Tag Archives: Grayling

order – a photo challenge

Summer would not be summer without red geraniums blooming on the deck overlooking the lake. Today is summer vacation day three with many more on the horizon. This morning I am Up North on the shores of Lake Margrethe. It’s relaxing coming here, but it comes with a price set up and maintenance. This is the setup visit and maybe I’ll be able to squeeze in some relaxation time into the order of business.

There is order to our work. The dock and lifts must go in first, then the boats, then of course a bit of fun, then yard work.

Thursday morning view of the lake

Yesterday we got the dock and lifts in and one of the boats – the Sea-Doo. The Sea-Doo is the easiest of the boats to get in the water, and according to O, the boat with the most fun potential. Continue reading order – a photo challenge

President’s weekend – 2017

It’s Monday morning and I am looking out at the lake when I look up and to the left. It’s been beautiful this weekend and we’ve gotten to rest and relax – something all of us needed, including Ivy.

Sunday evening’s sunset with Venus a bright light in the sky

Normally on a Monday morning, I’d be at school getting ready for the day, but’ it’s President’s Weekend and a three-day weekend for O and I. We’ve had this weekend circled on our calendars since early January. We’ve spent many President’s Day weekends up at the lake. The kids have skied and I’ve relaxed. It’s that time in the school year when we all of us can see the end of the year. We passed Hundred’s Day – an important milestone for elementary kids – a couple of weeks ago, and as of tomorrow, Tuesday 2/21, there are 63 days of school remaining.

Oh my, how time flies. Continue reading President’s weekend – 2017

Solitude – a photo challenge

It’s Saturday and I find myself searching for solitude. It’s been a peaceful day, so far: Men’s group at church, a Saturday morning webinar on Tinker vs. Des Moines, a bit of school work, and a power nap. Earlier, I found a bit of solitude at my desk after the webinar and I’m back after the nap. At the moment, I have the sounds of “Still Wild” by La Mar playing. It has a pleasant beat and it’s peaceful and calming.

Tomorrow is the Super Bowl and an unofficial national holiday. I don’t have a preference who win, I only hope it’s a good game. In previous years, I have made my predictions known, not this year. Tomorrow will be a busy day getting ready for the coming week.

I read the WordPress e-mail and post WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Solitude yesterday after school. I pondered the topic this morning; I was stumped. Finally, it came to me this afternoon.

The lake: magic – a photo challenge.

Saturday afternoon’s view the sun shines

We were up at the lake last for Thanksgiving. We had a good time and celebrated Thanksgiving and enjoyed the peace and solitude of being Up North. We invited our neighbor, Mr. Bill over for Thanksgiving dinner, he’s retired and a full-time resident along the lake. He’s also a diehard Detroit Lions fan and they had won the Thanksgiving Day game with a field goal as time expired. I always look forward to seeing him. When we talk, it was always about family, friends, and the peace and solitude along the lake. Especially, the lake.

At school, my science classes Continue reading Solitude – a photo challenge

magic – a photo challenge

It’s Wednesday afternoon. It’s been an amazing day and there is still a little magic left.

We’re UP NORTH where magic abounds. I suppose if I looked, I could find it at home, but I am here. We drove up after school yesterday and stopped halfway to deliver a Christmas wreath to a good friend. We arrived late and the stars were twinkling magically as we unloaded the car.

This morning B nudged me and said, “we’d better get going and rake the yard before the snow hits.”

I grumbled, but got moving. It began to spit snow as we finished.

there is magic in the air...
there is magic in the air…

Then it was a trip to the grocery for what we needed for Thanksgiving dinner. That’s tomorrow and I am thankful

I’ve been dreaming of being here since my last visit in early October. It’s magic here, even when it is cold and snowing. Continue reading magic – a photo challenge

water – a photo challenge

I’ve had this weekend circled on my calendar since Labor Day. It’s been awhile since we’ve been up here, by the lake, in the early fall. The past few years, we’ve been able to come up only after football season was finished and even then it was for a short two-day weekend, not the longer three-day weekend that Columbus Day brings.

the sun lights up South Bay, the wind whips the lake, and we're here... by the lake, Up North.
the sun lights up South Bay, the wind whips the lake, and we’re here… by the lake, Up North.

Last year, it was W, O, Ivy, and I for fall cleanup, the year before in ’14 we all of us left on early Saturday afternoon (after football practice) and only had Sunday to work, and in 13’ I came by myself.

I’ve been searching back in my memory and the cottage guest book and it’s been a long time since we’ve been Up North at this time in the year.

B and I reminisced on our way out of town Friday evening as the sunset in the rearview mirror about our trip in ’96. It was BK – before kids – her parents met us and we had a great time. We drove through the countryside looking at the fall color and we did some yard work, but I remember the deep breaths I was able take by the lake. It does that for me, the lake helps me relax and refocus. Continue reading water – a photo challenge

Final Friday

82 days go quickly, believe me. They fly past. School starts next week and today is Day 77, the last Friday of summer break. Five days remain in my summer break. It’s been a good break, just the right amount of time. Almost.

I keep telling myself, ‘If I had a more time……’ but, I’ve had enough time. I’ve done the things I needed to do to get ready for the coming year and I’ve done the things that I needed to do to rest, relax, and restore.

baseball game in Manzanar War Relocation Camp - 1943, photograph courtesy of Library of Congress
a baseball game at Manzanar War Relocation Camp – 1943, photograph by Ansel Adams,  courtesy of Library of Congress

We’ve spent time as a family. We’ve watched softball games, and I’ve listened to and watched my Astros and a couple of Reds games. We’ve been to the lake – boating, swimming, fishing, and hanging out. We’ve gardened, removed weeds, and painted a shack. We’ve sung songs and blasted Coldplay, before and after the concert. It’s been a good summer. Continue reading Final Friday

Impromptu – day 7

Summer is full of surprises. Always. Some surprises are good, others aren’t. Wednesday morning B, my wife, asked me if I wanted to go north for a couple of days. I had several things on my calendar and task list, but it wasn’t a request. Michigan. The lake, the boat, summer.

We loaded the car, or cars, and headed north to the cottage. We arrived late and the early summer night sky was ablaze with stars. At home we don’t see the stars as well because of the light pollution, but here it’s amazing.

Thursday evening's sunset
Thursday evening’s sunset
Continue reading Impromptu – day 7

Happy New Year – 2016

I started a post writing yesterday, but I didn’t finish. We arrived at the cottage late Wednesday night or early Thursday morning, depending on one’s perspective, and thus I woke up late, near 10 AM, which is much later than when I usually awake. I am often the first person in the family out of bed every morning. I usually rise before five in the morning during the week and I allow myself to sleep in to six, or half past six on the weekends. I quickly got busy in other jobs and didn’t write more than the first few lines of a new post.

Thursday morning's view of the lake - New Year's Eve 2015
Thursday morning’s view of the lake

Below is what I began to write,

New Year’s Eve 2015

I backed into the cottage driveway a little before 3 AM. I roused W, he grumbled when I shook his leg and called his name. It was cold and dark and I was tired. I roused Ivy, too. She was excited to climb out of the car and gently pulled at the leash. I opened the cottage door and she rushed inside waking B, my wife, before I clipped her to the tether and let her explore the front yard.

And, that is how far I got, I closed the lid on the laptop and didn’t open it until today – New Year’s Day. Instead of writing, I spent the day getting the cottage ready for our New Year’s celebration and cooking dinner.

Our menu for New Year’s was

New York Strip – grilled
Mashed Yukon Gold Potatoes
Steamed and buttered broccoli
Sautéed mushrooms
Green salad
Robust red wine
Chocolate cheesecake for dessert=
All homemade and home cooked, well maybe not the wine….

Our New Year’s Eve traditions took shape several years ago and they revolve around being Up North and at the cottage. We celebrate with two families whom we would otherwise never have met if it weren’t for the lake. We are blessed. I am thankful. Continue reading Happy New Year – 2016

Weekly Photo Challenge: Treat

I awoke feeling well rested for the first time in a long time, I got a good night’s sleep and if hadn’t been for Ivy – the dog wonder – I would have had an even longer sleep. We are up north for a short weekend of yard cleanup and it is a treat; even working up here is a treat.

Friday afternoon... treat
Friday afternoon… treat

We drove up yesterday and arrived with plenty of time to do a large part of the yard cleanup we had planned, but my helpers were exhausted and I was, too. So, I decided to quit, go out for dinner, and get a good night’s sleep. I thought it was a good call. Not so, the weather played a trick on me. Yesterday was cool and cloudy, but this morning it began to lightly rain, it was dark when Ivy woke me – even though it was a little before seven AM and I could hear the gentle rain on the deck. I let Ivy outside; she sniffed around, came back inside, and snuggled up on the cushion at my feet while I sipped my coffee. Treat.

I don’t like doing yard work in the rain, but that’s what it looks like is gonna happen. Trick.

Who are the guys? trick
Who are the guys? trick

It’s Halloween, All Hallow’s Eve. Continue reading Weekly Photo Challenge: Treat

Door

“Every now and then one paints a picture that seems to have opened a door and serves as a stepping stone to other things.” ― Pablo Picasso

Our cottage has two doors, one in front and the other along the side. A key unlocks the side door there is no key for the front door. The front door faces the lake and I’ve spent many a morning sipping coffee talking to grandma, B’s mom, or sipped coffee alone and thought of the times we shared our morning coffee. Lately, it’s been only Ivy and me. Ivy curls up on the footstool leaving barely enough room for my feet and gazes out over the front yard as I enjoy my morning coffee. She keeps an eye open for ducks in summer and deer in winter.

the front door and the view over the lake
the front door and the view over the lake

In the afternoon, the doors open to yard and the sounds of play, wind, and the lake.

I’ve seen every season through that door and it’s held back every season, too. It’s kept the cold and snow out and allowed the sunshine in to bring us light. I’ve watched the sunset in the evening and the sun creep across the yard from behind the house each morning.

W on the fourth of July in 2001 - my he's grown and the doors have remained the same....
W on the Fourth of July in 2001 – my he’s grown and the doors have remained the same….

Yet, not all doors are physical. Sometimes doors are barriers keeping us from exercising our free will and then, there are those that declare our freedom to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Continue reading Door