Monday, August 3, 2020

Postcards from the Lake: Summertime and the Living Is Easy

It's hard to believe it is August and that I've been pretty much isolated from the world as I used to know it since mid-March. My mask hangs around my neck daily with another in my purse, along with the surgical gloves I wear if I absolutely must go anywhere. Hand sanitizer is in the pocket or my purse. I'm almost out of my favorite soap but I have plenty of back-up with others equally nice.

Survival Prescription: Find a bench in a garden. Sit. Take it in. Repeat. Endlessly.

I don't watch as much news up here as at home but I still follow it carefully. I check facts regularly with several online sources, aghast at the volume of misinformation that is being spread by those who find the virus a hoax and the anti-Fauci conspiracy theories. (I suggest everyone do the same, whatever your political persuasion -- there are loads of conspiracy theories out there and believing some of them can be just plain dangerous; others are just lies.)

Michigan is one of the states "doing better," thanks to our terrific governor, but it doesn't mean our people are any less stupid or selfish than anyplace else and it's likely she will be tightening some of the restrictions that had been eased up. Fortunately. I am afraid that for many, it will take someone close to them dying or being on a ventilator or knowing a healthcare worker in an area that is hard hit to realize this is real and to get over their "I won't wear a mask, it steps on my freedom" arrogance. Testing positive won't be enough for them. It will take something far more tragic and extreme.

Or, as Rick says, "America -- Live Free and Die." Rick has a good turn of phrase.  He was talking about the "United States of aMErica" three years ago and long before I saw it in any kind of political cartoon.

Lake hydrangea -- small blooms, not made better by Japanese Beetles. Not sure the variety.

Before I returned to the lake, I had doc appointments and asked them all their take on this and they said it is as real as it gets and will probably last a good year or more from now, especially the way the U.S. is treating it. That doesn't mean it won't be back after a year but by then there might be vaccines that are tested, FDA verified and reasonably effective -- if taken. Stats stats seem to indicate right now that these odds are around 50/50.  And it will only happen if people are still behaving. Hello, frat party, 50th anniversary and gala event.

Isolating at the lake hardly feels like isolating. It is my typical summer. But instead of having people stop by or inviting them in, we stay on the porch or outside. Bring your own food if you are coming to eat. Actually, I kind of like that -- it makes things much easier! The neighbors are on their deck and we're on the porch and can easily chat.


Days seem to have an even keel to them, a routine of sorts, that always starts with feeding Herself (Lizzie is very good about not waking the human but once my feet touch the floor she doesn't stop nagging till food is down). Then it's on to computer things and eventually breakfast. There is always time for reading and I've done a lot. On days when it is too windy paint to on the porch there might even be a bit more.

Lizzie would prefer we not put the ottoman back on the ground after the rain. She loves her high perch.

Most days include a walk or a swim. And my one excursion out is to the cherry lady who has those fabulous Traverse City/Michigan sweet black cherries, on which we gorge ourselves shamelessly.

We've had a lot of hard rain and wind this summer and the weeds are growing back on the beach. The water table is higher than usual and that's not helping matters. I sprayed them down with my horticultural vinegar when the wind eases, and in a few days after, pulling them out of the beach with my "claw" tool. Best garden tool ever. One of my two "good" neighbors is going to run his tractor through again to help pull up the roots after the vinegar takes hold.


Meanwhile, the "bad" neighbor has become more irritating, shooting off one of those flash cannons if he sees the geese come on the beach I have not once, in three years, seen them sit on. The cannon makes a super loud bang, worse than fireworks, and a big flash, sending the geese scattering. I know -- geese can make a terrible mess. But all it takes to move them along is to just walk out toward the beach and they fly off in a flurry.

The rains have brought interesting skies. I promise, the photo below did not have a filter on it. It's very odd, though.


When I see the rain start to move across the lake, I grab up the chair cushions and stack the ottoman to avoid it getting too wet. It's a fast moving game. The sunsets can be fabulous after or right before the storm or just so-so. I thought this one was interesting. It has nothing to do with the one above, a different evening entirely.


Rick has been here a lot this summer, which is great. With our new and more reliable internet, he can work from the cottage. We go home to tend things and then eagerly return. That means the house often smells like baking bread.

As the day closes, the moon begins to pop, even though the sky is still blue.


We'll enjoy a game of Scrabble as we look at the beautiful sunsets, which vary in their intensity.


And watch the geese go by in twilight -- sometimes in a large pack, sometimes small.


I don't for a nanosecond forget that I am very lucky to be able to be here and every morning when I wake up, before I get out of bed, I thank my parents for having bought this place after my grandparents died. Sometimes it's a challenge to keep things up and handle taxes but it's worth it and this year, more than ever.


When all is said and done, this one always has something to say about it.


Me? I'll take the peace and quiet of a summer evening.


Those days and nights go by so fast.

Sharing with:    Let's Keep in Touch      

52 comments:

Valerie-Jael said...

Lovely photos, hold on and keep going. I know what isolation ist, I haven't spoken to anyone for three weeks. Except Alexa! Here the maddies had a huge demonstration in Berlin at the weekend, 20000 people, no distancing, no masks. Corona is a conspiracy and the government wants to take away our rights....how crazy can you get!? They attacked the police and reporters. And the number of people infected is rising again. Sad, mad world. Hugs, Valerie

Anca said...

It's incredible that in 2020 there are people who believe that 5G is spreading a virus or that is a *global* conspiracy! For me this is a failure of the education system, an international failure, of course.

The situation is crazy in US, but not only there. For me it's safer in a restaurant than in a supermarket and I'm not exaggerating at all, as in the supermarket there are plenty of people (both staff and customers) without a mask or social distancing. I'm annoyed because I don't want to catch the virus because someone feels the need to buy their bread without having a mask on. So, I fully understand your frustration with people not respecting the others.

But, at least, you can relax at the lake, even if you have an unpleasant neighbour. Ignore him as much as you can, because it's unlikely you'll be able to do anything else (regarding him).

Danielle L Zecher said...

How dare you move Lizzie's perch?!?

That's great that your state is one of the ones doing a little better. Mine isn't. We've consistently been on the lists of places doing badly. We seem to stay at the bottom of the list, but I really think that's less a case of us not being so bad off, as it is other places just being completely out of control.

You're the second person on Blogger in the past few days who has said it will take the death of someone close to them for some people to start taking this seriously. I hate to think that, but I think it's right.

I just don't understand why people are being so selfish. I seem to come down pretty hard on the side of not doing things with other people, but it seems reasonable to me. Even my sister told me I was mean. It's just that so many experts are optimistic that by this time next year we'll have a good vaccine, and enough people will have it that we can safely return to normal. I don't understand why people won't postpone things for a year. I just look at it like this: Will someone die from not having a baby shower? No. Will someone die from not having a birthday party? No. Will someone die from canceling a vacation? No. Will someone die from not having a graduation party? No. And the list goes on. Can lots of people die from those things if it turns out that one person was infected? Yes. I don't even see that as being a question, and I see the people who continue to do as things as being unforgivably selfish.

I'm glad you have the lake to escape to, and even better that Rick can be there with you this year.

Today marks the beginning of me officially working from home for longer than I worked on campus at my current job. When you factor in the fact that February is a short month, and that we had a few snow days of working from home during the winter, I've already spent more days working from home. It's so strange to think about that.

I hope you continue to enjoy your time at the lake, and that you have much nicer weather today than we do.

My Grama's Soul said...

Lovely post Jeanne, you are smart to stay calm in this time of "madness". I hope to start blogging more again, but you never know. I seem to always find something to do during this time of isolation.

Stay well and happy.

Jo

Anca said...

I left a comment, but it disappeared. :)

I was saying that I see the rise of conspiracy theories (including vaccination and 5G) as a failure of the education system and that is a global failure, of course.

Like you, I'm very annoyed by the people who do not respect some simple rules. I'm wondering if they can't put a mask on... are they washing their hands? For me, in Liverpool, is safer in a restaurant than in a supermarket, as many (both staff and customers) do not social distance and wear masks. I don't want to catch the virus and I avoid them as much as possible.

Also, I was saying that it's so nice that you can relax by the lake, even if you have a bad neighbour. Try to avoid thinking of him, as this is the only thing you can actually do.

Rustic Pumpkin said...

When all of this began I started telling myself this was long haul. I don't mind the isolation, in fact I welcome it, but I would like to be able to hop on a local bus for a day out, or to meet up with my Godmother whom I haven't seen since Christmas. I cannot understand the inappropriate, irresponsible and blasé manner in which so many are behaving. It beggars belief. As Valerie said, Sad, mad world.


Deb in Wales

Linda Sue said...

You are living the BEST summer! The moon!!! The pink skies, the kitty, all of it is jus a glory!
Rick is right on, he is the man and I so love his turn of phrase. Yep, how it is!
I have stopped social media and stopped watching so called "news". It is just too ridiculous out there.
Love the bench painting!!!

R's Rue said...

So peaceful.

Sketchbook Wandering said...

Jeanie, since this is a family camp, do you have childhood memories of it? Maybe you've written about this before I started visiting your blog...
It does have an easy, idyllic feel to it, this spot...And that is deepened by your appreciation and mindfulness, I think. Your writing reminds me of classic handwritten 19th century letters or postcard. Like the place itself, your writing has an easy, slow pace, describing to the folks who aren't there with you this wondrous life.
As for the cannon: It would make me crazy, but I have a hard time with intrusive and aggressive noise...But that is the world, isn't it, both war and peace...
As far as the virus and masks, yes, exactly. I have found myself not going out a lot (being an introvert, that is not hard...) While I miss people and connection, there is calm and lovely safety in my home...

On your last post: I meant to be talking about the 2 COTTAGE versions, not Notre Dame.You probably guessed that as there was only 1 Notre Dame! Your painting here: I feel its haven-ness and I love your caption with it. Everyone should have some form of bench where they can stop, sit down and find a bit of peace and beauty.

Thank you for the comments you write me too, Jeanie. I love them.

Hena Tayeb said...

Some wise phrases by Rick.
It really is sad how selfish so many people are being. None of us wanted this, none of us enjoying this, we all put our lives on hold.
I have said this a few times but if there had to be a pandemic in any season glad it chose spring and summer.. we can still go out and about while safely keeping distance and enjoy summer. Quarantining in the dead of winter would have made for an even more dreadful experience especially hard for ones mental health.
Stay well dear friend.

crackercrumblife said...

This looks like an absolutely idyllic place to be right now. The mask freedom people - I don't even understand it. At all. How does it impede their freedom, anymore than any other rules or laws we have? I am glad that you have a safe peaceful retreat right now. And I don't mind the whole bring your own food situation either! We visit my brother and bring our own stuff, and while it is a production lol (we bring our camping grill and an air fryer...Wyatt needs nuggets..) it is worth it to hang out and socialize with them! :)

Stay safe, enjoy those skies!

coffeeontheporchwithme said...

Beautiful, idyllic shots at the lake, Jeanie. I was shaking my head reading about your neighbour who scares away the geese. Why in heaven's name does he have a cottage on a lake if he hates geese?? -Jenn

eileeninmd said...

Hello jeanie,


You do have a wonderful and peaceful place at the lake, away from the craziness. Peaceful, except for your crazy neighbor. The conspiracy theories are just plain idiotic as much as the Demon DNA and Alien doctor our president supports. I am sure he has stock in that medicine he is promoting. I love your sky and moon photos. Lizzie is adorable. Rick's live free and die is a good phrase and the aMErica is right on too. I am glad Michigan is doing well, Maryland is not too bad. Take care, stay safe! Enjoy your day, have a happy week!

Prims By The Water said...

I do believe Lizzie wants you to leave well enough alone. Too funny and great pics. So nice to have a lake retreat you can stay at. Janice

Regina said...

Oh I really want to go to the lake now. It looks so peaceful. Except of course the "evil" cannon man.

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

life on the lake looks like heaven

Marilyn Miller said...

Thank you for what you shared about COVID. It certainly isn't to be taken lightly. I had a friend send me that article T supporters believe and I told her it wasn't true. When she start arguing with me I had to step away and not comment. It greatly saddened me.
So glad you have your beach and cottage to go to.
Love your lanterns.
You are lucky not to be awakened by one sweet kitty. We have to lock Joey out of our room or he starts climbing and jumping on me anytime after 4AM.
What beautiful sky colors.

Misadventures of Widowhood said...

Cottage life really does have a rhythm you can't get in the city. I miss it so much so I lap up your "postcard" posts like cat would a bowl of cream. Lizzie and her high perch is classic, isn't it. My mom had a cat who loved the top of the refrigerator.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

You are right, Jeanie, that so many are disbelievers and don't want to "play by the rules" which involve mask wearing and social distancing. I will honestly say that I don't like them, but do follow them.

And, like yourself, I am sad that we have had 2 family passings, one just last week (non virus related ones) and that we won't travel to our native NJ for services and to see family and friends there. We also missed a granddaughter's birthday as you have also missed family events and so have many others. But we think not only of ourselves but of others and we do the right things which are uncomfortable. That said, I/we are grateful that we are doing fine as are family and friends in other states. We're sad for the missed times and hope for future ones. You seem to have a nice routine down and h pefully all will continue to be well for you and Rick and family.

Joanne Huffman said...

What a gift your lake cottage is! It must be pretty wonderful to have it filled with the smell of baking bread. I want to isolate more right now, but my daughter (grappling with depression and anxiety) and granddaughter need me to run some errands and to be there for them. Fortunately, every place I go is mask active and space aware; I carry extra masks in my car and purse (the advantage of making them), as well as hand sanitizer in both places.

Mae Travels said...

It still looks beautiful to be there with the lake and all! I hope the isolation doesn;t get to all of us.

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

Stevenson Q said...

Lizzie very much agrees on how beautiful the summer is on your side dearest Jeanie! This period is very crazy for all of us but you are making it a lot easier for us through your beautiful photos that you share of us from your side of the planet. Super love the geese looking perfectly lined up under the twilight is a beautiful sight! Thank you so much dear Jeanie and please continue to stay safe!

roughterrain crane said...

Excellent shot. The moon above the blue sky is very beautiful.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

Your photos are wonderful, dazzling, and calming. I enjoyed your take on the virus, too. I had a friend stop by this week. I had my mask on and she left hers in her car. I wanted us to sit at the dining room table across from each other, but she stood and showed me everything she had brought me. When I tried to move away, she kept moving closer. I told her I had been so careful through this pandemic and now everything I had worked for might be out the door. I asked if she wanted gloves because I wear them when I'm outside my home. She laughed like I might need them. I washed my hands and put on gloves while she was here. She scares me, even though we've been friends for years. Although she was quite good to me, with her gifts she gave me for my birthday, I really don't want to see her again until this virus is contained and controlled. Sorry! Off my soap box now.

Iris Flavia said...

Yes, misinformation is a big problem here, also.
And reckon you´d freak out we have a festival here! And we will go (with masks and all!).
Ohhhh. That picture of the moon! If you ever come to Broome, there is a staircase to it!
Lizzie is such a beauty!
And awww. It has been years I have been for a real swim!
What a horrible neighbour! But the colors with the lake are amazing.
Eww. taxes. Need to do that....
This was a very nice post, despite Corinna!

DUTA said...

We should, of course, all go by the rules of masks, social distancing, hygiene; it helps.
However, I've got a strange feeling that this virus is omnipresent; it is in the air, in the water, in the fauna and flora - everywhere, not only in closed, humanly crowded spaces.

We should closely watch those countries that claim they've got rid of it, like New Zeeland, and try to learn from them. Here, in my country, we are kept in the dark about the dead and the actively ill . No details of how they got infected, and age is seldom mentioned.

Bella Rum said...

It sounds so peaceful when you write about being at the lake. I love the photos. We've been isolating as much as possible since March, too. I am at peace with it a lot of the time, finding pleasure in our "sitting and talking" on the back patio, but I have my moments when all the separation from others (the grands) gets to me. I keep telling myself that this too shall end. And it will, but as you point out, it will not end anytime soon. We just have to hang in there. Take care, Jeanie.

David M. Gascoigne, said...

Good morning Jeanie: You are very fortunate, as I am sure you know, to have this place to escape to. Few of us have such a retreat. And you have Rick too, so I am sure that life is very tolerable. I am starting to wonder to what extent our habits will have been permanently changed by this experience? Will the Cork Poppers ever get together again or are such groups destined to become memories? Will we go to the symphony and sit cheek by jowl with others and mingle during the intermission? Will I lead bird walks again? Will Miriam attend her quilt guild? For now, life for us is fine. The restrictions imposed by C19 have become mere irritations. What does the future hold? Who knows?

NanaDiana said...

How wonderful to have the lakehouse to spend the summer living there. I do miss the water terribly since we sold our home on Green Bay but also love the place I live now. It was fun to read how you spend your days and know that you, like many of us, are staying as safe as humanly possible.
Love to you and your hubby...hang in there...we will get through this. xo Diana

The French Hutch said...

Idyllic lake photos, what a joyful way to isolate Jeanie. I do love Rick's catchy phrase, so true too! The bench is lovely and Miss Lizzy is so sweet not to wake you early. My sister's sweet cats don't think twice about demanding their breakfast. No doubt, they are so spoiled. We continue to isolate at home, going only for groceries. We do go out for drives but still not seeing family and friends but visit with Zoom and FT. Keep the lake photos coming, it's so nice to visit you there.........

Pamela said...

I love seeing your cottage views, and especially Lizzie. It looks like the perfect place to be during this horrible time.

La Table De Nana said...

So calm and peaceful:):)
Love the bench..and your lanterns:) So much:)
Take care..sent you a few emails via hotmail not sure you got them..;)

Penny from Enjoying The Simple Things said...

Having a place at the lake must really help during this crazy times. Boo on the bad neighbor!!

gigi-hawaii said...

I agree with David Gasgoine's comment. I feel exactly the same way and ask similar questions. But, I do love your Japanese lantern and your cat's yawn. So cute!

R's Rue said...

How are you my friend

Rita C at Panoply said...

Jeanie, I love your place of solace in this pandemic, and glad RIck is able to spend a good deal of time there too. Lizzie is funny on her high horse perch! In all the years the geese did bother us, we never did anything to annoy our neighbors like yours is doing. Walking out, sometimes with a big stick, was all it took. Beautiful sunsets and moonrise!

Sandra at Maison De Jardin said...

Jeanie, I agree with your every word about the virus. I do not and can not understand the mask issue. I don't know what it is going to take to make them "Get It." As of today, we had the most deaths since this all began. Our governor has mandated wearing a mask - it seems to make no difference. We are surrounded by states where the virus is exploding and it looks like me may be also.

Your photos from the lake are just beautiful. And how very kind of Lizzie not to wake you. We once had a kitty, who would play with my hair. bite my toes and purr really loud in my ear. Now, he never did that to Mike - go figure that one.

Summer is moving along, enjoy your days there. I know autumn comes to your part of the world early. Stay well, Jeanie.

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

Rick is wise. aMErica, indeed. Very sad to me. It feels like a couple of years of my life are being wasted. And all because people couldn't be troubled to think about others.

Your summer house is lovely (well, except for the annoying neighbor). It must feel calming to be there.

Luiz Gomes said...

Good afternoon, how are you? I am Brazilian, from Rio de Janeiro and looking for new followers for my blog. And I will follow yours with pleasure. New friends are also welcome, no matter the distance.

https://viagenspelobrasilerio.blogspot.com/?m=1

thepaintedapron.com said...

Beautiful moon photos!
Jenna

Karen said...

ahhhh, cottage life!
at times I wish we had one, but going for a week here and a week there works fine for us. Mike's work is so seasonal that we can't take too much time away from home. None the less, We are thinking about heading up to Houston Lake again. Not keen on the 8 hour drive there and back, but the time there is so precious.

My name is Erika. said...

I don't see why people quarrel over mask wearing. I suppose if they've known no one who has gotten covid. Or they don't think. But if we all wore maks life could get back to more of a normal so much sooner.My daughter took today off and wee went out and go some more fabric to make new masks. Thankfully stores are getting better at requiring them so we could go get some fabric. Not that I am rushing out to too many stores. Loving the art and the sunsets and the wonderful paper lanterns. hugs-Erika

Judy at GoldCountryCottage said...

Jeanie, life on the lake seems a much better proposition every time I see it. Your photos are exquisite, especially those of the moon. Beautiful. Things are not getting any better around my state. We are #1 in cases. Usually being #1 is a good thing! Personally, I think they should shut everything down and start all over. That is if all the "stupid" goes away and the "smart" takes hold. But, I'm beginning to think that with human beings that is a feat hard to accomplish. I just can't believe the ones who support those conspiracy theories and I do listen to the news to keep informed. I believe seeing a doc pushing on the chest of an old geezer would make one sit up and take notice. But, then again, maybe not if you are not an old geezer yourself!. I am getting fed up with the crap we are forced to put up with. Viva November!!!..Stay well..xxoJudy

Sami said...

You are certainly blessed to own your holiday cottage, it must be heaven in these tough times.
Cat love their high perches, and Lizzie seems quite regal there :)
Love your purplish sunsets and the photo of the moon, all very pretty Jeanie. Enjoy your time there.

Pam Richardson said...

Jeanie, you do have a wonderful place to be during this crisis. I am so thankful for our 31 acre refuge, the great outdoors, mountains, and river are definitely a balm to the soul. Enjoy every minute!

Pam said...

Great pics.. I love the one of your babe yawning! Cats are funny and they can be worse then a child.

Sandra Cox said...

Great painting!
And that moon over the lake shot, breathtaking.

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I am glad you can escape to the lake and have a mostly normal time up there! There’s nothing better than being at the lake! I’m counting down the days until we leave!!

We truly do live in a selfish country. It’s so embarrassing.

Divers and Sundry said...

Keeping up with some news is important, as you say. Trustworthy sources are important. The conspiracy theories would be funny if they weren't so dangerous.

I like Rick's sense of humor. We can't lose that. Your lake views are so peaceful, it's a shame your "bad" neighbor chooses to use that sound/flash canon. It makes me want to cheer on the geese ;) except that I know how messy they are...

It's good Michigan is doing well. Tennessee, not so much. Schools are opening but then closing within the first few days *sigh*

Lynne said...

Why does a peaceful summer at the lake have to be
disturbed with a cannon shot at the geese.
Sometimes I really wonder about people!
We have had Wild Turkey’s visiting.
A momma and nine littles.
They are a nuisance and messy but
we just shoo them away. And they scoot to the neighbors.
And then the neighbors shoo them back our way.
Keeps us entertained!
Enjoy these August weeks . . .

Lowcarb team member said...

Wow! That photograph of the moon over the lake is spectacular.

All the best Jan

Victoria Zigler said...

Other than that neighbour and his cannon (which sounds incredibly annoying) it sounds wonderful, and I could happily live like that every day of the year. What I wouldn't give for that kind of peace right now...

Popular Posts