And the road goes on forever...

Friday, September 22, 2023

The Island


Across from us almost directly on the far side of the lake is a small island. It’s an interesting place with an interesting history, of which I need to research more of. But the reason I mention it this day, is in sitting outside on my wonderful property perch, I watch its pontoon boat go slowly back and forth to its east side boat house, like a ferry off the San Juan Islands. It hauls the owners, their friends and families to the island for their allotted weekend vacation time. I met one of the owners last year and he says they bought it during the height of the Great Recession when the previous owner just wanted out so gave them, kit and caboodle, the entire island, home, and all its contents for a song. 

The story has it that the house dates from the later 1800s and was built by one of the local lumber barons. At one time it was full of gorgeous wood walls but not so much anymore. There is an electrical cable underwater which comes from the resort to the west (five cabins) and a telephone line to the east which comes from a neighboring house there. The boat house on the eastern side of the lake, which also houses the small runabout motorboat, is on a separate little segment of land with a driveway which allows them to park as many cars as they need. They are attorneys and live somewhere near to the Mississippi, St. Croix I think he said. 

I’ve often wondered if there is a septic as I think I’ve spotted an outhouse (legal in this county) at the far end of the island, or a well—or if they just pump water from the lake. Maybe if I can find a history of the house I will know more. We conjecture that it might have been built in the winter when they could walk across the ice rather than in summer, when it would have had to have every piece barged across. Locals say there was a terrible wind sheer storm in 1977 which practically knocked down every tree on the island; the house stood and now the island is thick with growth which conceals the house almost entirely.

Fall is rapidly approaching this year after our warm, dry summer. We’re entering countdown season to leaving, yet, as always, I don’t want to go. My heart is here; I want to live here all the time, yet it is totally impractical for several reasons. Meanwhile, I’ll revel in the seasonal changes and am thankful for this that I own for a moment in history’s time; just like that lumber baron of yore must have done as he sat on his island looking out at the lake. All of life is illusionary, for all is transitory.

Sunday, September 10, 2023

The No-Good Prize


There’s a local lakeside restaurant in town which features several events during the year and one we attended last year, the Treasure Hunt, over Labor Day holiday, was so much fun we decided we wanted to do it again this year. To add to the fun, my best friend from college years and all these years for that matter, came out to visit for six days so was able to join us. 

The closest airport is about two hours away so Marc returned with Paulette in the evening hours after her 4 o’clock arrival. After dinner, we were able to gather outside under the rope lights, start the fire in the new fire pit and enjoy another glass of wine as we caught up. It was a magical evening and I was well pleased with the area I had made, with the lake disappearing in the background darkness.

We had quite a few plans which were unfortunately foiled by much higher-than-normal temps for this time of year but the weather for the Treasure Hunt was perfect. There was a total of 14 boats competing, with the idea being that spread across the chain of three lakes, there are hidden eight booties of treasure gems hung on a board with a boat number. You are to find the treasures (in bars, on islands, on private docks), take them from the board and at the end turn yours in. Last year we only managed to find three, but this year with the help of eagle-eyed Paulette, we ended up with seven out of the eight, a great haul! Part of the fun is also dressing participants and your boat in costume, which we haven’t done, but the best prizes are for the costumes. Finding the gems earns you a draw from the bags with no good prizes—in our case, a squeaky dog toy which we’ll proudly hang on our pontoon somewhere.

It was Marc & I’s anniversary and the next day Paulette’s birthday, so we enjoyed good food and the camaraderie of having known each other for so many years. I gifted Paulette with the last one of my mother’s quilts and it brought tears to her eyes. Mom would love knowing Paulette has it. Paulette’s visit drew to a close; I dropped her back at the airport and then went on home to attend to the laundry, yard chores and mowing. It was a relief even after a couple of days to return to the woods, the peace and quiet and my spot of heaven.