Except for passing thunderstorms each day, which roll up the lake to create havoc north of us, it’s been cool and quiet most of the week. With unsettled weather, our sailboat has not yet left its mooring ball, but twirls gently around in the currents and riffles of breezes across the water. Don’s been cleaning up logs which washed up on the beach after the big storm–what’s left of the beach. The lake took back about half of the rocks, which had created a nice big landing spot for kayaks and beach chairs. As soon as the wood dries out, we need to get campfires going down at water’s edge, and reduce the big pile accumulating by the little cabin. They’re suggesting that this low pressure system may still be in place over the 4th of July holiday. And, to think, we’re already losing a minute a day of sunlight. It’s one of those years in which summer is hesitating at the starting gate.
I haven’t minded the pause, as I’ve nursed a crummy cold and been a lay-about on the sofa with a book, and a wool blanket pulled up to my chin. Yesterday, in a sun shower between the rains, I tended to all the geranium pots across the property–a task I complain about come busy August. It involves dropping the big plastic bucket, with a rope attached, over the end of the dock, and watching it fill with water as you look up at the clouds, feel the cool breeze, and listen to boats far out in the lake. Then, you walk to each pot, pour out the bucket of cold water, then repeat, seven times. There’s been reading down by the water–surely, one of life’s most pleasant pastimes–and the other evening, just before bedtime, we sat on the porch with our whiskey, and watched the rain come up the lake, filling the air with that distinctive mineral smell as water splashed off the aspen leaves.
I remembered that time several years ago, when ten-year old Norah had flown alone from California, for a week by herself at the lake. One evening, she and I sat on the porch, holding hands, and watched an enormous thunderstorm roll up the lake. The wind and lightning were fierce, with booming thunder, and we giggled every time it startled us with its power. How things will change around here, when everybody arrives in a few weeks, moving into their spaces in the dormitory room, and beds tucked under the eaves. The year Norah came before everyone else, she made a drawing of the various beds and dressers, identifying where each of the cousins would sleep and store their clothes. I’ve saved it in a drawer someplace. Joy’s family touched down here Wednesday, on their return home from California, and they talked about how much they enjoyed seeing their cousins, and can’t wait to be together at the lake house soon. I hope they will someday talk about the memories they are making here with one another…they are the sweetest of blessings in the life of their 72 year old grandmother.
The Miller family will be here for the 4th, which will be grand–like us, they will think the low pressure system is just fine. John and Don will surely bring up the summer they worked for the Forest Service near Spotted Bear, 41 years ago, when it rained every day in June, whilst they planted spruce saplings. But, there have been years in which fireworks weren’t permitted here because of fire threat, and I have photos of all of us swimming one August day, many years ago, in which the smoke was so thick we could barely see each other out in the lake. But, as July begins to unfold, I confess, I am very much looking forward to “delightful weather”. For, after all, what would summer memories be without that.
“All in all, it was a never to be forgotten summer — one of those summers which come seldom into any life, but leave a rich heritage of beautiful memories in their going — one of those summers which, in a fortunate combination of delightful weather, delightful friends and delightful doing, come as near to perfection as anything can come in this world.”
—L.M. Montgomery, Anne’s House of Dreams