It’s Good To Be With Family


One Is Not Like The Others - Mergansers And Seagull

One Is Not Like The Others – Mergansers And Seagull

Jay and Carl arrived here safely. They traveled from upstate New York, through Canada. While in Canada they were incommunicado, mainly because Jay shut off her phone. Normally, this is no problem, but they missed their most optimistic ETA. Then the worrying began. Before they did signal that they were going through customs, the entire beach had been alerted and the Mounties had been called out. All ended well and we met them for lunch at Penny’s Kitchen. Today’s other big story was the Merganser chicks. I first saw them this morning, when I was walking the beach, while I was still getting my steps in. I didn’t have my camera then, so I turned around and headed back for it. When I got back to them, they posed beautifully for me. I counted at least an even dozen babies; well actually, they look more like teenagers now. I chose this tight grouping as the best shot. Later, in the afternoon, I was swimming and who should come cruising by, but mama merganser and her twelve very large chicks. I tried swimming out to them, but they easily swam around me. Soon I decided that discretion was the better part of valor and turned around for shore.

Sand Spider


Sand Spider

Sand Spider

There are all sorts of denizens of the beach, some with eight legs and some with only two, all of them walking, unshod, across the sand. For this little sand spider or maybe not so little, depending on how you feel about spiders, every day is a beach day. The beach is its native habitat. It blends right in so well that it makes you wonder if this species has genetically selected its camouflage for this particular beach’s color of sand. There was a brisk wind today that kicked up lots of waves. These waves covered most of the beach, leaving me to wonder about the fate of the above pictured spider, which we had seen and photographed earlier in the day. If it was smart, it would have headed inland, to higher ground and avoided the ignoble fate of being swept away. I figure that a spider that has adapted its coloration so well to its local environs would be equally adept at avoiding the effects of a big blow.

I’m the Youngest Now!


Fish for Dinner?

Fish for Dinner?

The kids all left today, which now leaves me as the youngest still here on the beach, at least on our little cul-de-sac, ole Curmudgeon Court. I’ll only retain this title for a little while, until tomorrow, when the next wave of sand people arrives. Then I’ll be back in the middle of the pack, neither oldest nor youngest. Curmudgeon Court first got its name, when the county decided to name the private road, then informally known as the Green Tunnel Road, so named because this one-lane dirt road was perpetually shrouded from the sun by the green leaves of summer. With the road now officially named, we youngsters decided that we also had to name our little turnoff. More commonly referred to as the Parking Lot, we chose Curmudgeon Court as a dig towards the then older residents. I think now that what we had then wrought has come home to roost. We now are the OBs of the beach. OB being another derisive acronym for our elders, standing for Old Bat, Old Bitty or Old [substitute the appropriate B-beginning swear word]. Now, we former youngsters are all eligible for AARP, Social Security and in only a few years, Medicare. If we can’t admit to ourselves that now we are the OBs of the beach, then we are only fooling ourselves. Take heart though my compadres, even though we are no longer young, we are still cooler than our elders were at our present age, because we still have rock-and-roll and they didn’t. I know that this argument is thin, but you just have to keep on believing…

What Is A Weekend?


Down-bound Freighter at Sunset

Down-bound Freighter at Sunset

In the first season of Downton Abby, Dame Maggie Smith famously asks, “What is a weekend?” Believe me dear folks, I haven’t slipped so far, so fast that that is a question I would really ask, but last weekend, when Jane was up here, it became a meme in response to my assertion that every day is Saturday that was last Saturday and guess what, today is really Saturday again. It was another beautiful day here on the shores of Gitche Gumee (from Longfellow’s epic poem Hiawatha). Unlike yesterday’s early rise, for some reason today I overslept and then rushed to town to do the shopping, i.e. Walmart. There is not much else up here. Every time I leave that place, I leave it with a sense of dread that Trump may win in November. It epitomizes his arguments against trade and I can see the demographic that he most appeals to shopping there. The irony of it all is not lost on me and I hope not them either. I can see their pain, even as the people of Walmart push their ever filling shopping carts up and down Walmart’s aisles. I’m reminded by their toils of the punishment of Sisyphus, condemned to push a rock uphill, in this case up each aisle, for eternity and all to no avail. Alright Mark, enough of all of this negativity, my two sons sit before me, I’m in the bosom of my family. I guess that I feel grateful for this life that I’ve been dealt and guilt too. Such is the source of my melancholy, too much good life. Well, life’s a beach and I’m headed down to mine now.

The Raven or Cabin Living


Mayfly on the Window Screen

Mayfly on the Window Screen

Once upon a morning dreary, while I slumbered, weak and weary, enjoying a many quaint and curious dream from long forgotten yore— While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping, as of someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door. “’Tis a woodpecker,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door— only this and nothing more.” Back in my chamber tossing and turning, all my soul within me burning, soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before. “Surely,” said I, “surely that is something at my door; let me see then, what it is, and this mystery soon explore— ‘Tis the wind I’m sure and nothing more!” Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer, “Sir,” said I, “truly your forgiveness I implore, but the fact is I was napping, when you first came rapping, and then so steadily tapping, tapping at my chamber door that I was sure I heard you”—here I opened wide the door and there stood Harry at 7:30 and I hope, never more.

On Golden Pond


On Golden Pond

On Golden Pond

An evening swim, a late night followed by an even later morning, all this then followed by a late morning rain shower, these are a few of the things that have accompanied cabin living today. Sirens went off during the storm, but I don’t know why. After lunch, it became a beach day, Anne and I walked the length of the beach together and then went for a dip. We went out to dinner at the Cozy Inn. Liz and Dave arrived today, lowering the median age to mine. Not a bad day overall. In case you were wondering the water is warm.

Spotted Sandpiper


Spotted Sandpiper Down Past Pan and Jeep's

Spotted Sandpiper Down Past Pan and Jeep’s

Laundry – Sorting life’s problems one load at a time 

Today was a chores day: trash, not much of that; recycling, laundry, quotes courtesy of Up North Laundry, dusting and sweeping, all followed by a few delightful hours on the beach, best beach day so far this year, warm enough that you had to go swimming multiple times, you just had to. The wind kicked up in the afternoon, sometimes a little too strong, like when it blew sand into my beer can, I know, a first world problem. Anne and her parents arrived and we helped them settle in. I fixed dinner. It’s good to have more company. Anne and I enjoyed a bug free sunset on the beach. More family expected tomorrow. The gathering has begun. Let the games begin!

Lost Socks – Seeking sole mates