Sunday, July 24, 2022

Postcards from the Lake: A Birthday, Some Art and Summer Life

Summertime and the living is easy. So they say, at any rate, but this summer seemed decidedly odd. There is a hint of instability, melancholy and uneasiness in the air, a sharp contrast to the blue skies, puffy clouds and stunning sunsets. 

By all accounts, it should be the sweet season, and it was sweeter when Rick called as he neared the cottage on his bike after a two day ride. "Meet me at Michawe," he said. Michawe is a nearby golf course with a lovely restaurant and we relaxed on the porch before he made the last four or five miles home. (I did offer to drive him; he refused!) 


It was mighty good to see him arrive safely. That bike by the tree says it all - "I'm here. In one piece."


Rick's birthday was the next day and it was a fun, lazy day. The weather? Hot, of course, but with a lively and gusty wind and brilliant blue skies. It was perfect for swimming and being on our oversized floaties, although with the waves blowing us in all the time we were working doubly hard to stay far enough from shore that we could maximize the time in the water! It certainly made us hungry and ready for birthday dinner!


Is is it bad form for the birthday boy to cook his own dinner? I had bought what I had thought was beautiful (and outrageously expensive) steaks for dinner and it seemed best that a seasoned griller do that part of the cooking.


The dinner itself was pretty good -- apart from the outrageously expensive steaks which were so tough that Rick said it was like a big wad of chewing gum -- you just kept at it and at it. 


But the rest of it was tasty -- real summer food. Corn on the cob, a caprese salad, and an elegant bottle of wine.

The days so far have been lovely and lazy. Besides being in the water, I've been painting a little too. This is a re-do from one I did long ago. In some ways better, in some ways not, but it'll do. 


And, I've been reading -- sometimes on the front porch or -- if it gets too warm out there or too windy -- in the back yard. I'll have good books to report on at the end of the month!

In the evening, it might be a movie, it might be a game of Scrabble. 


And of course this one is always a treat. She's minding her manners so far and exhibiting good litter box behavior. Always a plus.


I'm adjusting to my new crown -- they did a great job. It looks a lot straighter than the original tooth did but it's a little harder to bite my fingernails, which is, in the end, a good thing. (It's the top one, in the center on the right.)

Without doubt, the most stunning sight we have seen has been the flotilla of Canada Geese that come by at dusk. Well, later than dusk, actually. Sometimes you can barely see them as anything more than black dots on the water. There must be seventy five or eighty of them -- they come in several very large groups and congregate in front. Last night they were very vocal and with the sunset, it was quite magnificent.

 

So, what could possibly be unsettling, melancholy or uneasy about any of this? We're at the lake, it's lovely out, Lizzie's not peeing on the rug, we look forward to summer visitors. All good, right?


But we know that one of Rick's dear aunts is going from the hospital into Hospice at home this week and we wait daily for news so we can plan a visit. We are ready to leave at the drop of a hat (although Lizzie care may be a problem). In any event, we are sad that the family unit is changing and feel an urgency to visit now. It's a sharp reminder that nothing is permanent -- we're all part of a process of which we know little, simply that there is a beginning, a middle and an end.


And so what to we do? We wait. We put off firm schedules for guests until we know we will be here. We talk. We love. We go on. And when all else fails...


...we curl up like a cat...


...and maybe even cry.


It's not the summer we planned. But it's the summer we have.

And so we take it day by day. 


One step at a time. Looking for the light amongst the shadows.

A postscript for those on blogger: Tired of being "anonymous" in your commenting? Linda of Life and Linda has a fix for that right here! She's absolutely amazing, figuring out all our blogging problems and generously sharing solutions. Check it out!

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57 comments:

Susan Kane said...

You have a lovely place. Those flowers, oh my. BBQ sounds good about now.

The Joy of Home with Martha Ellen said...

Oh Jeanie, I'm so sorry about Rick's aunt. Shadows come into our lives and we continue the best we can. Your photos are lovely. The geese must be magnificent to see landing on the lake and at sunset--beautiful. Happy belated birthday to Rick! Take care.

Misadventures of Widowhood said...

Just tell me one thing. Are the geese going north or are they still coming south?

I love your 'postcards' from the cottage except for the melancholy part which would be the same if you were back in the city, given the circumstances. Life come full circle no matter how much we wish we could make it stand still.

William Kendall said...

A relaxing Lizzie is a welcome sight.

anno said...

Dear Jeanie, I'm sorry to hear about Rick's aunt. You've got some beautiful flowers, there, though, and beautiful art, and an enviable bottle of wine. Sometimes just bearing witness to one's life can help a person find solace in difficult times. Hugs, love...

Marilyn Miller said...

Sorry to hear about Rick's aunt. Sending hugs and thought of comfort to all.
Glad Rick made a safe journey and enjoyed another birthday. Sweet Lizzie, always nice to see her. And I love your French street scene painting.

Debra@CommonGround said...

Jeanie, you're so very fortunate and blessed to be there. I'd love to have just one day of your lake life. Your new crown looks wonderful; enjoy your days there. That steak was as big as you. tehe.

Sue in Suffolk said...

Those sunsets are amazing to see.
Difficult to relax properly when you are waiting but I hope you continue with your painting and enjoying the views.

The size of those steaks!

Iris Flavia said...

Oh, the first pic is gorgeous, the second so happy!
My bike sits right behind me in the living room but it´s too hot, I´ll walk to get Ingo´s bread later.
Helmet and heat... noooo...
Awww. Swimming! I miss this so much!!!
Birthday boy seems to love working the BBQ... men, huh? Happy one, btw!
Sad the meat was crap. But the other food looks yummy.
And your wine-glasses are so pretty.

Great work!
I thank you - also to you I keep up "doodling". I just can´t make myself dare the watercolors.
I... never played Scrabble. I think it´s just not that common here?
Cute pic of Lizzie, as always a treat.

Oh, hello. Ingo had a cherry. And off his crown went. Or a filling or such, outch either way...

You live in a wonderful place with that lake. Thank you, keep sharing that dream.
Yet, yes. Melancholy can hit anytime with no reason.
As the other way round.
When I lost my job I knew I do not sit on Ingo´s money and I was OK.
I even needed a break.
My Brother keeps saying I was terribly down, and I had no clue of that at all.

Yes. Life can be challenging when you have to "move". Here famous singer, director, oh-what-ever Udo Jรผrgens went on a walk and just dropped dead. That´s how I want to leave, too.

Maybe at dawn at a lake like that!
Stay in the light - here it warmed up again - hugs from Henry, Peanut and myself.

eileeninmd said...

Hello Jeanie,
Happy belated birthday to Rick! Beautiful views of the lake, geese, lovely sunsets. Lizzie is a sweetie. Your flowers are pretty. So sorry to hear about Rick's aunt. Take care, have a great new week!

David M. Gascoigne, said...

That's a real disappointment when expensive food doesn't live up to expectations. We have eliminated beef entirely and don't eat much other red meat, so it's not an issue we face often. Chicken and fish are pretty predictable and a couple of days a week we go vegetarian. The important thing is that the wine was good!

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

This was a lovely post, although bittersweet, understandably. But the shares were wonderful, as were your insights. Supportive thoughts going your way.

Rita C at Panoply said...

Making the most of each day, it's all we can do. Your lakeside cottage and surroundings are very peaceful.

R's Rue said...

Lovely photos

shoreacres said...

I'd say the summer you have looks pretty darned good. Of course there are griefs and uncertainties, but those stem from life, not the season. It's good that you have the joys of the lake while contending with the 'unplannables' -- and bless that kitty-cat's heart for being such a good girl!

Joanne Huffman said...

Sorry to hear about Rick's aunt - it's hard to prepare to say good-bye. Your photos are as beautiful as ever. How frustrating to indulge and plan for an elegant meal only to have the steaks betray you.

My name is Erika. said...

Life does look good Jeanie. Between new strains of covid, the cost of life lately, and loss of a basic freedom, I think many of us have that same underlying sadness. Maybe sadness isn't the correct word, but it certainly puts a little damper on the beauty of the season. Happy belated birthday to Rick. It looks like you have a lovely celebration, even if the steaks were a little chewy. Take care and enjoy the little things. Hugs-Erika

La Table De Nana said...

It’s the stark realization at one point in our lives that we too are part of this beginning middle and end and that we are closer to the finish line.We know we have less time ahead .
It’s humbling .
Thank goodness for all the small joys we find by doing things we enjoy.Not everyone is so lucky.I recognize les bouquinistes.⭐️

Sharon in Las Cruces NM said...

Lovely post Jeannie, a delight to read on today, my 81st birthday. seems all is well with you and Rick and being at the lovely cottage and lake is certainly a blessing. keep well and keep finding all the beauty in your life. Hugs.

Anvilcloud said...

I feel proud biking 6-7k, and this guy bikes for two days.
You seem to be snatching what you can from summer, and in worldwide terms you are having an very good one.

gigi-hawaii said...

That steak was huge, sorry it was so tough and expensive. Love that caprese salad. Your watercolor looks nice. Sorry to read about Rick's aunt. Take it all in stride.

Bill said...

Lizzie seems to be enjoying summer at the lake. :)

Divers and Sundry said...

Safe and sound is a good thing. It sounds like the perfect birthday, though it's a shame about the steaks. I'm sorry to hear about the beloved aunt. These times are always hard :(

Steve Reed said...

I like your summery striped wine glasses! Perfect for patio or porch dining! Weird that the steaks turned out to be so tough, but oh well.

Sorry about Rick's aunt. The world keeps on turning, no matter what.

Linda @ Life and Linda said...

Glad Rick made it home. The birthday meal looks fabulous. Caprese salad is always a lovely side. Enjoy.

This N That said...

Sounds like a good birthday weekend..Sorry about the steaks..I always go for filet..expensive but never fails..We are finally getting a break from the oppressive heat this week..Hope it lasts..You have such a serene setting..Enjoy!!

Rita said...

Congrats to Rick on his amazing bike trip!
Looks just beautiful there.
Sorry to hear about Rick's aunt.
Enjoy every day! :)

Nikki - Notes of Life said...

What a wonderful sunset. A belated happy birthday to Rick! :)

Mary Rose's said...

Oh, Hugs!
Just ((((Hugs))))

All sorts: birthday hugs for Rick, cat-sized hugs for Lizzie, appreciative hugs to you, my dear, for your thoughts and (always) your photos!

XOXO

DUTA said...

I too feel something odd in the air; it doesn't have to do, though, with summer but with my awareness of being in the third stage of life with all the meanings attached to it.
Happy Birthday To Rick; he looks ageless!

Victoria Zigler said...

Sounds like you've been enjoying some lovely and relaxing days, and like Rick had a nice birthday, even if some of the meal wasn't as good as you guys had hoped it would be. And I'm glad he made it home safely. Sorry about his aunt though.

Hena Tayeb said...

Sorry to hear about the steaks.. it was a good workout for your jaws.
Happy Birthday to Rick. Sorry to hear about his aunt. Wish her health.

Hena Tayeb said...

Happy Birthday Rick. Sucks about the steaks, you got a good jaw workout.
Sad to hear about Rick's aunt, it can't be easy.

Salty Pumpkin Studio said...

Prayers for Dear Aunt

Marinating helps tenderize meat.
When I first learned to cook full meals, I use to marinate almost everything, even hot dogs. :)
Cat photos are paintings waiting to happen.

Pam Richardson said...

Jeanie, lake life is peaceful even when something seems off. I love reading postcards from the lake and will look forward to you July book list. I am so sorry about Rick’s aunt.

Carola Bartz said...

Happy birthday to Rick - sorry that the steak wasn't that good (very annoying since it was expensive), but it seems that the wine was good. I'm sorry to hear about Rick's aunt; it's always hard when people we love are nearing their end or are very sick. It's life, but that doesn't make it easier. Of course it puts melancholy into your life right now.

Veronica Lee said...

I'm sorry to hear about Rick's aunt.

Those sunsets are gorgeous and Lizzie is adorable!

Loving your post and fabulous photos as always.

Hugs and blessings, my dear friend.

roentare said...

A beautiful sunset to view at lake side.

Jenn Jilks said...

I really enjoyed his birthday!
Too bad the steaks weren't great. Beef is expensive, you want to get what you pay for. We have several local butchers, as well as farmers who raise lamb, and such.
You seemed to enjoy it all.
I love your lake.
Sure wish I could still bike.
(ใƒ„) from Jenn Jilks , ON, Canada!

Salty Pumpkin Studio said...

Strange Blogspot, this post from yesterday is at top of my reading blog list, as if published today. Other writets' posts published after this one are below. The queue is not queueing.

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

Pleasant and relaxing summer days with herons, paintings, and good company

Sandra Cox said...

Those are great pictures, especially of Lizzie. I love that soft lighting.
I'm so sorry to hear about Rick's aunt. Losing a love one is always hard, isn't it?
Take special care.

It's me said...

Congratulations for Rick birthday…so sad to hear from his aunt…enjoy summer love Ria and Leaf ๐Ÿ€๐Ÿ’—๐Ÿพ๐Ÿ€

Mereknits said...

Happy Birthday to Rick, you are so right to savor the precious moments of the beauty of the lake, sunsets, geese, lovely warm curled up cats. so much changes so fast. Stay safe my friend.

thepaintedapron.com said...

Looks like a great birthday to me! Ah, life, always full of bumps and challenges, we must choose joy to survive...
Jenna

kathyinozarks said...

We moved out of the woods and on to the lake just a few years ago. we love the geese and more flying by. we are in a spot with a gorgeous view but that means we have to deal with all the crazy boaters that come too close to the docks and make huge waves-and don't care. but that's mostly end of May til labor day.
I love the sunrises out our wall of windows. sorry that the expensive steaks were not good. a huge disappointment for sure. I am not good grilling steaks so we don't eat them very often.
Love seeing your paintings. as we age life is more difficult and sadder as well hugs Kathy

Anonymous said...

Steaks are all about the cut and the timing. Sorry they were tough. -Christine cmlk79.blogspot.com

Amy at Ms. Toody Goo Shoes said...

We all long for that picture perfect summer, sunny and carefree, but real life does happen. I'm sorry to hear about Rick's aunt. Enjoy the moments as you can.

online reputation management said...

lovely blog post and photos!

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I'm sorry that your summer is colored by sadness. That seems to be the way of the world. I found out a friends mom has entered hospice. We feel too young to be losing parents, but you lost your mom at such a young age, and Phil and other friends have lost parents. But I hate it so much. :(

But those sunset views! I am looking forward to our August trip. Being by the water is so soothing!

Linda Kunsman said...

For the most part, a really lovely summertime post- even your sweet kitty is in relax mode:)
Sorry about that tough expensive steak. A great reason why I never really made steak when we did eat meat on a regular basis.
So sorry to hear about your aunt. But hospice care is the most caring way to be as comforting as possible towards the end of life. Hope you are able to see her for one last precious bit of time.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

There is nothing better to do than to take things, day by day, as you noted, Jeanie. This post contained some downers (about Rick's aunt) but many up moments too. Rick's safe return home from his biking excursion, the birthday celebration (too bad about the costly steaks), Lizzy being good, your new crown (not on your head) and the painting and reading. You also showed some wonderful water and sunset views, so it's these little moments os joy that you definitely know HOW to appreciate, my friend.

Lowcarb team member said...

I was sure I'd commented on this post?

Beautiful photographs of the lake views :)

All the best Jan

Anonymous said...

I was sure I'd commented on this post?

Beautiful photographs of the lake views :)

All the best Jan
(the low carb diabetic blog)

Rain said...

Hi Jeanie, I'm sorry to hear about Rick's dear aunt. The word "hospice" makes me sad. Sending love to all of you. ♥ Happy birthday to Rick! Beautiful photos and a lovely dinner!

Andrea @ From The Sol said...

Life does get harder when you get older. It's not that you have more body aches and it seems harder to do the things you need to do ... it has to do with what you are going through with your Aunt ... we start losing family and friends and it is also a scary reminder that our own time is limited. So sorry you have to go through this and it is okay to cry, though some see it as weakness. You have so much to be grateful for (except, of course, that your steaks were tough). Rick is impressive that he rides for two days ... not something I think I could do even though I have tried to keep in shape, but two days OMG, it makes me tired just thinking about it :) And your crown looks perfect. It really does look like your same smile again :) So enjoy the rest of your summer (have you noticed how quickly it is going by?) and be safe ... no more tumbles on the porch and find a new place to buy your steaks :) Stay well, Jeanie ...

Jenny Woolf said...

I'm so sorry to hear about Rick's aunt and can see why it would overshadow things. By now perhaps you have got down there to see her settled in. It is always sad when things change after humming along happily for so long. Hugs.

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