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.
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