Narrow: a photo challenge

Friday afternoon getaway traffic all boiled down to the last mile.

the lake is directly ahead, one more turn and a one lane dirt road...
the lake is directly ahead, one more turn, a right, and a one lane dirt road…

The roads get smaller and the trees make them narrower. The last road is the narrowest with trees towering to the sky. The road bends to the left and I go straight, onto the one lane dirt road.

Leaving Chicagoland on a Friday is always a gamble. Accidents and construction, or both. I never know. Yesterday’s drive took over seven hours. It could’ve been longer. Regardless, the drive always ends with the last narrow mile and a one lane dirt road.

I am here. By the lake. It’s race weekend on the river.

Today is gonna be a great day. Summer is winding down, it’s the last weekend in July and Monday is August 1. Gonna make the day count, I always try, especially when summer is narrowing like the last mile of a drive to the cottage.

How’s your summer? Is it narrowing, or widening?

the second to last mile, a slight right turn, then another right, and the lake.
the second to last mile, a slight right turn, then another right, and the lake.

Today’s post is inspired by last week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Narrow. This week, let’s keep things narrow (but not narrow-minded!): share a photo with your take on the theme. You could focus on a slender object, or shoot an image where your field of vision is restricted. Alleyways and half-open doors, seesaws and water slides, spaghetti and electric cords… the world is full of narrow things. I can’t wait to see which one you’ll pick for your entry.

Up&Up – a Tuesday’s Tune

I believe in the power of music. Once upon a time, when I listened to music I’d open the album, read the liner notes and pour over the words searching for meaning in the lyrics while singing along. Now, I listen to what sounds good, what has a good beat, and I don’t worry about the words, though sometimes I listen carefully or think I know the words.

one of the first songs
one of the first songs

When the British alternative rock band Coldplay announced they were coming to Chicago, B decided she wanted to go. I had heard a few of their songs and seen their Super Bowl 50 half-time show. With O by my side, I bought the tickets in February right after the Super Bowl. I put the event on the calendar and got back to the business of life.

Oh, and I downloaded a couple of their albums – Head Full of Dreams, their latest and Mylo Xyloto.

One song, “Up&Up,” became a quick favorite. I’d play and listen, and replay. I liked the song – it fit middle-aged music criteria – it sounded good, had a good beat, and it had an added bonus – I could hear the chorus and it spoke to me.

we’re going to get it get it together right now
going to get it get it together somehow
going to get it get it together and flower
oh oh oh oh oh oh
we’re going to get it get it together I know
going to get it get it together and flow
going to get it get it together and go
up and up and up

“Up&Up” landed in my life just when I needed it. The past couple of years have been a tough stretch for our family. We’ve experienced several losses and we haven’t completely come to grips with it all. The weekend after I bought the tickets, we drove to B’s hometown and began packing and sorting furniture and household goods in her parent’s home to be split between she and her older sister. It was a tough weekend.

we filled this truck.....
we filled this truck…..

The house sold in March and the house she knew as home, is someone else’s home now. It’s been a struggle. Continue reading Up&Up – a Tuesday’s Tune

Saturday morning spring in your step

Saturday morning by the lake.

“Saturday morning was come, and all the summer world was bright and fresh, and brimming with life. There was a song in every heart; and if the heart was young, the music issued at the lips. There was cheer in every face and a spring in every step.” Mark Twain from The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

Friday was a great day. We got a few chores off our list. But, there are more, there is always more. Always.

But, after the chores there was the lake and fun.

We took the boat out for a test ride and some fun. O ‘surfed’ and so did a couple of her lake friends from down the lane. It was a fun evening.

I stayed in the boat and ‘filmed’ and shot stills. I still got wet putting the boat away. Continue reading Saturday morning spring in your step

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

What’s going on?

I believe in Making the Days Count, and I believe in the power of music. And I believe in the beauty of nature and so much more. I’ve been working on my essay and reading a few more essays from the book, in between chapters of Hamilton and other things.

I drove home from the lake Saturday afternoon my mind filled with thoughts.

Sunday morning, I sat on the deck reading the paper and planning my day. I skimmed messages and noticed my friend, Carl, had posted a song to Facebook and Instagram.

I listened to the song and replied to Carl’s prompt, ‘we’ve got to find a way.’ On Facebook, I replied, “Indeed, change begins with you and me, we must be the change we want to see in the world. I am going to do a good turn and pay it forward. Peace.” My replies were personal, about where I was at the moment. A few hours later, I understood there were more ways to listen to the song, to hear the words, and this morning I find myself seated at my desk scribbling a post together.

instagram
Click to listen

Continue reading What’s going on?

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

By the lake, Friday morning thoughts

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” Mahatma Gandhi

Last night, I grilled burgers and B and I enjoyed dinner together. Earlier, we’d planned to take the boat out and have fun boating, but storms rolled in and we covered the boat, put it on the lift, and came inside.

sunset. standing on the dock looking west in the sprinkles
sunset. standing on the dock looking west in the sprinkles

Done for the day.

B read on the couch, Ivy curled up on her pad exhausted from being in the lake all day, and I started dinner. It was a cloudy stormy evening along the lake in northern Michigan. It rained a little and then stopped. All we got was a little rain and thunder the heavy rain went south. I pulled the grill out and grilled the burgers. We enjoyed our dinner and finished it with fresh Michigan strawberries and vanilla ice cream.

Perfect dinner. Continue reading By the lake, Friday morning thoughts

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