Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘family

Nothing, Really

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Nothing. But that didn’t stop me from trying. This is what I think happened. I drove home from the lake alone, leaving shortly after I woke up. Upon my arrival, Cyndie served a delicious slice of quiche for a brunch meal. After unpacking my things, I just wanted to relax. I turned on some of the Olympic coverage and let sleep nibble at the edges of my consciousness.

The nibbling failed to become a complete bite and I squandered the rest of the afternoon and evening accomplishing very little of productive value. Not even a respectable nap.

I think it was a result of getting too little sleep the two nights prior, compounded by going out two days in a row to tax my lungs in the smoky air by biking to exertion. That resulted in sleep deprivation and lung congestion that left me uncharacteristically lethargic.

Left me with nothing, really.

This week’s adventures should be much more interesting. I will be home alone because Cyndie is taking Melissa and her two girls up to the lake for their annual summer getaway week at Wildwood. She is taking Delilah with her, so that will simplify my responsibilities here significantly.

No dog and no chickens. It’ll just be the horses, Pequenita, and me. And hopefully, a lot less smoke in the air.

Wouldn’t that be something?

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Written by johnwhays

August 2, 2021 at 6:00 am

Orange Spots

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The smoke from Canadian forest fires played havoc on both breathing and visibility yesterday. It also led to orange spots on the land.

Cyndie provided these wonderful shots of the way the sunlight looked as it speckled its way through leafy branches to reach the ground below:

I’m up at the lake for the annual “Golf Weekend” hosted by Cyndie’s brothers, Steve and Ben. I don’t golf, but I provide bicycling companionship to any of the guys who opt out of the afternoon tee times to do some trail riding in the woods.

We are hoping for less smoke today, even though it can make interesting design patterns when it filters the sunlight.

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Written by johnwhays

July 30, 2021 at 6:00 am

Empty Coop

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It wasn’t long ago that we were renovating the coop in preparation for housing the two groups of chicks at the same time when we moved them out of their respective brooders.

Now the coop stands empty. On Sunday, my brother and his wife stopped by to pick up the three survivors of the massacre that took out 22 chickens.

The ghost predators that have been taking advantage of us for several months will not find one more chicken dinner here this year. Maybe that will provide incentive for them to move on to some other property.

We will take a year off to mull over the possibility of trying again. At this point, it feels like our methods will need to involve something less than free-ranging given the increasing priority of not experiencing any more losses like we’ve endured this year.

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Written by johnwhays

July 27, 2021 at 6:00 am

Getting Away

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We have made a quick change of scene, which comes at a convenient time to allow our minds to stray from the heavy angst associated with Wednesday’s violent upheaval in all things chicken-related.

Yesterday, Cyndie’s mom drove out to our place and the moment I arrived home from work, the three of us packed up Marie’s car and headed up to the lake.

We picked up a take-n-bake pizza from Coop’s that tasted more scrumptious than ever and turned on the replay of the 17th stage of the Tour de France on the satellite TV.

It served as a balm for my wounded psyche.

Festivities for today involve a visit from special guests. The Wilkuses are flying to the Hayward airport from their cabin near Grand Rapids, MN. How fun is that?!

Primary objective: Swim in the lake. Followed closely by eating too much fun food, gabbing away for hours on end, and probably one more dip in the lake, just because it’s there.

We’ll try to pretend this getaway keeps us from thinking about the loss of almost all of our chickens.

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Written by johnwhays

July 16, 2021 at 6:00 am

4th Montage

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Alive

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morning
at the lake
quiet
filtered sunlight
leaves
green
trees
woods
calm
energy
peace
tranquility
love
family
awaken
heartbeat
spark
breakfast
stories
eventually
opportunity
arrives
life
comes
alive

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Written by johnwhays

July 3, 2021 at 7:44 am

Tour Nightmare

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During my final hour of slumber this morning, I was deeply occupied with a new version of a recurring nightmare about the bike tour. The usual scenario involves a classic concern of seeing everyone around me departing well before I am prepared. A common second version I experience has me searching for my shoes or a wheel or some item that I should have but inexplicably discover to be missing.

This morning, it was rather specifically related to my early departure from the ride. I found myself needing to ride my bike back to the original start by myself while the rest of the group was already showered and departing for their homes. I said goodbye to them and set off on my own, trying to figure out how to backtrack the route I had previously ridden at the start.

Multiple disruptions ensued and my slow progress was leading to the hours passing and daylight waning. I was so ensconced in the dream that I continued to work on the details as I awoke and wondered if I was trying to reach our home in Beldenville or the start of this year’s tour in Hastings.

Alas, I am in Hayward and slept late into the morning after a glorious day prior filled with special attention for the occasion of my birthday. The evening was topped with a fabulous outing to the Tally Ho restaurant where the service was superb, the food delicious, and the laughs plentiful.

That was no nightmare.

Now I’m watching television coverage of the second stage of the 2021 Tour de France and contemplating a return to Wintervale today. There are a few animals that I need to get reacquainted with and some chores awaiting that will mark the completion of my days of vacation.

In a lot of ways, I am looking forward to it, but that isn’t a reflection of how I feel about the past week. It’s been grand.

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Written by johnwhays

June 27, 2021 at 9:54 am

Yep Indeed

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Trying to capture the essence of my adventures of last week on my abbreviated version of the Tour of Minnesota has been difficult due to instantly being transported from one world into another. I am still immersed in the second phase of my vacation, the Friswold family gathering at their lake place, which keeps me distracted from pondering long enough to write about either experience.

I was born on this day back in 1959, and that fact, combined with the focus of this weekend –the one-year anniversary of Cyndie’s dad’s passing– is keeping things spinning faster than my writing brain processes.

And that’s okay. It’s just that I really want to tell my stories and exercise my writing muscles. A lot of life-affirming experiences have occurred for me of late. The occasion of my birthday is the least of them.

Julian has given me another wonderful present in the form of his coding expertise that astute readers may have already noticed this morning. The random wayback feature that I love so much is now a permanent option available on the margin, or trailing the initial posts on mobile devices.

Maybe if the dreary cloud cover that has arrived over Hayward this morning will lend itself toward my finding a quiet corner to collect some words to describe my adventures from the last week. Maybe not.

I’m going to go with the flow. Right now we are in the sunroom with windows all open and family stories and belly laughs are frequent. Breakfast is nigh. I’m sitting here trying to multitask between participating and typing.

Until now. If you want more, click the wayback machine for a random archived post.

Love.

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Written by johnwhays

June 26, 2021 at 8:37 am

Goodbye Again

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I’m back in reach of my computer again, but I am not at home yet. After saying goodbye to precious friends riding the Tour of Minnesota this week, I am up at the lake with Cyndie and our kids, and almost all of Cyndie’s family, for a few days of saying goodbye again to Cyndie’s dad. Yesterday was the one-year anniversary of his death.

We are together telling stories, playing games, feasting on incredible meals, and swimming in the lake –all things Fred loved to do– to honor this incredible man, husband, father, patriarch.

As darkness descended on the day, we wrote messages for Fred on the paper petals of flower luminaries, lit candles, and floated the memorials out on the lake where he loved to swim laps.

It wasn’t the first time we’ve said our goodbyes and it won’t be the last, but on the day that marked the first anniversary of his passing, the family as a group lifted up several particularly significant salutations of parting.

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Written by johnwhays

June 25, 2021 at 6:00 am

Co-Favorite Place

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For all of my adult life, Cyndie’s family vacation home on Round Lake near Hayward, Wisconsin has been my favorite place. As I wrote yesterday, my affections are now split between our paradise of Wintervale Ranch in Beldenville and Wildwood Lodge Club up north.

I now have co-favorite places.

It is wonderful to be up at the lake again.

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As always, the special feature of the lodge club is communing with the other families and we received an early dose of camaraderie when the next door Whitlock clan showed up just after Cyndie and I arrived. Much love ensued.

There is a lot to do around the property to make it look less neglected as the ravages of winter appear to have wreaked havoc on anything left out in the elements.

Case in point: The front steps to the Friswold “cabin” for which I was so proud to have repaired a single paver block last summer are now failing en masse as the foundation underneath appears to be giving out.

Entire rows are tipping forward. I suppose it’s unfair to blame one winter for this, but it sure seemed fine last year.

I can’t blame the extreme state of the smoke clouded doors of the living room fireplace on anything but neglect to tend to the task of cleaning them in a timely manner. When Marie asked me to build a fire, I figured it wouldn’t add much to the ambience if we couldn’t see the flames. It took a lot of ash-soaked newspaper to rub off the insanely thick baked-on accumulation of smoke on those glass doors.

At least I had the joy of trying to ignite unseasoned firewood that had been supplied for our fire-building pleasure. No wonder there was so much gunk on the glass of the doors.

Maybe, if I love this place as much as I do home, I need to more equally split my attention to maintenance chores. Is the building of a lake-place woodshed in my future?

I would sure appreciate the luxury of selecting dry wood for our fires. So would the chimney flue.

The more immediate concern will be cleaning the beach today. The lake ice pushed a new berm of sandy leaves about a foot high along the full length of our beach shoreline.

What a wonderful location for putting in a day’s work.

My co-favorite place, in fact.

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Written by johnwhays

May 29, 2021 at 8:52 am