Friday, September 6, 2019

Postcards from the Lake: Road Trips and Home Fires

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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52 comments:

Anne's Phamilyblog said...

what a beautiful post! Your photos are so lovely. It has been some time since I stopped by. Thank you for sharing your lovely blog with me today. Have a terrific weekend and enjoy! HUGS

Pam said...

HAHA....OKAY I love the name on the hotdog place! haha....too funny. Love that screened in area, Lily Bit would love it also. Great pics. Beautiful butterfly.

Blondie's Journal said...

It's a melancholy time of year for us lake people. Although our home is year round, the holidays consume us, and winter can be desolate up here, so it's just a few weekends here and there until late April.

I think your friend has the milkweed plant, it attracts butterflies and they really need it for a food source. I have it everywhere here at the lake and I have to often pull it, it always comes back and can take over.

That book about the chefs and writings looks right up my alley. I do have a book by Olney somewhere. Is this new?

I hope you get a few more sunny days in at the lake and enjoy those farmer's markets!

Jane x

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

Wow, what a week. I can't believe how cold it is in your area. It's after 1 am my time and I still have my office AC humming away. I was sweating in my craft room earlier. I'd give anything for 45 F at night and 75 F during the day. Believe it or not, I consider you quite lucky.

Good that you and Rick have time together and he was able to ride again for an extended period of time. Loved the "hot dog" photo, but wouldn't be tempted to eat there.

Enjoy your time between the lake and home. It will all end soon enough. For some reason, I'm surprised summer is nearly over. Thanks for sharing your walks, your books, and your life at the lake this summer.

Valerie-Jael said...

Time flies, and summer is always over. You had a lovely, long time at the lake though, and you can still get away for weekends, so sounds good. The veggies look wonderful, have fun making pasta sauce. Valerie

Joyful said...

Magnificent final days of summer.

Pamela said...

It's still very hot here. The fire looks very appealing and cozy.

Rustic Pumpkin said...

Autumn came in suddenly across the pond too, a couple weeks ago. Never underestimate the power of a home made lunch even if you don't think it worthy of the great food writers! The apples have such a lovely bloom to them that at first I thought you had plums! Delicious.

Deb in Wales

David M. Gascoigne, said...

First of all - iI have never met, Susan, but please tell her next time you see her that she is on my list of favourite people despite that omission. She planted milkweed in her garden! That just about says it all and on behalf of Monarchs everywhere I say thank you! I am sure you had a memorable season at the cottage, Jeanie, and as you point out there are still weekends to be enjoyed there. As always, your blog is infused with joy. It truly reflects the ecstasy of somehow who knows how to live every moment and I always look forward to a new post. Be sure to say hello to Rick for me. Big hugs from Ontario.

coffeeontheporchwithme said...

Another beautiful post, Jeanie. I feel as if I'm right there with you. What are the berries in the last photo? -Jenn

Pam Richardson said...

I know it must be hard to leave your cottage on the lake. We could us some of your rain and cooler temps. Reading is such a joy to me especially on a rainy, cool day with a fire. Your photos always capture your thoughts, so lovely Jeanie!

Susie said...

Jeanie, You certainly read a lot. I have never tried to read two books at once. Glad you and Rick got to visit friends. Milk weed is the best food for Monarchs. Your sunflowers looks beautiful with the sun shining on them. Soon it will be too cold to be on the lake. I hate that the sweet days of summer are dwindling. Blessings to you , xoxo, Susie

Joanne Huffman said...

Summer lasts longer in Florida (heat index of 102 yesterday); but my thoughts are turning to the delightful crispness of this time of year in Michigan.

The French Hutch said...

This time spent at the lake sounds lovely, all cozy and perfect for snuggling up with a book. Walks while cool is my favorite and I'm sure you and Rick enjoyed doing that when the sun came out. We won't get that until late October. I know it's always sad to think about having to close up your lake home for the season so enjoy it these last few weeks............

La Table De Nana said...

Lilac Girls is gruesome and I thought it was a very good book.
The horrors of it all.:(:(:(
Reading a Shari Lapena Book..Someone We Know..enjoyng it..fave read this summer Where The Crawdads Sing..How wonderful the difference in such short a time for Rick!..

Evi Erlinda said...

A nice fire; it's very hot here, 97 at day feel like 100.

Have a great weekend, Jeanie!

Misadventures of Widowhood said...

I'm going to miss your postcards from the lake! I so miss cottage life and all that entails and you do such a great job in photos and words capturing the feelings and activates of cottage life.

Lynne said...

Rain Sun Wind Flowers Friends Heron Cooler Cold Books More Books
Back Home . . . and your other life . . .
I am sure you are already enjoying your Lansing home comforts l . . .
Happy Life and Living Jeanie!

Jenny Woolf said...

I hope you can get down for odd days when a spell of fine weather is forecasted. It looks FAR too nice a place to leave for the rest of the year! I love farmers markets, we have one on Saturdays here and I always appreciate the apple man, who grows all kinds of unusual varieties. We don't get anyone selling peaches though - I think our climate is too cold. How nice that you had friends in Mackinaw City, specially with such a lovely garden. Is that a Monarch butterfly?

shoreacres said...

Nothing says "winding up the season" like that first photo. I've never seen any of your spaces so bare, so bereft of everything from painting and craft supplies to food to general joy-of-living "stuff." Maybe it's a screened space, and you cleared it out because of the rain, but it made me a little nostalgic, as all endings do. No matter -- there still are the long weekends ahead; enjoy them all!

Penny from Enjoying The Simple Things said...

When I grew up in Michigan we lived on the lake year round. There were quite a lot of summer homes on the lake as well. It was very quiet during the winter! Your lunch looks tasty!

Sandra at Maison De Jardin said...

Jeanie, it is amazing to see you had a fire, but I know the wind and rain off the lake must have been chilly. I have been wanting to read "The Gourmands' Way." (You will see why in an upcoming post on my blog.) But I swore not to order another book before I finished the ones I have. However, I may have to bend.
I agree about the "Lilac Girls." I did it in small doses as well - but it was a really good book.
Milkweed is supposed to haul in the butterflies, I did not know the bloom was so pretty. Love your heron. We have been enjoying immensely the Goldfinches. They have the sweetest chatter when they are feeding on my zinnias I have let go to seed. I like to think they are enjoying their dinner. Happy days to you, Jeanie.

William Kendall said...

That butterfly is particularly photogenic!

DUTA said...

There are no farmer markets in my area. The general, city markets are not what they used to be because they're struggling to survive. The prices at discount supermarkets are cheaper than at the markets, so these supermarkets attract most customers.

The Joy of Home with Martha Ellen said...

I know it's bittersweet leaving your beloved cottage by the lake. How wonderful there is a fireplace to take the chill off when you return. And the lovely heron knew you needed to see him this season. Your friend's garden is a wonderful--a lovely shot of the monarch! And all the great vegetables remind me to stop by our farmer's market tomorrow. Happy weekend, Jeanie.

Iris Flavia said...

My heart gets a bit heavy...
But wow... you have a real fire!
The book sounds very interesting! I had a pupil´s exchance at age 14 and those French guys ate for hours!!! ;-) In my family it could not be fast enough!
Wienerlicious, now that is fun and clever! And it looks so relaxed, too!!!
Milkweed I never´d heard of. Beautiful pic with the butterfly (funny name, we call them Schmetterling, that sounds so harsh!! Schmettern means to crash somthing...).
Hmmm, the sunflowers!
I agree, for walking the temps are just right.
Sad, though, you´ll only have (hopefully often extended) weekends...

Running on empty said...

Lots of antioxidants in that food. I like your outdoor room.

eileeninmd said...

Hello,

Our weather seems cooler now too, we could use some rain. Weekends at the cottage, with a fire going and a good book. I would be happy! Love the monarch and the heron, great sightings. Have a happy day and a great new week! Thanks for visiting and for the comment on my blog.

Victoria Zigler said...

Sorry your Summer lake time is over. But it sounds like you've been enjoying some hygge moments while you prepare to adjust to the cooler temperatures again. The reading by the fire sounds delightful to me especially.

I know what you mean about Lilac girls. It's a great read, but heartbreaking and terrible in places.

Sandra Cox said...

Your pictures are just beautiful. Staying at the lake must be so peaceful. I'm sure it puts everything in perspective. Have a great one.

Monica Hein ~ Beauty Diary said...

Beautiful photos! the fireplace,the fresh apples both dreamy!

Kisses from NYC

https://villemo20.blogspot.com

Monica Hein ~ Beauty Diary said...

Beautiful photos, fireplace and fresh apples looks= so dreamy!

Kisses from NYC

https://villemo20.blogspot.com

thepaintedapron.com said...

Rainy days are meant for reading and cooking, I want to read The Gourmands Way, sounds fascinating, thanks for the suggestion! We are still in the 90s here {103 in parts of Alabama yesterday!!} so 45-70s sounds pretty good to me! It is hard to say goodbye to long summer days...
Jenna

Carola Bartz said...

Your time at the lake always sounds so lovely, even in the rain. Actually I would like some rain here, we haven't had any for months.
I'm glad that you passed the Wienerlicious restaurant - that food certainly isn't good for anyone. Your lunch with the chicken salad on the red peppers sounds so much better!

Nikki-ann said...

Such wonderful photos, but most of all that butterfly is gorgeous! :)

Barb said...

This summer has gone so quickly. I see the changes at the lake, but you're lucky the farmer's market is still in business. I'm getting wonderful CO peaches, corn, and tomatoes right now. Rain and reading - the perfect combo!

My name is Erika. said...

I think our weather has changed over to fall also. It seems early this year, doesn't it. I don't usually expect it until later in the month. But you were smart- a fire to take off the chill, a good book (and it does sound good), but it is sad watching summer disappear, mainly because it will be so long before it returns. Hope you have a great week. Hugs-Erika

NanaDiana said...

I love reading your posts and remember when we had our cottage those late summer/early fall days-so unpredictable but fun for reading and doing puzzles, etc., on those not-so-great days.

Beautiful photos, Jeanie. I hope you have a wonderful week. xo Diana

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

Leaving your cottage on the lake is really admitting that summer is almost gone. Lovely post Jeanie! Hope your week is blessed.

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

It seems like the day you leave the lake is ALWAYS the nicest day! I know my parents often find that to be true when they leave on Sundays to head back to work. They are looking forward to making their permanent home at the lake. But they need to retire first - and hopefully soon as they are both 71!

It's been cooler and super windy here lately. I really hate windy days. I can handle cooler temps but wind is just not pleasant! It feels like a wind tunnel in downtown Minneapolis. The wind must be trapped in between the tall building or something? It's unpleasant! I'm hoping we have calm, warm days left as I'm not ready for the cold stuff!!

Anca said...

Aww, look at those apples, they must be delicious. It's a bit sad that the Summer is over, but there are plenty of things to look forward to in Autumn and Winter. :)

Red Rose Alley said...

Your Summer's end has been very nice, Jeanie. Your photos are always a joy to see. The basket of apples made me smile, as I'm already getting into the Autumn season, and nothing says Fall like apples. The butterfly is beautiful. That was nice of your friend to prepare goodies for you when you visited. Your fireplace is cozy, and an interesting wreath above. Are those lights hanging from the wreath? I bet it was a lovely sight to see the rain come down over the lake

~Sheri

Jennifer Richardson said...

A rainy cozy day by the fire with a good book sounds delicious.
I'm glad you've had your sweet season by the water and that the apples
and golden sunsets of September await you even as you say goodbye for the Summer. I love this transition time.....appreciate the cooler temps and nights with the windows open for a cold sleep.

Big joy to you on the long weekends to come,
Jennifer

Marilyn Miller said...

Your cottage by the lake is so special. What a lovely place to go in summer. The fire sounds just a wonderful way to end the time there. I have been tempted to read Lilac Girls, but every time I think about it I back up and say maybe not. I think I would have weakened and bought some apples. Yumm! So pretty! And milkweed and butterflies is so very very wonderful!

Sandra Cox said...

That first picture just oozes serenity. It looks like a perfect place to watch the lake and read a good book.

Sami said...

The hotdog sign is fantastic :)
Love the photo of the flower with the butterfly.
It's sad you have to get back to daily life when you have such a wonderful place by the lake, enjoy your weekend visits now Jeanie.

Sandi said...

LOVE that porch!

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Good finds at the farmer’s market and I well remember making pasta sauce when we had a garden in VA. What a lot of work for a dozen quart bottles of sauce! I agree with you about the Lilac Girls which I finally finished last week. It will be discussed at our library’s daytime book group this week. The author will also be speaking there at the end of this month, but I haven’t bought a ticket to the event. I haven’t read a lot of books on the subject, but heard of others including The Tattooist of Auschwitz, and Sophie's Key...nit sure if I will read those. Just finished The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce and now reading Jeffrey Archer’s , Nothing Ventured, which introduces Detective William Warwick.

R's Rue said...

❤️

Olka said...

This place looks so nice and cozy! It had to be such a great time for you to be able to spend there some time :)
Photos of all this plants are beautiful :)

crackercrumblife said...

How have I never noticed that hot dog place!! LOL. That is going on my list of places to visit.

These apples this year, I tell you. Our tree is practically laying on the ground it is so full of apples. I am hoping to make apple bread today but I am running slow this afternoon.

That heron photo is so beautiful. Herons make me think of my stepdad who passed away at the beginning of the summer. These tall lanky patient birds just remind me of him.

Calypso In The Country said...

It looks like a wonderful place! I love all your photos - those apples are so pretty and perfect for fall! Thanks for linking up to Best of the Weekend... Your post was one of my features this week! I will also be pinning and sharing on Instragram stories this weekend. As always, thanks for joining us and have a fabulous weekend!
Shelley

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