Tag Archives: Summer Vacation

One small step….

Last night was a full moon and the skies were clear. B, O, and I were headed to dinner and the moon was up, yes it was late. The sun sets after 9 PM at this time of the year and we were working and playing late. Dinner was late, but its summer and we’re on a different schedule.

the moon between the trees, rising.
the moon between the trees, rising.

I stopped the car in the lane, climbed out, and captured the moon with my camera. The I got back in the car and pointed out that 47 years ago, man walked on the moon.

Except, I was wrong. The anniversary is today – July 20.

“One small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind.” Neil Armstrong July 20, 1969.

I recall the day forty-seven years ago clearly, or rather the evening. We were in Venezuela and it was a late summer night. My dad had taken a job working for Creole, an American Oil Company and we had moved to Venezuela in June 1969.

I was seven years old and had finished first grade. It was summer. Continue reading One small step….

details – part 2

Sunday afternoon, it rained. We needed the rain, it was dry and the fire conditions in the area are low, yesterday they were listed as moderate, but the rain was enough to lower them. No one wants a fire in the forest. On the flipside, no one likes rain, especially at the lake.

the view through the screen, the large gray dot - the boat
the view through the screen, the large gray dot – the boat

I used the rainy day to relax – actually binge watch several episodes of Madame Secretary on Netflix. I am embarrassed, but not really. I watched my first episode a couple of weeks ago and now I am hooked. I watch few television shows but I did get caught up in Downton Abbey, and when it came on Sunday evening we’d watch it together, B and I. We’ll miss that show.

The rain began gently, then it poured. I love the sound of rain on the roof, it’s peaceful and calming. Exactly what I needed, yesterday. Continue reading details – part 2

details: a photo challenge

It’s mid-July, school starts in a little over a month. I am not panicking, but wondering. Focus on the BIG rocks, the details have a way of working themselves out.

We are Up North. Michigan, by the lake. Again.

We arrived late last night, slowed by traffic, and our own desire to get off the beaten path. To slow down and relax.

That’s part of why we are drawn to the lake. The other part is family and tradition. Summer by the lake, playing in the water, boating, grilling, dinner at the table as a family, campfires, ‘s’mores, and reconnecting. Down time.

the lake and the moon, late friday night, early Saturday morning
the lake and the moon, late friday night, early Saturday morning

Last week, I posted a photo of the moon over the lake, and last night the moon shone brightly illuminating the lake and bathing the surface with its light. I pulled out my camera, went out onto the dock, and tried to frame what I saw. You can see what I got. Details.

the moon, up close, details
the moon, up close, details

I am never sure what will come out when I press the button and take a photo. I know what I can see, but I am limited by my ability and equipment. Sometimes it works out and I can see details I couldn’t see. And other times, well, it doesn’t come out and I try again. Last night’s photo of the moon revealed details I couldn’t see, but I knew were there. Continue reading details: a photo challenge

Look Up – a photo challenge

Friday night's moon
Friday night’s moon

Each morning begins with a new perspective. It’s never the same in the morning.

I’ve been sipping coffee and enjoying the morning view for years by the lake. I miss grandma, who was often up before me sitting in her chair sipping coffee. I’d refill her coffee or brew a fresh pot and join her. She’s gone, now, and now I sit in the chair, sip coffee, Ivy curls up on the footstool and we begin the day looking out over the lake. Continue reading Look Up – a photo challenge

This I believe

O leaves for camp in a few hours and then, B and I will have the cottage by the lake to ourselves for the first time in almost twenty years, maybe longer.

I hadn’t realized that until a moment ago.

What will we do?

I am here until Sunday at the latest, I had originally planned to return home this afternoon or Thursday morning, but my plans changed and I decided to stay later. O’s camp runs through Sunday, which is why I’ll need to return Sunday.

What to do – relax, talk, boat, swim, chores, relax? Probably all of them and some at the same time.

I’ve written about the cottage many times – almost every time I am here. It’s a gift, rather a legacy from Grandpa and Grandma and I think of them each time I visit.

the lake changes constantly - rain is forecast for the day..
the lake changes constantly – rain is forecast for the day..

Continue reading This I believe

opposites – a photo challenge

west, then north across the flat prairies of northern Illinois
west, then north across the flat prairies of northern Illinois

There is a thin line between independence, and dependence.

It’s a beautiful Sunday morning by the lake and as is often the case, I am the only one awake and it’s peaceful.  Independence weekend by the lake, it’s our family tradition. Today, we’ll spend time in the lake swimming, boating, fishing, and spending time together. Tomorrow, we’ll take in the parade and spend the evening marveling at the fireworks display in town. In between, we’ll swim, boat, fish, and spend time together. That’s why we’re here, to rest, relax, and restore.

Life is full of opposites, contrasts and differences. Continue reading opposites – a photo challenge

Monday morning awakening

It’s cool this morning outside on the deck. The sun is slowly creeping across the yard toward my ‘office,’ the birds are singing, and the wind is gently rustling the leaves above me. It’s quiet and peaceful outside.

Ivy rests at my feet, always with eye open, always
Ivy rests at my feet, always with eye open, always

W's location Monday morning - the crew will be kayaking room island to island until Friday.Yesterday morning, W took off on an adventure of a lifetime – kayaking the Apostle Islands in Lake Superior with his Boy Scout Troop. Saturday night was a late one for all of us packing and final details for his kayaking trip after dropping him off and waving goodbye, we went home and back to sleep.

I felt mildly guilty waking when I did, but feeling much more refreshed than I would have been had I stayed awake. We spent the afternoon talking, planning, and laundry – doing, folding, and putting away. B wanted to get outside to her garden and I suggested we wait until the evening, when it was cooler.

It was much cooler and the beds where we were working were shaded. Ivy joined us but spent most of her time scanning for bunnies and squirrels. B needed me to help plant and spread mulch, but it was a wonderful way to decompress from a busy hectic weekend and plan for the week ahead. I am not usually a good gardening partner, but I can tell a weed from a plant – most of the time – and I am quite handy with a shovel and a wheelbarrow. I am the strong back in the operation and B’s the strong mind. It’s a good partnership. Continue reading Monday morning awakening

Three for Thursday

It’s Thursday morning and it is the twenty-seventh day of summer break, almost two-thirds remain. There is a myth which persists that teachers don’t work a full year. It’s not true, it is nowhere close to being true and the myth misrepresents what educators do to be ready for the coming year.

Class starts in an hour.

that's y foot and W's old parking spot
that’s my foot and W’s old parking spot

This summer I am taking a professional development class, in fact the last several summers I have taken PD classes. Classes are taught by fellow educators and are filled with rich curricula and new methods to help students grow and learn.  This summer I am taking a two-week long class at the local high school. The class is offered through Fermilab Education and W’s freshman biology teacher is the instructor, he was also one of W’s wrestling coaches. It has been an interesting eight days of being transported back to being fifteen again, and then morphing back to my real age. It’s been forty years since that high school freshman year, I’d mostly forgotten that very awkward time.

Continue reading Three for Thursday

Curve – a photo challenge

this morning's lily curving and reaching for the sun
this morning’s lily curving and reaching for the sun

Another Saturday morning and I am enjoying my summer office. If it weren’t for the lawn crew next door, I’d be able to hear birds chirping, the splashes of birds in the bird bath, or the wind gently rustling the trees around me. Ivy is at my feet and we are both enjoying our summer morning. My lawn crew is upstairs, still sleeping or at the keyboard writing.

“There are no straight lines or sharp corners in nature, therefore buildings must have no sharp corners or straight lines.” Antoni Gaudi

Many summers ago we carved a stone path from the front yard through to the backyard. I remember B reminding me of Gaudi’s mantra. That summer I hauled several tons of limestone gravel and New York bluestone and I spent many days kneeling and fitting the stones together. There are no straight lines. What lines there are were created in nature some are curved and some are jagged, but between the lines weeds grow and flourish.

Since, the backyard garden has grown in around the path and I can’t remember what the backyard looked like before the of our work was complete. We’ve added plants, removed a couple trees and added Ivy, my faithful companion, and the path remains. Continue reading Curve – a photo challenge

Pure: a photo challenge

I love my kids.

We have two: a boy, really a young man, and girl. They are W and O, respectively. Both are determined and focused, when it’s their time. Both play sports and both are good students, but more importantly good, solid people.

It’s summer and school’s out – for both me, and the kids. It’s also softball playoff season. O plays softball and has talent, pure raw talent. I’ve watched her grow as an athlete, and as a softball player. This year, she has really developed as a hitter and fielder, as well as positive leader on the field and in the dugout.

pure concentration, pure focus, pure desire
pure concentration, pure focus, pure desire

Continue reading Pure: a photo challenge