summer learning

The sound of rain woke me this morning at 5:35 AM and the thought I’d forgotten to roll up my windows got me out of bed. Any other summer morning, I might have gotten up, gone to the bathroom, and crawled back beneath the covers, but not this morning. I pulled on a pair of shorts, grabbed my car keys, and walked out to my car to confirm that I had forgotten to roll up my windows.

me and the bridge, right out of the car

I not sure the term ‘roll up the windows’ applies any longer. The last car I had that had manual windows was the 1971 VW Beetle or it could have been the 1985 Jetta, but it has been a long time since I have rolled up the window with a hand crank. I did remember to bring the key and I had to start the car before I could get the windows closed. I am glad I woke when I did, it continues to gently rain as I begin to write a couple of hours later.

Maybe next time, I’ll remember to close my windows or at least check them, when I know rain is in the forecast. After all, last night we covered the boats, closed the shack door, and put away summer things in anticipation of the rain this morning. It is something we learned under grandpa years ago. It’s summer learning, but it could be said that ‘some’re learning’ which is how ‘some are learning’ sounds if you aren’t listening to the context.

School restarts for me, a week from tomorrow. I am excited to get back to school and try somethings I learned this summer and continue to practice what I’ve learned about teaching kids in the past twenty-three years. The first three days of school are filled with meetings, time to plan, and time to get the room ready for the kids who join us on Thursday, August 18.

A couple of friends joined us this past Wednesday and as always, we enjoyed their visit. They are the same couple who we vacationed with this past spring in the Keys. They are also the same couple we drove home with after BOTH of our flights home were cancelled on Saturday, April 2. All four of us sharing driving time through Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, and southeastern Indiana where their son was able to meet them and take them to their home in southwestern Ohio.

Thursday morning, we decided on a visit to Mackinac. It’s pronounced – mack-in-naw and it is Ojibwa word for ‘turtle’ and refers to the island which dominates the strait between the upper and lower peninsula.

the mighty Mack

We could not have chosen a better day for our trip; clear blue skies with puffy clouds drifting across the horizon and comfortable temperatures.

We arrived at Colonial Michilimackinac Historic State Park and it was good to stretch our legs even after the short drive of 85 miles; nothing like our journey in April when we stopped only to switch drivers, refuel, and…..

The fort was established by the French in the late 17th century to protect their interests in the North American fur trade. The French had developed an extensive fur trading network with the native Americans throughout the Great Lakes region extending northward into present-day Canada and southward along the Mississippi River basin. The French dominated the region until the French and Indian War, also known as the Seven Years War, from 1756-1763. When the French were defeated, the fort came under the control of the British.

The fort overlooks the Strait of Mackinac on the shore of Lake Michigan. Mackinac Island lies to the northeast in the middle of the strait.

The British kept the fort until 1779, when it was decided to move the fort to Mackinac Island. After the fort moved, the British destroyed it by burning to the ground. When construction of the Mackinac Bridge began in the mid-1950s, the park was set up and since 1958 continuous archaeological research takes place from June until August.

Michigan State Parks runs the park, and it was an excellent summer learning experience. There were people dressed in period costume supplying information about life in the fort in 1779. My friend and I toured the buildings and watched the cannon being fired while our wives walked the shoreline.

NOTE: Click the video to watch, it’s there, it it doesn’t show up correctly.

After our visit we enjoyed a late lunch or early dinner at a local micro-brewery before driving home.

It was an excellent day trip, and it was the second fort I had visited with our friends. Next summer, it will be a visit to the island and exploring Fort Mackinac. While at Fort Michilimackinac, I bought a puzzle, a deck of cards, and postcards.

After arriving home Thursday evening, we started working on the puzzle. We had the puzzle’s frame completed before going to bed. In the morning, he and I worked on it for a bit, then our wives took over. We finished the puzzle was completed before dinner and it was a good thing, because we needed the table for cards after dinner. It was a collaborative effort with our joining in to help complete the puzzle.

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Our friends left yesterday morning and I leave tomorrow morning for the summer. We had a good time together. It has certainly been a summer learning experience.

It is Sunday morning, and it is still gently raining. I have postcards to write, a couple of thank you notes, and I am certain that if I look around, I WILL find something to do. Maybe finish the book, Owls of the Eastern Ice, or take a nap. Whatever I choose to do, I had better jump up, jump in, and seize the day. Making the days Count, one day at a time, learning something new or experiencing something for the first time.

What is ONE thing you have learned this summer?

7 thoughts on “summer learning

  1. Sounds pretty perfect. Thank you for taking me back up north. I enjoyed the video. My favorite of the still pictures was the view out over the water through the cannon opening. I like the colors of the blue water compared to the gray cannon.

    1. Thank you! I try to find interesting photos focusing on the foreground with a glimpse of the background. i am still learning, every day. It was a fun trip and my friend orchestrated the trip. He’s a history buff and knows much more about the history of the 18th and 19th centuries than I do. That blue water was amazing! Keep enjoying your summer and tank you for stopping in. Peace.

    1. it rained most of the way home from the lake and I took a circuitous route for the first half of the trip. It was fun and I was learning a long the way. This morning, I woke to cooler (and dryer) weather. I need to mow the yard and do some yard work among the many summer chores. It’s good to be home and it will be good to get back to school tomorrow. Tomorrow is a non-school greeting day and I am looking forward to it! Hope you get the rain you need. Peace.

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