Air Conditioning, Back-to-School Time & Other Random Thoughts…

The Simple Joys of Air Conditioning…

I was back home in Illinois for the better part of this past week, and the air conditioning nearly spoiled

A Fedders air conditioning unit.
A Fedders air conditioning unit. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

me. Our air conditioning here at the ancient cottages consists of open windows, window fans, and the breezes that mercifully waft our way most days. So, not having been home for several weeks this summer, I was overjoyed to have the house always in a constant state of comfort for the hot and humid conditions lurking outside.

Now, back at the lake in Michigan,I’m writing once again from the cottage porch this morning, and the forecast is calling for warm and humid conditions for the next several days, and I have the cottage “air conditioning” turned up full right now. The windows fans are whirring right along, and I must say, it’s rather pleasant at the moment, and a pontoon cruise and immersion in the lake will hit the spot a bit later this afternoon. Ah, summer!

That time of year…

Driving back home the other day, I passed many schools whose signs welcomed everyone back for a new school year and that Open House or Curriculum Night was scheduled for the very near future. Oh, boy!

Retiring from my teaching career in 2007, I immediately told everyone who cared to listen (or not!) that I would certainly not miss those Open Houses or Curriculum Nights or whatever glowing name they have been given. Early on, they were exciting and fun and positive, but as the years wore on and attitudes shifted in so many ways, those special evenings became tedious and more negative than positive. And the fact that teachers had little say as to how these evenings should be run—dictated to what should be covered, etc.—drove my lack of enthusiasm for such events.

So whenever I pass by a school in these first weeks of a new school year and read that Open House and/or Curriculum Night is fast approaching, I wonder if the teachers inside that building are experiencing feelings of dread or worse: helplessness. Of course, I’m speaking only from my point of view, as I know many teachers whose favorite part of the year were those special nights. For what it’s worth, it’s all necessary, and we teachers always found a way to get through it, for better or worse.

The Writing Life…

It seems as though I’ve done more reading than writing this summer, and I don’t think it’s a bad thing. Of course, I’d love nothing better than to have finished my current draft of my WIP (Sandbar’s Secret), but for one reason or another I have been quite unmotivated and/or uninspired to get myself in front of my MacBook and work on the story. I know it’s there, but I just have come up short when it’s time to get going and pull the laptop out of its case and do it.

So to rationalize my lack of output, I’m using the excuse that I have important books to read for a couple of book clubs I’m in, and I’ll be closing out the cottage and lake season in a matter of weeks, so once I’m back in my home environment, and have my computer always out and atop my desk in my writing room, Sandbar’s Secret will get finished!

There, I’ve said it! Now, whether or not it makes any realistic sense I’m not sure. Everyone experiences that period when words don’t come or the story doesn’t go the way we want it or we lose faith in what it is we’re writing. Yes, I am eager to finish the story, but it just doesn’t seem right to attack it now. Am I lazy or just too into the peace and quiet of life here at the lake? Suggestions, anyone?

Cover of "The Warmth of Other Suns: The E...
Cover via Amazon

All that said, it’s time to give it some more thought and close out this post. Besides, I have to get back to reading a terrific book about the Great Migration in America titled The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson. It’s a huge book, but an enjoyable and easy read.

Have a wonderful week ahead, all…CortlandWriter

19 thoughts on “Air Conditioning, Back-to-School Time & Other Random Thoughts…

    1. Thanks again, Jill. I will take your words to heart. Just back from a few hours on the pontoon listening to Diana Krall, the Beach Boys, and Jimmy Buffett, so all is well in this hemisphere! 🙂

  1. Sounds like you’ve spent summer exactly as it should be spent. I suspect the writing impulse will return when you’re back to a routine schedule. At least that’s what I’m hoping for myself. 😉

  2. Noted in Nashville

    Air conditioning, reading, and the knowledge that you don’t have to attend Open House. Sounds like a well-spent summer! 🙂

  3. It’s always so nice to be able to sit back and forget your own writing while enjoying the words of others. Your words will come, Mark-when the time is right. 🙂 Air conditioning, one of humankind’s best inventions. 😀

  4. When the time is right – the writing muse comes a calling. Right now I’m struggling to pick up the threads of the w.i.p. and get back in stride. Starting and stopping is necessary, though. Good luck with closing up the cottage for the season.

  5. You’re not lazy–you’re normal. I haven’t written anything fiction wise in several days. I go through periods like that. Then last night, I jotted down some ideas. I hadn’t had any for my novel before, so stepping away was probably helpful.

  6. I’d lend you my book “How to Stop Procrastinating,” Mark, but I haven’t gotten around to reading it yet so I don’t know if it’s good or not! Sounds like a lovely way to spend the summer. You took me back to my southern Michigan years where we fell asleep to the rattling attic fan each summer night.

    1. Shel: Would love to read that book! Michigan is a great summer place to be, but I will be heading home to Illinois in a couple of weeks. There, I’m sure to shake off this procrastination business. I’ll let you know how it goes. 🙂

  7. Behind the Story

    Hi Mark. I followed you back here from Jill Weatherholt’s blog. It’s nice to meet you.

    So far most of us who live on the west side of Washington State have been able to get along fine without air conditioning. But this year our weather was warmer than usual. If it keeps going like this, we’ll have to give in and get air conditioning.

    This week my two grandsons–the first grader and the high school senior–started school. My daughter sent me pictures of the six year old lining up to be escorted into his classroom on day one. He looked happy and ready to jump into all school has to offer. The older one is already working on his college applications.

    Love the photo of the lake and your dock and boat. That blue is good enough to eat.

    1. Hello and thank you for visiting my blog. It is very nice to meet you. Washington is another of my “musts” to visit before too many more years roll on by–the next couple of years, I’m hoping. And Back-to-School time is always pretty exciting, whether a first-grader or top dog in high school! I know our two grandsons were ready to get going a couple of weeks ago.The photo of the boat and pier on the lake is a nice reminder of my “lazy days of summer” up here, when I’m working away in my writing room a few months from now, and the snow swirling around outside in sub-zero temperatures! Thanks for coming by. Please do it again. 🙂

  8. I like the way you tell about your life in the slower paced lane, we all need to relax our bodies and brains. Your inspiration may be from the good things, like the boat, nature and music, or it may be from the aggravating parts of life, like the air conditioning not working or the bugs on the breeze… Thanks for your kind comments on my September post, Mark!

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