Monday, September 30, 2013

Out at the (different, smaller, still beautiful) Lake

Getting close to coming home time
A friend asked me if I'd like to spend a couple of days at her family lake house and after an internal battle of five seconds, I said yes. It was only two hours from where I am and we'd transform once again from much in the way of manmade to much in the way of Nature's doing. Yes was a good choice.

We stopped at a store called Horrock's to pick up a few things before we tucked ourselves in for the weekend. I could have wandered in there three times as long; everywhere was full of everything, and a lot of it they produce themselves. Shelves of jams and salsas and pickled veggies, open containers of chili's and teas, bins of fresh veggies, a wine and beer bar, a cold room the size of Genesis with eggs and meats and cheeses. My eyes were stunned and my head was spinning when I finally allowed myself to stagger away.

See the cactus?

If only I could have taken this on the plane without checking a bag...
Turning down the long driveway, the first thing we saw was this flock of wild turkeys. Their gackling gobbles were the backdrop sound all weekend.

This bee/beetle was on a post. First I thought it was dead, but it was sluggishly moving along, just not much. Lucky for me!

The water was almost mirror still. Trees are changing color fast now as well. Beauty.

The angels were playing in the sky at sunset

With food and wine and a beautiful place where peace and quiet gently ruled, there was no place to go and nothing to do except be here now. So we did.

Morning was breaking. It was after 7 here but felt much earlier.

Sun tipped trees

Poor dear deer

A walk down the lane led us to a neighbors garden. The neighbor showed up and invited us to help ourselves to some tomatoes. They were good!

In summer, the lake is busy with jet skis and boats, fishing and swimming, but now, the season of outdoor warmth ending, it was still and quiet. Later on in the day a few boats were out, a couple of men fishing and one motorboat with waterskiers. There is a rule on this lake that there can be no motorized noise before 9:00 in the morning or after 7:30 in the evening. Perfect.

Mackey beside the firepit

Okay, I lied. We did leave once on a 'will I run out of cigarettes, maybe we'd better go to the store' run. I'm glad we did. Except for the fact that we were still in our almost look like regular clothes pajamas. I ventured out alone and figure if there is gossip, she can use the crazy woman from an island excuse.

I've never, ever seen a barn with dormers before. Ever.
 The store was like an invention of a country general store. I asked if I could take photos and was told "Yes, just not with me in them." Thank you!

One counter I didn't get was a display of cookies. Lots and LOTS of cookies. They bake them themselves, of course.

Apparently it was a celebratory weekend of some kind. I was first drawn over by the girl braiding a horse's tail - "I've never done it before," she said.

This Michigan cowboy was friendly and so were his dogs.
Some mules

The goat was pointed out (from a lot farther away than it looks, that's my excuse). I love goats. I took a photo of the goat. Not until I looked at the photo enlarged did I realize this goat is a relative of the deer above. But weirder. Or maybe it's a cow.

These are real cows. They were staring mightily at us, except for Baby, who only had one mission in mind.

Another mellow end of day
While eating dinner, inside this time, we heard a popping sound. Randomly, fireworks were being shot into the sky, double pleasure with the reflection.

One photo I'd like to have gotten but didn't, over a four lane highway and ready to get back home instead of turning around, was a farm with white/albino deer. Even in the rainy misty day, their whiteness was blinding. Maybe one day.

We did turn around for these sandhill cranes and geese. They barely shifted when the vehicle pulled in, didn't budge as I snapped away. But once we hit reverse? They flew. Beautifully. Away.
It would be easy to write about her lake house for a long time. Filled with art, both her own and her children, grandchildren and great granddaughter, it wasn't hard to feel there have been years of family fun here, the presence of comfort and laughter hung in the air, a palpable awareness. But that's all I'm going to write about that. At least here and and at least now.

Have a make magic Monday. Do something majestically mellow.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Friday, September 27, 2013

Free Range Friday ~ Life is Beautiful, Say It Out Loud

If the city of Detroit has shown me anything, it is that despite the clumsy wheels politicians and corporations spin, despite the consequences that are, this minute, being reaped - "Freeze on pensions" "Judge rejects request to delay bankruptcy" - there is also this strong fighting spirit, with other headlines - "$500,000 to revive music, arts, sports at DPS (Detroit Public Schools)" "3M in aid intended to make city safer, clean up blight". In other words, I'm not hearing the cry of "Uncle!".

Sure, there are those who have left, out of need, desperation or disgust or just plain old better pastures, but there are plenty staying. Right now, this city is the focus of a lot of high beam searchlights looking for what happens next to a major urban center before, during and after bankruptcy, the bottom of a long slide down due to so many factors, obvious and obscure, that untangling the mess will be neither fast nor simple.

No, I haven't a clue what this means but I like the line 'the city sweet city like broken reason'

We walked wide avenues almost empty of people in the middle of the day, streets that should have been thriving with life. It was a very strange feeling and I kept expecting doors to open and people to flood out, on their way to meetings or lunches or scoring a fix. Instead, we met Linda. No, not that Linda.

While looking for a parking spot, we'd heard jazz coming from this little park. Karen said she saw the people playing and we both wanted to go back and see what was happening. By the time we got there, the musicians were gone, but there were groups of people playing cards and willing to talk with us about the musicians. We got swooped up by Linda instead. "I want to talk to you girls, a minute, you want to take my picture?" She was close to literally dragging us away, the eyes of everyone there on us, they knew Linda. So did we. "I just need some lunch, could you help me out with that? There's a soul food place, I can get lunch there, but I don't want these people to see me getting money from you. I have a daughter down here too, she needs to eat."

I was laughing, she was GOOD! I didn't have any singles but Karen spared a few. Not quite enough for Linda who figured she only needed two more to get lunch. Oops. Then she asked again if we wanted a picture. Hell yes I did! She posed here on the wall and we all bid each other good bye. I really, really wanted to go back and talk to the other guys about the music, but her intensity pretty much put the kabosh on that plan. As we walked away, a postman asked Linda how she was doing. Not in a passing sort of way; he stopped and listened to her answer, really listened, even though I have no doubt he knew exactly what he would hear. I bet he knows her daughter too. It was beautiful.

"all i ever needed"
One of the things I found interesting in the graffiti that was everywhere was that there really wasn't much of anything crude in any of it. I'm sure there is some, but it wasn't obvious to me.

This was WAY up high on the Wurlitzer building, which has a mermaid motif as well...see the waves?
What? No food part for free range Friday? Of course there is a food part, just part though.

This was a stealth photo of the people next to us.
This (I'm guessing) father and son were eating the most Greek of Greek lunches. Their table was covered with appetizers - olives, bread toasted and seasoned, caviar spread, smoked fish and soup. The vodka bottle contains the house olive oil, that was drizzled over most everything. They were tolerant of our (ok, my out loud) curiousity but not enough for me to ask if I could take a photo. The two women in back who came in loudly ordered something that got flambeed a few feet from us. From the menu, I'm guessing it was the flaming cheese. We were happy with what we got (gyros, can't get 'em at home) but I could go back there pretty easily. It's been there a long time and I think it will be there when and if I return. Greektown, I want more of you.

Have a feed your focus Friday. Do something festive.