Relative Something

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

Posts Tagged ‘lake place

Lake Hangover

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When the day-job is extremely Monday-ish, the struggle to get my mind back into work mode after a weekend at the lake with Cyndie’s family is doubly difficult. The dramatic difference of the sterile, air-conditioned atmosphere compared to the lush, warmth of the beach and woods was shock enough without the added stress of multiple challenging complications on the first day of the week.

I’m sure there is a balance between not caring at all and being overly concerned about keeping all parties happy. That’s an act that I have yet to master, swaying far past the center balance in my predilection to avoid the extreme of not caring.

Arriving home to a dog and cat who are both over the moon to see me again goes a long way toward purging any lingering angst from the work day.

With the respectable amount of heat and humidity lingering over our region, I was disinclined to jump right into a chore when I got home. Pausing to decompress in the recliner predictably led to an involuntary nap after I was done giving the cat all the scratches her stretched out body wanted.

Word from Cyndie and Jackie is that the chickens were given access to the wide open free range yesterday and they quickly made tracks for the composting manure piles to kick around and peck for bugs. That’s what they were hired to do, so I’m pleased as punch, even if it means I need to extend extra energy more often to reshape the resulting mess.

All ten were present for bed check last night, thank goodness.

Shortly after that, I was headed for my own bed, falling asleep to memory images lingering still from the glorious weekend at the lake.

Here’s hoping Tuesday at the day-job will be as soothing as floating in the water under the warm sunshine was over the weekend.

Well, a guy can dream, can’t he?

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Written by johnwhays

August 14, 2018 at 6:00 am

Latest Word

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I have a habit of getting stuck on a pattern of frequent reuse of a particular word. The latest word that I’ve noticed –usually it happens without my being aware– is “gorgeous.” In terms of a hot August day at the lake, the word is well suited to describe yesterday.

After a lazy soak in the lake, Cyndie and I lost ourselves in an over-fascination with picking rocks that grabbed our fancy.

“I like this one.”

“Oooh, look at this!”

“Here’s one for you.”

In the water, they look so shiny and bright. Cyndie brings up a pile of them to keep, all of which tend to turn into much less spectacular stones after they’ve dried.

I like shapes and textures. Tear drop and smooth.

Both of our eyes are drawn to the ones with lines of different color layers.

I noticed an urge to break some open to get another view of the layers. That thought brought back a memory of hammering different colored stones to dust with my siblings to make layered sand art jars.

I remember thinking those always turned out gorgeous.

And for the record, this August weather totally rocks!

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Written by johnwhays

August 12, 2018 at 8:33 am

Partly Smoky

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Cyndie and I drove up to the lake last night. It was a long day in a car for her, because she started the day yesterday up at the lake. She had gone up on Wednesday with Melissa and daughters, in an original plan to have me drive up to join them Thursday night, but that changed when a memorial for Charlie Weller was announced for Friday.

Charlie was the husband of Cyndie’s close high school friend, LuAnn (Miller). The revised plan had Cyndie riding home with Melissa and the girls yesterday afternoon, taking a moment to freshen up from beachwear to something more appropriate, driving us through afternoon traffic to Eden Prairie from our house, and then heading back to the lake from there, after paying our respects.

LuAnn and Charlie were dating in high school, not long after Cyndie and I had begun our relationship, so my memories of Charlie are wrapped in fragments of events that I haven’t thought about in decades. Even driving on roads in Eden Prairie, now approaching only six years distant from when I drove them almost every day, was feeling a little fractured.

I had to ask if we turned right or left at the intersection by the House of Kai restaurant to get to the funeral home.

In our haste to pull off this plan, we left out one pertinent aspect of determining the optimal route back to northwestern Wisconsin. I was tempted to try the old way we always drove when our kids were little and we regularly made the trip on back roads, but construction and traffic made the city portion an unwanted annoyance.

We paused for dinner at Jake’s to give traffic more time to thin out.

In the end, we chose to skirt the metro area on 494 and head up toward Stillwater to cross into Wisconsin on the new bridge. The resulting country roads we picked provided a rich reward of light traffic, gorgeous rolling hills and spectacular scenery.

We chuckled over the MPR radio weather forecast of “partly smoky” from the many fires burning out west, but when changing stations to our old favorite WOJB as we got far enough north, we heard the same phrase used again. Maybe it is an actual authorized weather service term.

It sure made an impact on the setting sun. It was looking dusky a lot earlier than the actual time of sunset. I held up my phone through the open top of Cyndie’s convertible at 7:52 p.m. and experimented with capturing it at 60 miles an hour.

Then I tried zooming in. It looked like a cartoon drawing of the sun.

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The optics of my iPhone seem to have added special effects without my input. Yes, that’s the sun glowing through the smoky sky.

Between the funky looking sun, my grasping at recollections of interactions with LuAnn and Charlie back in the 1970s, and finally, unexpectedly stumbling upon a portion of our old back roads route, but from a different point, my mind was feeling partly smoky.

“We’ve been here before…”

Yes, we have.

And now we are up at the lake again this weekend.

Ahhhhh. I remember this.

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Written by johnwhays

August 11, 2018 at 8:44 am

Machine Ghost

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I don’t know what it is about this place, but my laptop is showing mysterious behaviors when I try using it up at the lake.

It doesn’t make sense to me that it is related to the internet connection, because the symptoms appear so hardware related. It’s as if the touchpad is getting repeated input, despite not being touched.

Maybe it is picking up electrical interference from something here, but I don’t know what that might be. It’s happened in different rooms. Once it starts, relocating doesn’t seem to help. Shutting down and then rebooting sometimes works for a short while, but not dependably.

The phone hasn’t been affected, so I am finger-poking the screen to create this post.

We sat around the fire till late last night and saw stars in the sky, but this morning dawns with a foggy overcast. I need to knock sand off my bike and pack it in the car for the trip home early today, hoping I can get there with time left for the weekend chores I skipped out on with this unexpected getaway.

The many laughs have been well worth the modifications to my routine.

I’m looking forward to getting the laptop back home to see if normalcy returns like it did last time it showed this spooky behavior up here. What are the odds the ghost will travel all that way just to haunt one specific machine?

Don’t bother answering that. It was mostly wishful thinking on my part.

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Written by johnwhays

August 5, 2018 at 7:29 am

Photo Review

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There were so many highlights of our weekend at the lake over the last three days that I am simply going to fill today’s post with some of the images depicting different moments from our adventures.

We were out visiting artistic retail shops in quaint Cable, WI, on Friday and decided to make the short drive further on to see the abandoned resort, Telemark Lodge.

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Peeking in the windows, we noticed head-height smudges on the glass that showed we weren’t the first ones to do this exploring.The facility had been through multiple bankruptcies and left abandoned for years. It looked like someone chained the doors and just walked away, leaving everything as it was.

It was intriguing to see the level of incidental decay of portions of the roof and fascia, the hazardous looking green of residual water in the pool, and the weeds growing through every crack in the concrete walkways.

We got out onto the lake, where the view back toward the empty beach looked like a resort with beach chairs prepared for the day ahead. A walk down the driveway provided a chance to glimpse the juvenile bald eagles perching on branches beyond their nest.

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Flight can’t be far off for these two.

On Saturday afternoon, we got out on the lake for a short happy-hour cruise.

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It was a fine weekend for boating. Back on land at dinner time, the Wilkuses provided pork chops for the grilling.

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Feasting is a regular opportunity with Cyndie’s family. Barb and Mike fit right in.

After dinner we gathered with company around the fire to enjoy the sounds of a wedding reception a few properties down the shoreline from us.

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Unfortunately, the sound didn’t travel our direction, and we barely heard a note.

Not to worry. We put on our own music and lingered long around the mesmerizing visual of burning wood.

It was a picture-postcard perfect summer weekend at the lake with friends and family that I’m hoping will linger in my mind for many days, despite returning to the responsibilities of day-job and home chores.

Home life is what makes going to the lake that much more special!

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Written by johnwhays

July 23, 2018 at 6:00 am

Relishing Serendipity

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Maybe it was related to our pending departure to the lake with our precious friends, Barb and Mike, that had me feeling particularly giddy, but when additional serendipity iced my cake, I was moved to relish it to the fullest.

Several times this week, we were striving to match schedules with the auto body shop to apply some last touches to conclude, once and for all, the repairs related to my deer incident. It took three more tries than it should have, but yesterday they completed the task and I was on my way to pick it up.

On the drive, I received a call from the hardware store surprising me with news that our trimmer repair was already completed. I would be able to pick it up on my way back home, saving an extra trip.

That eliminated the immediate concern over deciding whether to buy a second trimmer, or not. Another occasion to add to my history of delaying decisions long enough that an answer ends up materializing all on its own.

Now, if all has gone according to plan, this morning we are up at the lake for the weekend again. After the last two visits, when the internet connection was unusually dubious, I have chosen to fall back on my old vacation mode of scheduling a few “Relative Something” posts in advance.

My car is done, the trimmer is repaired, the hay-field is getting cut, and we are off with friends for the weekend.

I am relishing the blessings and last evening’s serendipity to the fullest.

Here’s to practicing the art of soaking up the joys available in the everyday.

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Written by johnwhays

July 20, 2018 at 6:00 am

Frail Connection

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I had hoped to share a collection of images I captured yesterday in a stroll around the lake property, but our location on the fringes of robust signals are hampering my upload abilities.

The one image that made it through the static speaks to the serenity of scenes we get to enjoy here, but it belies the chaos that played out in an afternoon of community games marking the annual Independence Day (adjusted for the nearest possible weekend) celebration.

I tried a good dose of patience, but doing the same thing over and over with no change in result has only brought me to the start of this morning’s World Cup game between Spain and Russia, so the tales of yesterday’s adventures will have to wait until we get back to the ranch.

I’ve got a beautiful game commanding my attention…

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Written by johnwhays

July 1, 2018 at 9:13 am