Sunday, June 21, 2020

Postcards from the Lake: Opening Up

Oh, the beautiful simplicity of sun streaming through the kitchen curtains at the cottage on a lovely summer morning. How I've missed it!


That first visit to the lake after the cottage has been closed up for months is always a little nerve-wracking. What if a critter got in the house (it has happened before -- what a mess!)? What if a tree fell on the garage, or worse, the house itself? What weird new thing will the next door neighbor to the south have done to his yard? (You can be sure it's not landscaping -- he basically back-topped the whole thing after cutting all the trees down). But you drive in, see our little house and all's well!


This year's open found no problems -- just a bit of pretty darned nippy weather! After a week at home that included 90 and high 80s temps and a rain and windstorm that took down barns in neighboring rural areas, the temps dropped across the state. For us that meant we arrived to a house that was pretty chilly. But a hearty fire not only took off the chill but warmed the house.


And waking up it was pretty darned cold! Most of our first day we stayed in. I'm reading a fascinating book called "Les Parisiennes," which is about the women of France (for the most part, Paris) during the occupation. It's a powerful book and I'll write more about it next month for "Paris in July."


Finally it warmed up enough to take a walk. The swamp is high this year.


But I certainly had some good walks and saw some lovely things. Like these butterflies.


They were so happy skipping around in the woods!


At one point I had to stop as I passed by a lilac tree in full bloom and smelling fabulous. Another swallowtail butterfly was posing!


We brought our food so we wouldn't have to go out or to the store. I'm still working off my pasta sauce made from last summer's farm market tomato bushel and that was a warm and hearty welcoming meal for our first night. For the second, pork tenderloin on the grill. Good chicken on the third.


There's always much to do on that first visit -- turning on the water, raking the pine needles that have fallen all winter, setting up the porch, making up the beds, cleaning and dusting surfaces left untended for months. There were still one or two blooms left on the red dogwood. We always miss them as they are early bloomers, so that was like a little present.


After a bit of a hunger strike, Lizzie was happy to be out and about.


So was Rick.


It was good to see the nice neighbors. And to hear the birds.


 Of course there was time for fun...


...and for games! (I had a good night; the next night, it was Rick's turn to win!)


And lots of time to relax!


Some of us really know how to relax!


On our final night we were treated to a group of Canada Geese. There were so many that they covered the beach near the water covering three cottages! I counted at least 36 and I know there were some that were blocked by tall grasses and other things.


Many were goslings, getting big.


 They seemed to stick with their "families." If they strayed too far, they were called back.


I have to say that I love seeing these beautiful birds on the water. Pooping on the beach? Not quite so much!


Soon I'll be able to practice my hermit existence up here -- the ultimate social distancing.


If we can only get the grocery thing right next time!

And, on another note, if you'd like to travel back in time with me to the halcyon days of summer at the lake, please check out my essay on "Summer Love Notes." It's a look back in time at life at the lake before the days of internet and social media, when kids made their fun in the water and playing games!

Sharing this week with:  Share Your Style     /     Pink Saturday    

44 comments:

Mae Travels said...

I’m so happy for you that you have made it to your cottage for the season! It looks wonderful — the only word is idyllic.

be well... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

My name is Erika. said...

It looks like a fantastic weekend. Glad the cottage survived the winter without any issues. And I know what you mean about going and finding critters or other issues. My grandmother and aunt had camps and I remember as a kid hearing about the issues. And I love how you have a fireplace and way to escape. And send those cold temperatures my way please. This 90 degree heat isn't my thing. Hugs-Erika

La Table De Nana said...

You're lucky to have such a spot! My fave pic? Rick sitting by the fire w/ wine.truly.
And your art work..lovely spot..enjoy!

Linda said...

What a fabulous place, wonderful scenery, lots of wildlife, and a peaceful existence.

Penny from Enjoying The Simple Things said...

I so miss the lake in Michigan I grew up on! Your cottage is very cozy!

Tammie Lee said...

Yay, you are at the cottage! I love that you have that sweet place to go too.
Lovely to see your art and photos. Wishing you a lovely time there.

gigi-hawaii said...

I am all for Scrabble, too. And that book about the women in Paris, it looks like a good read. Happy summer!

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Glad you were able to get back to the cottage which obviously has so many happy memories for both you and Rick. Sitting by a fireplace now isn't something we will be doing in 90 degree weather, but the glass of wine looked wonderful!

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

oh to spend time on a lake with all the creatures flying by or walking in the woods - I envy you! Look wonderful - enjoy.

Lowcarb team member said...

It looks fantastic, love the photograph of Rick with that glass of wine.
The book about the women in Paris sounds fascinating.

Enjoy the coming new week.

All the best Jan

Karen said...

I'm allowed to be a bit envious right?

Karen said...

Love the story about the summers of your youth. It brought back memories of our summers with gangs of friends and cousins on Lake Ontario. We MIGHT have had a radio...not really sure. Lots of books and games. Walks along the beach, and throwing stones and listening to the neighbours squabbles or parties. Those were the days!

Lynne said...

Oh my does that look and sound grand.
Even a bit chilly is ok if warming up by a wood fire is possible.
You must have internet there?
How far are you from grocery shopping?
Enjoy your stay, happy Judy!

Iris Flavia said...

That is a beautiful first picture! Your house is lovely, too.
Looking forward to your book review. Though one should think I´ve heard enough of that time-period...
The pic(s) of Lizzie sure made me chuckle. As the pooping ;-)

Joanne Huffman said...

You will figure out the groceries and you will have a wonderful summer.

thepaintedapron.com said...

hi Jeanie, I'm so glad you had no surprises opening up your lake cottage! I know the feeling, after not being at the beach house for a while, I always wonder what I'm going to find or have to fix!! This year it was the AC and the breaker box, but luckily I have a great AC company and found a fantastic electrician, so all's good now...until the next hurricane...😂 Fingers crossed this hurricane season won't be as bad as predicted 🤞 Enjoy your hermit time and happy painting!
Jenna

crackercrumblife said...

I am so happy that you got to go up to your cottage!! And it really is the perfect social distancing, in nature, in your own spot. Wonderful! I look forward to your summer posts from the lake. :)

The French Hutch said...

Oh Jeanie, what a wonderful way to vacation and be safe as well. I know this is a special lace for you and it sounds like even with the clean-up with reopening the house you had a wonderful getaway. Rick looks relaxed with a glass of wine by the fire and Lizzy found the sunny spot to stretch and relax too. The fire sounds perfect for the first chilly evening (which sounds wonderful to me) so I am sure you two enjoyed a cozy evening. I enjoyed seeing all your photographs of the area with the wildlife. I'm sure you'll enjoy your summer getaways this year. And, I look forward to hearing about "Les Parisiennes," it sounds like a really interesting and enjoyable read. I may have to order that one............Have a grand week.

Marie Rayner said...

Oh that first picture of Rick relaxing in his chair next to the fire made me smile! He looks right in his element. How lucky you are to have a place to escape to! It looks so cosy. Loved seeing the Goslings, but you are right, Canada Geese can make a right mess if there are a lot of them! Loved too the butterflies. We have had a few days of wind and rain here after a month of May that was beautifully sunny and warm. It is suppose to turn hot and humid later this week however. Hot I don't mind, but the humidity gets to me. Love and hugs, xoxo

eileeninmd said...

Hello,

I am so glad that your opening of the lake house went smoothly, with no critters or surprises. The location is perfect with the lake so close, the trees, flowers, bird and butterflies. The meals sound delicious too. Lizzie looks comfy in her sun puddle. Love your art work. I am not sure if or when I will feel comfortable shopping. It is something that we need to do and get it done. Enjoy your day, wishing you a happy new week!

Divers and Sundry said...

What a sweet house! I grew up in a house with pine board walls in the den. So cozy and fond memories :) You have a great fireplace. I enjoyed your nature photos. Your meals sound tasty. I'm glad you found no problems when you arrived and could enjoy your time there without that to "fix". Looks like such fun!

Debbie-Dabble Blog and A Debbie-Dabble Christmas said...

Jeannie,
Loved all your pics!! And i truly am just smittened with your sweet little Lake Cottage!! So pretty!! Enjoy!!
Thanks so much for stopping by!! Stay safe, healthy and happy!!
Hugs,
Deb

Pam Richardson said...

Jeanie, I always enjoy reading your postcards from the lake, so glad there were no bad surprises awaiting you. I am definitely interested in the book you are currently reading. Wishing you a lovely week!

Hena Tayeb said...

Oh wow.. what a lovely time you are going to have.. splendid. Enjoy.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

It looks and sounds so Idyllic there at your lake house, Jeanie. I love the cozy fireplace photo--we had some delightfully cool days after 90-degree hot ones and I almost turned on our gas fireplace but put on a sweater instead. I actually prefer the color days. Enjoy your retreats into nature!

Marilyn Miller said...

I always love when you get to go back to your lake cottage and open it up for the summer season. Rick looks oh so relaxed sitting there by the fire. Good idea, taking your own groceries too. Loved seeing the butterflies and goslings. And that Lizzie is so cute.

Rita C at Panoply said...

What a glorious place to be! So glad your opening went smoothly.

Liz@ HomeandGardeningWithLiz said...

You have the classic up north retreat! Looks like you’ve settled in nicely! Do you ever see those neighbors that built next door? I’m curious how they “live”.

Victoria Zigler said...

I'm glad the opening of the cottage went smoothly, and you were able to enjoy a few days there.

You know, there aren't many times I'm glad for my lack of sight, but whenever I think of the new lake neighbours, I'm glad I can't see what they did. Hearing about it is bad enough. I'm glad there was plenty of lakeside beauty for you to enjoy despite their idea of a lakeside cottage.

Linda @ Life and Linda said...

A lovely getaway with nature and animals surrounding you. The food looks amazing.

Linda @ Life and Linda said...

How special to have a getaway surrounded by Mother Nature. The food looks amazing.

Jenny Woolf said...

Oh, somehow my comment vanished. I had just been writing you and asked about the lake and then thought to check your blog. What a piece of paradise to have that bolthole to escape to. I'd love to be walking to look at the swamp, and the butterflies are such a bonus. Last year we saw scores of butterflies but fewer this year. I'm glad you're getting so many. And those are lovely pictures. Will you be painting some butterflies too?

R's Rue said...

Hi friend.

Judy at GoldCountryCottage said...

Jeanie, I'm so glad you got back to the lake. It looks all so beautiful and serene, what is needed right now. Rick certainly looks like he is settling in all right. Cheers to you both..I should say you three..Stay well and enjoy..xxoJudy

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

So glad you were able to get up to the cottage and get it opened up! I know how much you love it up there. Hopefully you can get up there soon. I know it will require more planning/shopping in advance than usual but it will be worth it when you are up there! I am hoping to go to my parents lake place in August but we will stay down the road at my brothers. We will see if we can make that work. I so miss the lake!!

Sandra Cox said...

Your cottage looks so cozy and inviting. Love Lizzie's relaxing pic:)
Stay safe. Be healthy.

shoreacres said...

I just spent a few minutes scrolling through my photos of Dixie Rose. That one of Lizzie sprawled out is so similar to Miss Dixie's favorite napping pose, it made me all nostalgic!

I'm so glad you managed to get up to the lake, opened the cabin, and didn't have any unexpected glitches to deal with. Did you mean to type "black-topped" for what your neighbor did, post tree? Why would anyone do that? I supposed that's the great unanswered question -- or at least one of them! I'm having a little trouble getting my mind around "cold," too -- but how great to have a fire to relax next to!

Decor To Adore said...

I love that first image where the lace pattern is reflected on the wall. The HONKER or Canadian goose was my high school mascot. I always love to see them too. Have many lovely sun-filled days!

Anca said...

Love seeing all these photos. I'm happy for you. xx

The Happy Whisk said...

Very glad all was well. We've had critters die in our walls. Yuck. The smell and the poor little thing dying there, not fun either.

Bonnie said...

The lake looks like such a nice getaway.

Enjoy your time there.

I love butterflies and we have the same ones. I never tire of them.

David M. Gascoigne, said...

The shot of Rick reclining with his glass of wine is a classic! He looks like a man who knows how to do it. Actually the other night we had a relaxing dinner - bread, Stilton cheese, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, orzo salad - and wine. There was a glass each left for after dinner, and we relaxed with it, but I doubt that we came close to the panache that Rick achieved! He is the maestro!

Red Rose Alley said...

Oh, what a treat the lake house would be. Yes, it sounds like there's a lot of work at first cleaning and working outside, but then it's all done, and look at the view you have! So happy for you, Jeanie, that you have a place to go that exudes peace and tranquility.

~Sheri

Pamela said...

What a wonderful retreat!

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