Captain of my own craft and other late-summer musings…

Resting and waiting for the day to begin--the days of summer winding down!
Resting and waiting for the day to begin–the days of summer winding down!

Up early, the coffee is going, the morning is dawning, and the plan is to uncover the pontoon and start it up for the first time in over two weeks. The weather forecast is calling for warmer temperatures in the 70s—before next week’s string of HOT temperatures near 90!

I suppose I could devote the majority of this post to the weird weather patterns we’ve experienced around here lately, but suffice it to say that I credit the cooler, autumn-like weather these past few days and nights to a Canadian front that seems to have enjoyed hanging around. Would I rather have 90s? No, never! I’ll gladly don the sweatshirt and windbreaker during these lovely days and throw an extra blanket on the bed at night. So today, before the scheduled rain arrives overnight, I am going to be the captain of my own craft…play on the water!

After all, there won’t be too many more days to do so this summer, with our time here rapidly winding down. Although the official closing date is Sunday, September 13, the boat is scheduled to be picked up by the marina guys on the Thursday prior to that (two weeks from yesterday). And, aside from all of the relaxation that comes with plying the waters of this magical lake, there is the need to begin some basic cleaning and emptying of the boat of items that will not be needed any more—extra life jackets, tubing tow line, tools, etc.

Notice those poles sticking up to which the boat is attached? Those are the infamous auger poles that provide so much fun on closing weekend!

And what happens after our boat is gone? Well, that’s when the real “fun” of closing up begins. There are four 7-foot steel auger poles with the mooring lines attached to each that must be taken out. The process seems awfully simple, yet they cannot just be pulled out. Instead, they must be screwed out of the lake bed, something that certainly provides one (me!) a good cardio and upper body workout for the time it takes to get the stubborn things removed. The mooring lines, after they’ve been removed, will hang in the cottage to dry completely over the winter. The poles will be stored under the pier parts that will be stacked on the landing beside the lake down below the cottage.

The dismantling of the pier will take place on Saturday, September 12, and it’s not a bad job at all, thanks to my son and his friend who will come up for the day to provide the critical labor, along with my crucial supervision and advisory position! After that is finished, we’ll spend the rest of the day watching college football and having a few “bracers” on the cottage porch. My small TV and its HD antenna will be accessible, despite the remainder of the cottage being pretty well closed up and ready for the winter.

By this time, the wife will be comfortably home and back to “civilian” life, and I’ll merely have to attend to the typical odds and ends that are a part of closing weekend. I never really look forward to closing the place, mainly, because to do it correctly, I need to get started a couple of weeks in advance. And who wants to get motivated to do that?

Well, that’s exactly what I did yesterday, pulling all of the outside solar lights, removing their batteries, cleaning them, and putting them in the boxes and bags where they’ll be easily located next spring. Not an arduous job, just time consuming. So today’s agenda calls for all things pontoon and time out on the lake.

Now, as I write these closing thoughts (pardon the pun!), the morning sun is lighting up our little corner of the lake, promising that fine day the weather folks have called for. At this glorious time of the year, let this Friday be a good one! See you on the water…

Plinking the MacBook’s keyboard–most of the time!

The view from the cottage porch...The pontoon waits and beckons!
The view from the cottage porch…The pontoon waits and beckons!

This summer, which seems to be rapidly winding down, has been a  productive one for me in terms of getting much-needed work done on my novel. Even though there is much still to figure out in order to bring the story to a satisfactory conclusion, I’m pretty well pleased with my effort in “plinking” the keys of my MacBook on a pretty regular basis. Ideally, though, I would have written a little bit each day instead of going days at a time without ever  writing a thing.  And I occasionally find myself fending off the feelings of guilt when I’m spending time immersed in some book (e.g.-And the Mountains Echoed) instead of working on my own novel.

And, of course, there are myriad other excuses to rationalize not getting quite as much writing done as preferred, such as the amount of company here throughout the summer months, our trip to Canada for a week, and the beautiful sunny weather that calls me out and beckons me to take the pontoon out to “see” the lake! I suppose a truly dedicated and disciplined writer would avoid such traps and follow the rule of “butt in chair and fingers on the keys!”

Realistically, though, that never is going to happen here. That’s why those dreary, rainy, and windswept days around here are so precious–just perfect for getting that writing done! In spite of all of the little things that get in the way of regular writing output, the storyline, characters, conflicts of my novel–tentatively titled The Bet–all seem to be falling into place with each day’s writing effort.

I have a few weeks remaining before we close up the place–only a scattering of guests yet to come and no more travels–so I can move awfully close to having the book in the next revision stage by summer’s end. Of course, there will be more sunny “pontoon days” lurking and beckoning me once more, and that could pose some more problems. So it goes…CortlandWriter

My writing station inside the cottage
My writing station inside the cottage