor redo is much better, you have captured more light...that's a tricky subject! Your kitty is adorable!

  20. Those skyline pictures are absolutely gorgeous.

  21. What a charming cottage and your paintings are a delight! Thank you for so faithfully joining us at Thoughts of Home on Thursday. You are a treasured blogging friend.

  22. I am glad that you are back at the lake .
    It sounds like it is a special retreat and haven.
    Thank you for sharing this at TOHOT.

  23. So pretty are so talented!
    I like both of your husband on the bike!

  24. What a slice of heaven you have there, dear Jeanie!!! Looks like you and Rick are in paradise. Love your pics of the wildlife as well as the beautiful flowers. Your artwork is beautiful, as always. Love the ones of your hubby on the bike. Enjoy your weekend, dear Jeanie!

  25. I am taken with your watercolors. Particularly that you redid a painting! That takes courage and gumption, neither of which I feel I have. The cat is well done. I know what you mean when you say it looks like a cat, but not the cat you were referencing. You must claim artistic license. Never-the-less, it is delightful.


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