Saturday, July 25, 2009

Away From it All

Here is where I spent a good deal of the last 3 days. Oh the loveliness and serenity of some places. They are the places where I feel loved and safe and happy and peaceful. This is one. I've only been there a very few times (four, I think) but whenever I go back, it is familiar and cozy and full of happy memories. This is the dock in front of the cottage that belongs to my friend. The cool thing is that it belonged to her family before her, then it didn't, but now it does again. The fact that it is a family place that was lost and then rescued makes it even better (it's such a good story-I want my friend to write a book about it).

This cheery, tiny yellow cottage has a spirit and seems to always say to me, "Welcome! I'm so glad you're back!" I know, I'm a romantic, but it's true. It is rustic and simple and luxurious only in the sense that it is such a treat, such a respite from every day life. There is no mobile phone service at all, very little internet, and only movies on the tv. There is still a rotary phone with a cord and I hope there always will be. Like all the other places that I love, it is not the place itself, it is the connections and relationships that make it someplace special.

Absolutely nothing out of the ordinary happened while I was ensconced in this bit of cottagey coziness. No major problems were solved, no cures for cancer or solutions found f0r the issues in the middle east, no, there was nothing whatsoever of note to anyone but me and my sweet friend. But yet, it was perfect. It was just what I needed. We just did what women have always done to keep strong enough to live our lives-those things that must be done with our friends and mothers and sisters-we talked and talked and talked (our husbands will be so relieved-we should be out of words for a little while at least). We laughed and solved lots of little problems (most of them not our own, but you know how that goes). We took lots of photos and wore pajamas while we watched movies and knitted and talked about kayaking around the lake but never made it out because we were enjoying just sitting and being together. The kayaks were still put to good use, though:

We walked down the lane and made an evening photo safari of it, noticing ordinary things and trying to see them in new ways. My friend has a wonderful photographic eye and it was so fun to see how we looked differently at the same things.

We went shopping at wonderful little local shops with local artist's wares, antiques and special little things. This is The Sea Hag Soaps and Art Mercantile.

I didn't buy a single thing that was a need, but the things I brought home have already started to warm and refresh my little house. The desk and mirror are the new aquisitions, one old and of unknown provenance and purpose, one not so old and carefully made by hand by a man who has no home but makes his life carving wood and living wherever he can for the moment. I love that I bought the one from a lovely old woman named Mary who is hard of hearing but offered to help me carry my desk out to the car, and I love that I bought the other from a charming and friendly woman who has met the artist and knows his story.
So, now I'm back, and for a scant 24 hours or so, so is everyone else. Sara and Sam were on Trek, a reenactment of the Mormon Pioneers crossing the Great Plains on their way to settling the Utah Territory in the mid 19th century. The kids dress in period clothes, give up toothpaste and electronics for 3 days, cook over a fire and pull all their worldly possesions behind them in a handcart. It was a great experience for both of them. I'm so grateful for all the work that went to making it happen. I've been on that end of three of these Treks in the last 12 years, and it is a major undertaking. This time, I was not involved at all, but instead got the joy of welcoming home my tired, happy, sunburned kids and hearing their sighs of pleasure as they took a real shower. They always come home VERY appreciative of all the blessings of a modern life.
That's Sam in the middle, leading the way to the end of the Trek.
That's Sara roughly in the middle in the red bandana and white dress. Around you can see the other family groups. I think about 120 kids went on this adventure.

Tomorrow, Sara goes away one last time before we start to realize that summer will be over in just a few short weeks. I'll drive her to meet a friend in another state and go get her in a week or so. She is happy to be going, but I feel certain she'll be happy to finally be back home after a month of being a veritable nomad.

I came home to Evan being sick, poor kid. I'm hopeful that it just a summer cold, or even strep, because then we can get him on some meds to get him well. It's just not right for a kid to be sick in summer. He's at least a pleasant sickie, with his main demands being the aquisition of the next book in the series he's reading and the occasional back-tickle.

Tonight, Eric and I went on a date to celebrate 23 years of marriage. I really can't believe it has been that long. This is the oldest cliche in the book, but it really does go by so quickly. I'll write a bit more about that tomorrow, the actual day. For now, I'm off to bed to dream of a quiet lake and a yellow cottage, then wake up to a regular, real life that is just a little sweeter because I was there.


  1. Gorgeous pictures. You have a real gift.

  2. Sigh....I want to go there. Great photos and post.Les had a great time on trek as well - such blessings. And, Happy Anniversary!

  3. I have missed you in the blogging world.... since this is the only way that I have been keeping in touch. :-) Your cottage sounds lovely, and it looks like trek was really good for the youth. What a blessing. Miss you and our knitting dates.

  4. WONDERFUL, wonderful. I'm so glad you are all sorts of refreshed. PLUS, those new treasures! I want to see them with my own eyes :)

  5. That place looks so wonderful!
    Happy 23 years! It does go so fast!

  6. Those are gorgeous pictures!! And I love the trek photos...I still have very vivid memories of my trek from about 12 years ago.


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