Tag Archives: Family

W^2 – day lily

W^2 or W squared for Wordless Wednesday, July 10, 2024

Grandma’s summer day lily. Lake Margrethe Grayling, Michigan Monday July 8, 2024, 10:48 AM

It’s been thirty years this summer that the cottage my kids and I know has been here. For my wife and her siblings, it goes back to their childhoods.

When we were first married, I visited the ‘old cottage’ a few times. It was a cozy two-bedroom log cabin with an open kitchen, dining, and gathering area with a large window gazing upon the lake. in the summer of ’93 my wife’s parents made the difficult decision to re-build with an eye on the future and the cottage I know was constructed in 1993-94. Since my first trip to move in and setup in July ’94, I’ve been here countless times. First without kids then one, and the other.  Our kids learned to fish and ski , both water and snow, and they’ve found lifelong friends and we’ve been here in every season: summer, fall, winter, and spring.

When I see the lilies blooming in summer, I think of my mother-in-law and her passion for the summer day lilies. We planted and gardened those first few summers planting day lilies along the front facing the lake. One spring, fifteen years ago, she arrived to discover the deer had dug up the lilies and eaten them. We spent the summer of 2009 replacing them. While the deer still roam when we aren’t here (and even when we are), the lilies have remained undisturbed since.

these two young bucks were waiting in the front yard when my wife arrived in June

It’s astonishing how our brains are wired to recall past events and how seemingly disconnected things are connected. Today is going be a great day. So, I’d better jump up, jump in, and seize the day. Making the Days Count, one day at a time making time, remembering how I got here.

What does a day lily, or any flower, remind you of?

Day 24: Creativity

It’s Thursday and it has been too long since I have posted anything on MtDC. Since summer began three weeks ago, I have been posting daily or almost daily on Instagram and if you follow along there, you’ll see the progress of my summer break. If you are curious, there is a sidebar of the blog – it’s a three by three graphic on the right-side.

Since my last post from 36,000 feet, I have been to Ohio and back, logged two more baseball games, served others at the food pantry, mowed the yard, spread mulch, cleaned up after a wild storm (which I slept through), collected the ends of branches the cicadas have snipped off, and much more.

When MtDC was in its infancy, I was posting almost daily. I don’t have the energy or creativity to keep up that pace today, though I do follow a couple of bloggers who do. If you are reading, you know who you are. It also seems the blogging community I connected with more than a decade ago has dropped off and their blogs are shutdown or static. At some point that will happen at MtDC, but for now I am simply too stubborn to let happen or stop. Continue reading Day 24: Creativity

Leaping into March

It’s leap day. I’ve been blogging since May 2010, and I have never posted on a leap day. NEVER.

Wednesday night, February 28th. Dog walk with Fern and you can three stars aligned in Orion’s Belt in the middle of the photo

After searching through the leap year Februarys, I found ONE post written on February 28, 2012. Stamps, stamps, and more stamps that was close to a leap day. I re-read it, and it took me back.

These days, I don’t write many letters, the folks I wrote have passed away. I could write to my kids or my brothers, but I don’t. It’s too easy to call or send a text. So, I don’t write. I do write thank you notes to my students, but I am behind in that of late.

Last night I was walking Fern around the neighborhood, and I could clearly see Orion spread across the southwestern sky. It was a beautiful night, and the stars were bright. Continue reading Leaping into March

W^2 – expected

W^2 or W squared for Wordless Wednesday, January 24, 2024

On approach to Midway International Airport, Lake Michigan ice. Wednesday January 17, 2024 1:14 PM

Lately it seems that my life has been filled with all sorts of unexpected things, so much so that it has distracted me from the expected things in life.

It’s January in the upper Midwest. It gets cold in January, that is expected. When it gets cold here, ice forms on Lake Michigan. What is unexpected is why I was flying on a Wednesday, but there is more to that story, for now there is lake ice on Lake Michigan and a glimpse of the Chicago skyline.

Today I am going to focus on the expected things in life – family, school, taking care of my puppies, and taking care of me. So I’d better jump up, jump in, and seize the day, and press publish. Making the days Count, one day at a time, exploring, learning, and being curious and focusing on the expected things in life.

What’s been unexpected or expected in your world?

All Hallows Eve

It’s been haunting me that I’ve been silent so long.

I haven’t disappeared or gone into hibernation, it has simply been school and family. All good things, but it keeps me from writing, sharing, and creating.

the ivy and the maple tree

Last week, while I was helping my wife trim our puppies, who are not really puppies any longer. Ivy, at all at thirteen and half, is a senior dog and Fern, at four and half, is a full on adult dog and both are lively Britany Spaniels. I was patiently holding Ivy, when I looked up to see the most amazing color combination of the creeping ivy, not the dog Ivy, but the plant ivy climbing up the trunk of the maple tree.

There is light out there against the fall colors, even on Halloween, All Hallows Eve.

Today is going to be an amazing day. I know it and I can feel it. So, I’d better jump up, jump in, and seize the day. Making the days Count one day at a time, even as the days grow short.

How are you holding up this Halloween?

July’s peaches make the summer count

Dutch Farm Market, South Haven Michigan Friday July 28, 2023 11:16 AM

July peaches make the summer count. I stopped at Dutch Farm Market in South Haven on the way north yesterday. I only bought three things: peaches, blueberries, and beets. These three multiply the joy of summer from three words in to six, or more. Six Word Saturday Could’ve been,

  • I stopped at Dutch Farm Market, or
  • Summer’s harvest brings peaches, blueberries, beets, or even
  • Farmer Ed’s market sells Michigan peaches

But I settled on the title above. Today is going to be an amazing day and I am thankful for the blogging world to encourage me to stretch, even a little. Making the days count, one day at a time, six words in a sentence.

What six words describe you today?

A post for Six Word Saturday inspired by Debbie at Travel with Intent and my blogging friend Margaret at From Pyrenees to Pennines.

a foggy Sunday dozen

This morning I awoke to a fog enshrouded lake, yesterday it was rainy.  Later today, it will be sunny. We get it all here.

in homage to the last two blogposts, black and white with a pinch of color…

This morning when I first looked out, I could see as far as the speedboat – about a hundred yards, but a couple of hours later we could make out the opposite shore, barely.

I walked to the end of the dock and captured a few images, a dozen or so, before the fog lifted. I’ll let the images tell the story. Continue reading a foggy Sunday dozen

reprise, black and white

In response to yesterday’s post W^2 – black and white, a reprise of sorts.

In hindsight, yesterday was a million and six times better than the day before.

Our nephew arrived with his wife and young children just as the storms began to roll across the lake. A few minutes later his brother, another nephew arrived. It was wonderful to see them. Since my wife’s parents died, our paths only cross for weddings, funerals, and graduations.

The kids were reluctant to get out of the car, but slowly warmed and by the end of their visit they were playing in the water, exploring the lake, toys, and all that our lake home has to offer.

It was delightful to visit, to catch up, and share our home with them.

Then storms rolled across the lake, one after another, and we stayed off the lake and out of the boats. More than once, we waded out to the boats, turning back when we saw lightning until we decided that we would get wet regardless of whether it was raining or not.

looking west northwest, as rain falls gently

While they boated, Fern and I stayed ashore. I waded into the lake and took the photos for this post. By the end of their visit every single beach towel was soaked, and the kids (and adults) were spent.

clouds over the lake, looking west north west in portrait mode

Yesterday WAS a million and six times better than the day before with family – our nephews and their kids bringing color to the lakeshore on a stormy day.

This morning began with steady rain, but the sun is breaking through and sunshine is on the way. Today is going to be an amazing day, it could be a million and six times better than yesterday. So, I’d better jump up, jump in, and seize the day. Making the days Count, one day at a time, black and white or in color.

Is it black, white, or colorful where you are?

W^2 – black and white

W^2 or W squared for Wordless Wednesday, July 5, 2023

For this week’s Wordless Wednesday post I have the early morning moon setting as the sun rises.

moon setting over Lake Margrethe, Grayling, Michigan. July 5, 2023, 6:45 AM

Today is Day 30 of summer break. Time is flying and I am missing my routine. I am an early riser, so I often have the morning to myself to do or not to do. This morning, I was reading other blogs and I was inspired to post a black and white photo from my blogging friend Dawn at Change is Hard.

Life isn’t black and white as it was in The Giver, there is color and vibrancy. But a black and white photo tells a story, too. This morning’s photo tells of winds from the southwest blowing in making waves. Making waves on the lake and pushing storm clouds later this afternoon forecast bringing much needed rain and cooler temperatures for the remainder of the week.

Our nephew and his family are visiting later today. They visited us ten years ago and we had a wonderful time with them, this visit they’ll be bringing their kids. This place hasn’t seen little kids since my kids were little. It should be fun.

Today is going to be an amazing day, it could be a million and six times better than yesterday. So, I’d better jump up, jump in, and seize the day and ready our place for the visit. Making the days Count, one day at a time, looking at life through a black and white lens or making waves.

I do both, which do you do? Black and white or a wave maker?

Tuesday’s Tune: Fire and Rain

It’s Day 8 of summer break and I have completed one FULL week. Mostly it’s been catching up on the tasks that I said I’d do when school ended or working on the things that needed to be done to close out school, like packing my classroom and moving to another classroom, my twelfth classroom in twenty-two years. Moving is incomplete and I’ll finish moving later this week when I return home.

Oh, I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain.
I’ve seen sunny days that I thought would never end.

I have spent Days 4 through 7 (and Day 9) at our lake house.

day lilies, drenched in June rain, awaiting July blooms

Our daughter is spending the summer by the lake working at a local veterinarian. The lake house is about a two-hour drive to where she attends university at Michigan State. When I was in middle school, I wanted to be a veterinarian, but by the time I finished high school I had changed my career path to being an engineer, and a couple of years later I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history. It wasn’t until I went back to school in 1997 that I finally realized my middle school career aspiration of working with animals. Yes, there is a joke there, a dad joke, but a joke, nonetheless.

It’s been a dry spring in the Midwest and throughout southern Canada. Dry understates the problem.

Oh, I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain.
I’ve seen sunny days that I thought would never end.

Wildfires have ravaged southern Canada and for the past month the air has been filled with smoke particles. The skies, normally a brilliant sky blue, have been a grayish white with the sun’s rays scattered as they pass through the atmosphere. Last week major league baseball cancelled three games in the northeast due to wildfire smoke in New York, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC.

Last week Saturday, June 4th a wildfire, sparked by an untended campfire, burned over 2000 acres near our lake house. Our daughter was here, she sent photos of Forest Service fire planes scooping water from the lake’s surface and helicopters filling buckets filled with water to douse the wildfire’s flames.

Continue reading Tuesday’s Tune: Fire and Rain