Although we won't close up the cottage till late Septemberr October, and summer doesn't officially end for another week or two, it feels as though that chapter has closed. Rick and I headed home from the cottage on Thursday after our time here this week. From now on it will be weekends only from now on. Maybe extended weekends, a Thursday or Friday departure, but shorter time. Real life begins to take over with its appointments, meetings and events. All good but all somewhere other than the lake.
Our last few days didn't offer the sunny skies and warm weather I had enjoyed previously. No swims in the lake. Walks cut short by rain. The photo below was taken in the middle of the day, the sky dark, whitecaps on the lake, rain coming down, winds whipping through the pines.
So, we settled in. A cozy fire to take off the chill.
I read. Earlier in the week I had raced to finish a wonderful book, Justin Spring's "The Gourmand's Way." It chronicles the lives of six Americans, some who were ex-pats, some who returned to the states, but all who had a passionate interest in French food and writing about it. Some of the names were familiar to me -- Julia Child, MFK Fisher, Alice B. Toklas. Others were less so -- winemaker Alexis Lachine, artist Richard Olney and journalist A.J. Liebling. It reads like a well written biography but intertwining the stories like a novelist and including comments on food and wine that make one's mouth water. So, I had to cook. Unfortunately, not one person in this book would find my lunch that day worthy! (Chicken salad on red pepper with crackers.) They would, at least, appreciate that the red pepper came from the farmer's market!
Meanwhile, Rick caught up on some work, having done his long bike ride the week before.
When I picked him up in Mackinaw City he looked a little the worse for wear and was pretty hungry!
No, we passed up the Wienerlicious restaurant and stopped for a few minutes to visit our friends Pat and Susan who lived on our way home. Susan had graciously put out some snacks for us and boy, were they appreciated! Then I enjoyed a walk around her lovely garden, where she has incorporated plantings with natural things, like this milkweed.
And these bushes were a butterfly magnet! I counted at least six different ones flying around and Susan has seen many more than that at one time.
Labor Day was warm enough for us to enjoy a bit of porch time late in the afternoon. Rick made foccacia, we enjoyed a bit of wine. All good.
While we've been closeted up with the rain, I started Julia Baird's well written "Victoria the Queen." I'm also about half-through "Lilac Girls" but I find parts of it so upsetting that I can read it only in small doses. I've read many Holocaust-related novels and non-fiction but parts of this are so gruesome that I need a break from it. I'll finish -- just not all in one haul.
Of course, the rain had to stop sometime. And when it did, while still bloody cold, it at least brought out the wildlife, including this heron -- my first spotting on the lake this year.
It also brought a visit to the farmer's market where I was tempted by the apples...
But ended up buying some veggies, peaches and a bushel of tomatoes. Guess who's making big vats of pasta sauce to freeze this week!
And, before leaving I did get out for a couple more walks, longer this time. Oh, what a beautiful time to walk -- the air crisp and clear...
...and finally, the sun appears!
And we leave. After waking up to about 45 degrees, it heats up to a beautiful sunny and 75.
And it's time to leave. At least for a week. The end of extended time; only long weekends from now on. I'll miss it.
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