Holy Hotcakes

So it has been hot. We have ourselves a heat wave. Records are falling, power is failing and people are slumping. I spent the morning painting the porch. My wife had said she did not want to me to do that, but when the weather is good for painting outside, I’m on it. I primed the porch and walls nearby two days ago. That took about ten hours. Today I was less ambitious. I only painted for four and a half hours. The thing is, it helped with the heat. It was 77 degrees when I started and the thermometer rose the whole time, but gradually. I was in the shade so when I was ready to knock off it felt hot, but no hotter than when I started. I am glad I quit then, however.

I saw 95 degrees as the high temperature here. That is hot enough. The children spent several hours swimming in a pool and I joined them after lunch. That felt good. I could handle living on a lake, no joke. A pool is nice, but a lake is the way to go. No chemicals and more water.

Yesterday the temperature was over 90 as well, but I missed most of that. I spent the day at the office–the air conditioned office. That felt good. People used to just deal with this kind of heat. Granted, it didn’t typically last so long (we will have temperatures in the 80’s until Saturday, then one day of high 70’s, then back to 80’s and hotter again) but they dealt. People used to escape to Vermont to escape the heat of the city, however. Bad strategy these days.

Tomorrow I will paint again. A high of 95 is forecast. I will need to get started early and crank. No dilly dallying. Too bad I need to replace my brushes, which means a trip to the hardware store before I can start. But so be it. It will be hot, but I need to get this painting done. If I wait until it cools down, we will get rain. I would rather choose to do it in the heat than not have a choice to paint at all. And once I clean up, I will go swimming. Maybe even in a lake.

Slow Camera

For the most part our little camera does the trick.  It is several years old, however, and I would love to update.  Mostly, the shutter delay drives me crazy.  It is really difficult to get some types of shots, even with the various settings the camera offers.  Today, I was with my kids swimming.  I thought I would get some pics of them jumping into the pool.  But I either got this:

Dohp! Too early!

Dohp! Too early!

Or this:

Daah! Too late!

Daah! Too late!

It was kind of a bummer.  My birthday is coming up (although I guess, really, one’s birthday is always coming up) so maybe it’s time to treat myself to a new camera.

On the Lake for a Week

Leaving the Island, Heading Home, Looking Back

Leaving the Island, Heading Home, Looking Back

When I was in high school I read an essay called Return to the Lake.  I remember that it was a good read, although I couldn’t tell you who wrote it, and I remember that I, along with some other folks, visited Lake Winnepesaukee soon after reading it.  The essay was essentially about visiting, as an adult, a lake that had had meaning when the writer was younger.  I returned to my own lake this past week.

We all went, this nuclear family of mine.  We swam and swam and ate and swam some more.  My children love the place, that place being Three Mile Island Camp.  It is an Appalachian Mountain Club camp where I worked twenty years ago.  I loved it then.  It had a huge impact on my life.  It still is pretty good.

We stayed in a couple of tiny adjacent rustic cabins right on the lake.  I got up every morning, looked out at the still water for ten minutes or so, laid my glasses on the dock, and slipped into the water.  I felt cool and calm.  Some mornings I swam with loons.  One morning I swam in the rain.  Then I climbed back to the small porch and waited for my wife and my children to waken.

We had little to do all day.  Meals are prepared by the staff and they do the clean-up.  The cabins have no electricity, although the main house where family style meals are served does.  We played and swam and rested and spent time with friends.  We ate at the appropriate times.  When it rained we hung out on the porch and drank tea and chatted while the children played games inside.  Life is pretty good like that.

Home today we cranked out laundry and mowed the lawn and picked the abundant vegetables from out garden.  Check this out:

A Few Veggies Ripe After a Week

A Few Veggies Ripe After a Week

We ate salad and corn on the cob (local but not ours) and blueberries (we even had some of those ripe!) and veggy burgers for dinner.  We looked out over the field and decided it is as good as looking out over a lake.  It was hot.  If we were still on the lake we would have just jumped in the drink to cool off.

The air has cooled now.  The children are off to bed early.  I am happy to be home.  I could have stayed longer but, like Christmas, experiencing it only once every year increases its appeal and its value.  If we lived there year round we couldn’t have this amazing garden.  We will return next year to swim and to play and to rest.  We have some of that to do around here in the remaining days of summer.  And a little work to do as well.

Once we get enough work done, we can return to the lake once again.  And we will love being there all over again.