Tag Archives: geese

Springtime, Fox Lake

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march2016 128It may have been simply my own feelings of sadness, in anticipation of leaving my little dog for a week, but I thought Rosa Parks looked downright depressed on Sunday.

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Though it was chilly, I suggested a walk. Rosa loves the idea of a walk. She leaps from her bed at the suggestion, bounds to the door and leaps into the yard. However, this time of year, her allergies to almost every growing thing are at their worst. Though she’s on daily medicine to suppress the symptoms, as soon as we near the end of the driveway, she starts shaking and scratching her ears. Sometimes she pushes through, though later her red ears and watery eyes inform me that it’s not easy for her. Most spring days, she sits down, and refuses to go on.

When that happened Sunday, we got in the car, instead.  The snow has melted and the roads are in pretty good shape. After this mild winter, we aren’t dealing with two feet of mud or flooding issues this spring. We would go have a look at Fox Lake!

The landscape had changed over the winter. Many birch trees have fallen; undergrowth is higher than I remember it; the second drive in was overgrown with brambles. I twice drove past the drive down to the lake! I, who visit it two or three times a week, in season! When I finally found the drive, I was still in doubt. I didn’t want to pull in and perhaps find myself unable to turn around to get back out. I parked at the mouth of the drive and we walked.

Rosa Parks recognized right away that we were in the right place. These are her old stomping grounds! Her allergies don’t seem to aggravate her near the water. Fresh smells are everywhere. She set off ahead of me, madly wagging her tail.

She checked around the latrines, then sniffed around the stone-bordered campfire site and the picnic table. She examined the shoreline for anything that might have washed up. She peeked under every upturned boat. We followed the noise of ducks and geese, along the trail as far as possible, then through the trees and brush to the hidden, shallow arm of the lake, to see where the birds were swimming. On the way back, Rosa tested the water herself. It was a good day.

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Out and About

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My sister Brenda and her husband Keith have a lovely, comfortable house. They live on a little lake and enjoy stunning views year ’round. Last summer we watched an eagle, perched on top of a pole with wings half spread, as he watched over the water. This time of year, we see geese gathering on the lake. Deer wander though the yard almost every day. Beautiful!

The photo I snapped, from the warmth and safety of the kitchen, is not a good illustration of any of that. It does, however, show the amount of snowfall we got, in one day. Lots!

Lots of snow on the roads, turning to dirty slush  as cars made their way through it.

Lots of snow in the driveway, as Keith rightly figured he’d might as well wait until the road was cleared, before he cleared the drive.

Lots of heavy snow on the van I drove, parked in the turn-around space where it had been sitting since I’d arrived Friday evening.

Most days I’d be content to just stay inside, pour another cup of coffee, read a book, chat with my sister.

Yesterday, I had different plans.

My daughter, Kate, has recently moved back to Michigan, from South Carolina. She and her husband bought a house (with some land, a garage, a beautiful stone-bordered pond, a red barn, mature trees, fenced garden, perennial beds…)and have been working intensely on it. Old wiring had to be upgraded; some walls had to be removed; floors and fixtures needed to be replaced. They worked at it while staying elsewhere until it was at a stage where they could move in. They still have plenty to do, but are getting settled, and are happy to be home.

Kate and Jeremy are both artists in a wide range of media. Both have good, creative ideas for home improvements; both are hard-working and capable enough to implement their plans themselves. I was anxious to see what they’d accomplished.

Beaver Island is pretty remote, expensive to travel to and from. Even when my daughters are both in Michigan, I’m fortunate if I see them two or three times a year. When Kate and her family were in South Carolina, it was even harder to get together. I hadn’t seen them since last summer, and wasn’t going to let an opportunity go by – to catch up with the adults, to hug my grandchildren – now that they are so much closer.

The first thing I did was to dig out the van. I started with a long-handled shop broom, finished with ice scrapers and windshield wipers.

Though I over-packed, not knowing what I’d want for various holidays and activities, I under-packed when it came to the weather. No rain gear. No winter coat. No boots. In November! What was I thinking?

I managed it though, and got out on the road.

Next, I took a short drive, to see if the roads were slippery, and if they were being cleared.

Then, when a drive seemed possible, I contacted Kate, to make sure she’d be home and to get directions.

I was on my way!

It was a pretty drive, north on M24 toward Caro, then east on Clifford Road. I had forgotten how beautiful that area of lower Michigan is, with rolling hills and farm fields bordered by evergreens. The roads were clear the whole way. Kate’s directions were perfect, and I found them with no problems.

I could write pages about how wonderful it was to see them all. They  welcomed me warmly. Kate and Jeremy generously shared their art and handiwork, the processes and inspiration.  Madeline and Tommy continue to amaze me with their kindness and humor.

I could devote several more pages to the beautiful views outside their home, and all of the inspiring, creative ideas they’ve employed inside.

I will, maybe, another day. Today, I’m happy simply to report that I did get out, in this wintry weather, for a wonderful visit with my daughter and her family.