“Sunny conditions with a wind chill of -22°”
I read that over a couple of times to make sure I’m seeing it correctly, and there’s no doubt about it: It’s cold! Darn cold!
And though it’s a very comfortable 69 degrees here in my writing room, I can almost feel the numbing cold out there, and the bright sun in the clear blue sky is deceiving.
As such, my morning thoughts race ahead about five months to those delightful and glorious early days of summer, when the sun and the air are just right and we’re settling into our cottage on a lake in southwestern Michigan.
Late May. The feeling of newness and freshness is all around, and the air of wonderful anticipation for the memorable summer to be is everywhere. We re-connect with our “lake friends” once more and catch one another up on the past fall and winter exploits. We all agree that it’s good to be back, in the old familiar cottages, making summer memories all over again!
The first pontoon cruise of the season feels like the first one ever. Plying the waters during those early days is an annual rite that never fails to accentuate the fact that we’re here…free to breathe and forget winter’s chill! We’re all younger and healthier and happier than we’ve been in such a long time.
There are the Friday nights on our screened porch, talking and laughing and enjoying cold beer, where we fall just short of solving all of the world’s problems. But there will always be next time, we all believe.
There are days full of sun, spent on the pier and in the water, and playing kids’ “stuff” in the magical water. Weekends we moan about the out-of-control “weekend warriors” who show up for a couple of days and disturb our pristine and perfect conditions!
Come late Sunday afternoon, though, the noise level diminishes, the lake settles down, and our lives are peaceful once more. Dusk creeps in while we’re not looking, and the lights all around the lake begin to flicker on—one by one—as another summer night arrives.
Sometimes the days are void of sun and blue skies—that’s OK—given over to rain and low-hanging clouds. There is often thunder and lightning—terrifying at times—and we wonder how the ancient structure that is our cottage manages to remain upright.
The tall, old oaks sigh and groan at the wind’s persistence, tearing forcibly out of the southwest, straight across the lake waters.
A rainy day is welcome, after so many idyllic ones in a row. These kinds of days are my “writing times” when I work on my novel or short stories in the perfect spot on the porch, where I’m sheltered from the storm outside. I can look out over the curtain of gray pounding down through the trees and steadily pelting the lake. All is good!
Summer days. I haven’t given them much thought until just now. The frigid state of things outside, and the reality of the little blurb that popped up on my computer screen when I sat down to write, triggered thoughts and memories of so many summers past and the summer ahead.
And if only for a brief time this morning, I’m warmed by the good days that lie in wait five months away–far removed from -22° wind chill!