Thursday, June 29, 2017

Now Entering the Land of Limited Internet

I love everything about spending summer at the lake. The blue skies, the water just out the front door, the sunsets.

I'll pack up a boatload of books, art supplies and one furry, yappy girl and head off, popping in at home now and then! And I can't wait!

If there is one thing that is more challenging, it's that the cottage is in what I call "The Land of Limited Internet." It's not limited to everyone, just to me!

It doesn't seem fiscally sensible to get internet for two or three months when you have to pay for it all year long. So, I get my internet by going to the library or my cousin's house down the road.

It's a mixed blessing. I don't get to check in with everyone as often as I'd like and I miss that. It might mean I visit less or comment less. Writing isn't a problem because I can prep it up and paste it in or pre-schedule. Visiting and replying to comments isn't always as easy.

That said, there is much good about not being attached to the computer. I read a lot more. (Just finished this one in the Armande Gamache series. Very good -- but read them in order!).

I paint more regularly. And for longer periods at a time. I can really concentrate on improvement, not just getting something done.

I'll eat healthy, wonderful things from the farm market, visit friends who live in the north and swim often (once the lake warms up!).

I will commune with nature (but chase the geese off the beach!) and take long walks.

I'll anticipate Rick's vacation time at the lake where we will work on many happy homeowner projects and he'll appreciate some cycle time!

And in the evenings, we'll sit on the porch, eat something yummy on the grill and watch the sun sink beyond the trees in the distance!

So, if you don't see Lizzie and me around much this summer, we haven't forgotten you and will check in when we can. We're bonding!

And enjoying the sunsets!

Happy Summer!

Monday, June 26, 2017


I recently fell in love with a most imaginative production of James M. Barrie's Peter Pan story called "Peter/Wendy." It was performed outdoors at our university's free summer theatre to an audience of all ages, but at least on the night I saw it, largely adults. (The weekend performances bring in the most children, especially with a kids' show as a lead-in.)

"Peter/Wendy" brought back loads of memories, not the least of which was sitting in front of the television set, raptly engaged in the Mary Martin musical production in the 1950s. As Peter, she flew through the Darling's bedroom hunting for a lost shadow. Peter encounters Wendy Darling who awakens from her bed. "Boy, why are you crying?" she asks. And thus, begins a friendship that takes Wendy (and in the television version and book, her two brothers) to Neverland, where children don't grow up and pirates (albeit comic ones) abound.

After I watched the program, I took my little curly-headed girl self and did as so many others did -- I went to my bedroom and leaped off of it, thinking as many lovely thoughts as I could and hoping to fly.

Some things never get off the ground. I was one of them. At least back then. Now? I'm not so sure.

Seeing "Peter/Wendy" not only brought back memories of my dismal attempts to fly, it also set me thinking of Neverland. In the song from the musical, Jule Styne, Betty Comden and Adolph Green wrote:

"I have a place where dreams are formed and time is never planned. 
It's not on any chart. You must find it with your heart. Never, Neverland. (Listen here:)

"It might be miles beyond the moon or right there, where you stand. 
Just keep and open mind and then suddenly you find, Never Neverland."

Just think about it. A place to go where you have your own heaven, "right there where you stand." A place where there are fairies and pirates.

And the pirates aren't too scary. They simply want to be loved. They may fight their battles and fight them hard. But perhaps they just need a mother, someone to take care of them, tuck them in.

"You'll have a heaven if you stay there, more precious far than gold. 
For once you have found your way there, you can never, ever grow old."

Have you found your Neverland? Your spot where you feel and yes, even are young at heart forever? Is it in the giggle of a baby or the purr of a cat? The wagging tail of your dog or the first blossoms of spring after a long winter? The touch of someone you love or the sight of something that takes your breath away.

When I saw "Peter/Wendy," I was reminded not only of the joys of flying, of running away from home to new adventures -- but also of the worries of the parents when their children have gone so mysteriously away.  Don't we all worry about the kids who aren't under our watch anymore? Maybe they have grown up -- but have they really? And don't we all want to "leave the nightlights on," hoping for their safe return?

We all have our battles to fight. Some are big ones, some far less dramatic but equally important at the time. Some are internal, some are with other people.

Sometimes we are tied up in knots or feel like a prisoner. And other times, we're finding mermaids and fairies.

And when those fairies are in peril, we clap our hands and believe. And if we believe enough, they return to life.

If we can find our Neverland, those pirates and perils may not seem quite so big. If we can believe and bring fairies back to life, can't we believe in ourselves enough to triumph over the things that seem daunting? And can't we discover how to get there?

"And that's my home where dreams are born and time is never planned. 
Just think of lovely things and your heart will fly on wings forever. In Never Neverland."

My early flying attempts fell flat on the ground. But now, I think I just might have it under control.

If you want to relive a little bit of Mary Martin's Neverland, HERE YOU GO!

(Hats off to Deric McNish and the cast of "Peter/Wendy" at Michigan State's Summer Circle Theatre. When a play sticks with a person and makes them think -- especially one so familiar -- you're doing something very right indeed!)

Happy to link to  Share Your Cup where we share things that make us happy! (Lovely thoughts and up you go!)

Friday, June 23, 2017

The Ditch -- A Different View

Usually when I walk the Ditch, I'm looking for Harry the Heron, Gaby the Goose or the Ducksters. But there is more to it all than that. It's also a flower walk and one that begins closer to home as I pass the rose garden of someone who has a passion for pink.

As I draw closer to the ditch I am transported to a different time and place where the sense memory is that of honeysuckle. This large honeysuckle hedge is so fragrant, so full of blooms, I find myself in a spot quite unlike my own -- at least for a block or so.

The tall birches are first to greet me as I enter the Ditch.

But as I start my first round I see loads of flowers.

Some appear to be wild.

I'm not so sure about the others.

But either way, they are lovely.

Even the grasses are filled with wee blossoms. I loved these yellow ones.

And on this first day of summer, I leave you with a sunset.

When this photo was taken, it was nearly ten o'clock. It wasn't fully dark till sometime after.

Oh, keep those long days coming for another month or so!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

When It All Seems Dark...

Do you ever feel like you've been spending money like a drunken sailor? This was how I've felt recently.

Well, this squirrel had originally had his eyes closed and was so sacked out in such a dead sleep on the branch that I thought he was dead. When I woke him, he ran to another branch and proceeded to try to get in his nap -- but he was watching me! But that's how I felt -- like I just wanted to sprawl out on a branch, play dead and let the world go on without me for awhile.

The best things in life may indeed be free -- like squirrel watching or enjoying a beautiful evening of free theatre or being with people you love (more on that in a second!).

But lately the essentials have been expensive! A muffler repair, washing machine repair (which turned into "It can't be fixed. You need a new one"), new shower installation (ouch!), basic homeowner stuff, the parts of my surgery-related things that Medicare or insurance didn't cover... it's been that kind of month.

(This, of course, doesn't count the things that should be done or the wish list -- grading of the back yard, a new well for the cottage, new walkway at the cottage after last year's foundation repair... you get the gist.)

Even when the cash wasn't flowing out, the water (as in our big rain storm) was flowing into the basement! It's at this point I give kudos to Rick for going on my roof in a thunder/lightning storm and cleaning out my gutters, which helped stop the flooding in my basement on the night before Father's Day. (It's pretty well dried out now, thanks to soaking it up with towels and flannel sheets, six buckets full!) Of course, how I'll get those towels clean without a washing machine is up for grabs. Laundromat, here I come.

I know we need rain to make things grow (and we needed it desperately) but I didn't need it in the basement!

This clean-up is considerably easier when the washing machine is working -- you can at least spin the sopping wet towels for their next soaking round instead of wringing by hand. Ah well... it's dry for now.

So, in sore need of a good day and a little baby love, we took off for Father's Day celebrations, making a quick stop to Trader Joe's (oh, if only I could find these at home!)...

...and our favorite Italian grocery market. Get a load of the pastry counter -- and this is just the cakes!

And when you need a smile, what could be a better destination than the home of Kevin, Molly and the Baby Grand!

It was a day of male bonding...

Selfies (he looks like he's really seeing it, doesn't he?) ...

Baby Baths...

...Family portraits...

...Really good dinner...

...Baby bench pressing...

...Toe dancing...

...and a crazy lady!

Help me! She's closing in!

For a first time dad...

...and a first time grandpa...

It was indeed the perfect way to celebrate.

Our little guy looked dapper in his bow tie...

...but I think he was glad for us to head home so he could get to bed! (Mom and Dad probably were, too!)

Thanks for a wonderful day!

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