Relative Something

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

Posts Tagged ‘lake place

Happy Place

leave a comment »

We’ve had a pretty good few days of lake-place pleasure, despite yesterday’s doses of thunderstorms that disrupted most activities except for the napping. Unfortunately, on this most gorgeous of mornings with a promising-looking day of lake weather ahead, we are going to venture home to tend to the landscaping chores there before the work-week begins again.

Grass and garden are growing wild. The lawn is tall and tomato plants are heavy with fruit. Our getaway weekends need to be brief. (In case you didn’t notice, I took an extra day off work last week and we hustled up here on Thursday, so ignore my comment about it having been “brief.”)

I strolled down to the beach moments ago to absorb a good dose of the lake view in the early light and found a squirrel busy in the oak tree branches overhead, trimming and nibbling acorns that were then unceremoniously raining down on the sand.

We may be leaving, but I have soaked up the view to take with me for a balm against the onslaught of the daily grind that lies ahead.

It’s our happy place.

.

.

Written by johnwhays

August 23, 2020 at 8:27 am

Not Suffering

leave a comment »

Just a little rain up here at the lake yesterday afternoon, but we are living the life of luxury, regardless.

Breakfast on the deck.

But earning it by taking care of that too-long neglected task of tending to the gutters on the backside of the house. Out of sight, out of mind, you know.

After I dug for long enough, I actually found a gutter underneath all that mess.

More family arrived yesterday afternoon and we dined like royalty and stayed up too late playing cards.

It’s another classic summer weekend ‘at the lake.’

Aahhhhh.

.

.

Written by johnwhays

August 22, 2020 at 8:15 am

Brick Fix

leave a comment »

Okay, it was a paver, not a brick. We are up at the lake for the weekend! It’s the first time I’ve been up here all summer and the first thing I noticed was a gaping hole in the front steps.

After opening windows, adding water to the pond, and then cleaning out the gutter on the backside of the house (don’t ask), I decided that the busted paver deserved immediate attention. The only problem was, I had no idea how the steps were built. I didn’t know if cement was involved and if it would even be possible to remove just one “brick.”

So, I just started slow. Perseverance paid off and the paver eventually started to come loose. Once I had it out, it was time to hunt for a replacement.

Oh, yeah, that might have been a smart thing to figure out before tearing into the top, center step in front of the door.

With Cyndie’s help, we came up with a replacement paver and set about devising a process to install it.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

We are both quite proud of the result.

After that, it was time for a swim. Oh what a divine treat that was.

Topped off with a pizza from our favorite local restaurant, it was a wonderfully satisfying day for us.

.

.

 

Written by johnwhays

August 21, 2020 at 6:00 am

Tables Turned

with 2 comments

First of all, let me say that Delilah is experiencing some discomfort but we expect she will heal and be back to her old self soon. At the same time, the details of her latest incident of ‘dog bites dog’ involve a bit of poetic justice when considering her history of being the attacker in a previous fracas up at the lake.

This time, our heroine was the victim. The versions I have gleaned from Cyndie boil down to an unleashed dog sprinting up and landing a chomp of fangs into Delilah’s hindquarter as Cyndie and Delilah attempted to make haste for the relative safety of the main cabin.

The intriguing aspect of the attack is that the aggressor is essentially an out-of-town cousin of the dog who Delilah bit one year ago. Was this a dose of revenge? Does the dog world work that way?

It’s unlikely, but it fits too many movie scripts for the actions of human gangs that it flows naturally to correlate it with possible canine pack behavior.

Who can know what the conversations of remote barking might have been between all parties involved during the day, or two, running up to the “hit.”

[Barking] “I know who you are.”

“You’re not so tough!”

“This is for Gracie.”

Since Delilah was in her harness and being pulled forward by Cyndie, the conflict was one-sided, which may be a good thing. Delilah yelped at the bite, the neighbor arrived to take command of his dog, and Cyndie and Delilah hustled back to the house.

There was some blood, but through Delilah’s thick coat it was hard to know the extent of injury. With time, her mobility declined and Cyndie decided to race home a day early to have her seen by our local vet.

Yesterday afternoon, the doc shaved that hip and inspected the area to find three deep puncture wounds. No nerve or organ damage suspected. Treatment is two versions of pain killer –pain being what was limiting Delilah’s mobility– an anti-inflammatory, and an antibiotic.

It’s hard to guess whether the long term outcome will change Delilah’s perspective one way or another. Will she be less prone to behaving with aggression after this humbling interaction or become more distrusting of other dogs?

I’m wondering if she will now associate going to the lake with having been bitten.

For the time being, she looks a little meaner with her punk hair styling. It’s offset a little by her loopy pain-free drug-induced stupor, but that should wear off before the hair all grows back.

.

.

Written by johnwhays

August 8, 2020 at 9:30 am

Similar Theme

leave a comment »

My visit yesterday to the Previous Somethings archive fed an urge to explore my media library from the earliest days of this blog. I found some images from eleven years ago which interestingly correlate with our life in the present.

Back in May of 2009, we were still living in Eden Prairie, MN, on a fraction-of-an-acre corner lot. At that time, we had no inkling we might be selling that house and moving within a few years. Back then, we were…

…building the frames for a raised garden!

This week, while I have been occupied with the day-job, Cyndie has decided to go a little further than the initial terrace we worked on together in the last few weeks. She framed in a few more spots for select plantings she’s decided to add which will need more space.

Another old photo I found was taken up at the lake place in Hayward. The month of May brings out a carpet of trillium in the woods up there that we totally adore.

Last night, Cyndie brought me a picture she took of one that just showed up in our woods at Wintervale.

We have been trying to bring a few trillium back with us from annual visits to the lake in May and have been transplanting them into various locations in our woods. I don’t know if we’ll live long enough to see them flourish and spread like they do at Wildwood, but each time I spot one here brings me great joy.

.

.

Written by johnwhays

May 13, 2020 at 6:00 am

Late Season

with 3 comments

A day away from the calendar start of autumn has us checking out the lake place in transition and it is as glorious as ever this weekend, despite some gray and rainy weather.

We went to dinner last night at the recently reopened restaurant located about a block away from our driveway. The new name is Tavern at White Stag Farm. The atmosphere hints at old European with a delicious menu to match. Fred and Marie treated us in celebration of our anniversary. It was grand!

When we aren’t feasting on luscious meals, we have been competing in mixed teams at the cribbage board game, “CrossCrib®” taking turns claiming bragging rights. This morning will likely bring the challenge for weekend supremacy.

The other excitement has been the close proximity of our resident eagles and their fledglings. They have taken to perching on the pine tree right outside our window.

We have seen the young ones fly, but it appears they may still lack some confidence. They spend a lot of energy being highly vocal on their perch, crying out for something. Research reveals a common training behavior is for the parent eagles to withhold food as an enticement to the fledglings to fly.

That scenario is easy to ascribe to what we have been witnessing.

I can report that the eagles are not bashful about screeching loudly before the sun has broken the horizon.

Maybe they are feeling some urgency to get this flying thing mastered before the fall season ushers in the freezing of the lake where they have been enjoying easy pickings of fish all summer.

Despite the unusually warm temperatures this weekend, there is no denying that the summer of 2019 is behind us now.

Here’s hoping it will soon usher in the bright colors and brisk temperatures of fall.

.

.

Written by johnwhays

September 22, 2019 at 9:22 am

Packing Up

leave a comment »

Even though today is Labor Day holiday in the U.S., our group all headed home from the lake a day early yesterday afternoon. There is plenty to deal with at home for families kicking off the fall season, and driving yesterday served to avoid many of the camping and boat trailers that will be returning today. Traffic was hardly an issue on our route.

This being the end of summer activities at the lake, before leaving, we took the bittersweet step of packing up most of the inflatable water toys.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

We set up a station for cleaning and deflating, and each large floating toy was detached from its anchor and brought into shore. Many hands made for small work and we washed, dried, deflated, and rolled up the big trampolines for winter storage in the garage with impressive efficiency.

While we occupied ourselves with that project, Cyndie took the initiative to scour her family’s small cabin to pull off and bag bedding and remove foods and cleaning supplies.

Before hopping in their car, Julian and Allison deflated their small floaties.

Just like that, in a blink, summer is over once again. It happens every year, but each time seems to come faster and faster.

It also always seems too soon to be seeing trees turning from green to red/yellow/orange, but on our drive yesterday, there were multiple sightings.

I think I spent more time in long sleeves over the weekend than I did in short. I may not pack up my summer attire yet, but I will start bringing out my warmer clothes.

It’s the season of doubly crowded closets and dressers. Too soon to put away all the warm weather clothes, but too chilly to avoid pulling out the fall and winter gear, too.

I’m not complaining, though. It’s a small complication in the otherwise glorious advantage of enjoying the full range of 4-seasons weather we experience.

It develops strength and character, both physically and mentally.

This time of year is actually my favorite, so I am in my glory right now. Happy September everyone! (Does it show that I don’t live in a hurricane zone?)

.

.

Written by johnwhays

September 2, 2019 at 6:00 am

Coolish Fun

with 3 comments

For a weekend at the lake, we are spending more time away from the water than in it. That hot summer sun is not so prominent and the temperature of the lake is a little chilly, inviting us to pursue alternative activities. Cyndie and I started with another exploratory trek through the forest across the road with Delilah.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Julian brought up his Onewheel and provided Steve an introductory lesson on the basics of starting and stopping. No participants were injured in the exercise.

Julian and Allison also brought up custom-made cornhole boards that were a groomsman’s gift from a friend whose wedding Julian was in. With a fire in the firepit and pork chops on the grill, the bag toss game fit nicely as further entertainment up and out of the chilly lake.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Written by johnwhays

September 1, 2019 at 8:45 am

Much Needed

with 2 comments

We made it to the lake for a much-needed respite from the nibbling chaos of late. I admit to a certain penchant for bringing order to my world. When there is always more to do in a day than time allows, I find satisfaction in tending to something on the list to a degree it at least gives the appearance of having been addressed.

The previous few days of the day-job have offered up increasingly more demands than my tiny progress has been able to offset. With Cyndie away all week, attention to the home front has been below expectations. Thank goodness we don’t need to be putting up hay this summer.

Cyndie’s flight home was canceled yesterday, on the excuse that a flight attendant called in sick and they didn’t have enough personnel to staff the flight. Really? They found her an alternative by driving her an hour to San Francisco to barely make an 8:00 a.m. departure toward home. Good thing Cyndie was willing to do a little running to make the boarding gate in time.

That solution involved leaving her checked bag to make its way home without her. The airline said they would deliver her suitcase to our doorstep by the end of the day. Too bad she left her jewelry and medicines in that bag and at the last minute decided to allow it to be checked instead of carrying it on as originally planned, because we made a dash for the lake last night before it arrived, bringing Delilah along for the two-and-a-half-hour drive.

Yeah, it all feels a little chaotic to me in retrospect, given the reference of sights and sounds we are enjoying this morning.

This is what I call respite…

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

It is the perfect tonic for what is ailing me. I intend to immerse myself in the experience to the fullest. 

Aahhhhh. Wake me on Sunday when it is time to head back to the real world.

.

.

.

 

Written by johnwhays

August 9, 2019 at 7:40 am

Like Ships

leave a comment »

It’s funny how it can feel like I’m in a relationship with another vehicle on the drive home from the lake when it travels the same speed and direction as I am going. When they finally went straight through a roundabout that I turned south from, I felt as if I should send them off with some acknowledgment of the road miles we shared.

I arrived home yesterday around 11:00 a.m. and watched Cyndie prepare for a trip of her own. She left for a seminar in California, so I am on my own this week. We are like ships passing in the night lately.

Or, like cars on a drive home from the lake.

When she returns home at the end of the week, the plan is for us to head back up to the lake for the weekend. That will make three weeks in a row that I have been up there. I can’t remember the last time that happened.

It’s a treat, for sure, but it does require that I do the lawn mowing after work in the middle of the week and interferes with ever getting back to the lumberjack projects that linger in our woods unfinished. Small concerns, both of them, compared to the glorious beauty we get to enjoy up in the Hayward area.

I have a sense that a day is going to come when I will be facing long hours of labor with a chainsaw this fall. Too bad the hours of daylight get shorter as summer wanes. But, it’s the summer sunshine that is giving us all the more reason to be up on the water while the going is good.

You could say, the lumberjack projects and my attention to them are a little like ships passing in the night.

.

Written by johnwhays

August 5, 2019 at 6:00 am