A pause in the action…

100_1844.jpgThe pier putting-in of which I wrote about in my last post went very well, even though we soon discovered one of the support pieces had been broken–somehow–during the off season.

Good fortune, though, as I have had an extra one stored under the cottage for the past few years, and with some adjusting and finagling, we made it an almost perfect fit–even better than–the one that had broken.

The weather was ideal, thank you, and we completed the job in just a little under two hours, even with the slight hitch in the process.

Now, I’m busier than ever getting all things ready for the early morning drive back up there this Friday with two loaded cars to “officially” open the cottage. As such, my blogging time and keeping up with my good friends out there is pretty much shot for the next several days.

Once opened and settled in up there by early next week (Memorial Day), I’ll jump back in here and resume my regular posting. And that goes for my weekend feature of One Good Thing as well. Stick with me, folks, I’ll be back.

In the meantime, I wish everyone well during my little respite and look forward to getting this all going again with much to tell you from our little cottage by the lake. Smiles… 🙂

Ready to hit the water for another summer.



The Walrus is right…

“The time has come,” the Walrus said…”

Yep. Just like the Walrus, I realize that the time has, indeed, come—as it has for the past several years—though not to talk about shoes and ships and sealing wax, but for the annual event of putting in the pier at the cottage up in Michigan.

As always, we perform this necessary task the weekend prior to our “official” move-in (May 27) for the summer, which makes this coming weekend the time to which the “Walrus” has spoken.

The “we” that is our intrepid and brave “pier putter-inners” consists of my son and anyone else we can coerce into going along for the two-and-a-half hour ride to the lake and getting into the water and putting all of the pier pieces together in the correct order! This year, our third soul is my son’s father-in-law, Ed.

Our pier in hibernation.jpg
Right where we left them in September. Just waiting to be awakened.

Actually, the job is not difficult, other than unstacking the planks and sawhorses from where they have been neatly stacked on the landing at water’s edge since last Labor Day.

Once all of the pieces are  in the water, the job of sliding them together is quite simple and the job doesn’t take much time at all.

But it’s necessary to have three people to complete it all, although it was just my son and me the very first time we did it years ago. Talk about the blind leading the blind! But that’s a post for another time.

That being said, I always look forward to the job, knowing that all of the pieces should be in good shape, or at least they were when we left them in September. And the water, as shallow as it is, will not be too unbearable after that initial shock. It’s only waist deep and the bottom is sandy and very level.

According to the forecast, it’s supposed to be in the 70s, so I’m hoping that there will be sunshine a few days ahead of our immersion next Sunday so the water has been warmed somewhat. Regardless, it’s a “cleansing” experience, so say the least.

After an hour and a half at most, we’re done and ready to head back home, but not before we get dry clothes on and visit TJ’s, where the food is good and the meal is my treat. We’ll toast another successful pier installation and set sail back to Illinois. Then it will be time for me to get serious about the move up there early the following Friday.

The time has come to open her up for another summer.

Even though there is so much to do to get ready for it all, I am happy that it’s that time once again. The Walrus is definitely right!


I write because…?

Why do I write?


I write because a very long time ago, I discovered the hidden worlds of stories I’d feign illness to stay home from school to immerse myself in. As I read their words, I wanted to someday be like those authors who took me places I could only imagine existed.

Arthur Conan Doyle, Hammond Innes, Alistair Maclean, Franklin W. Dixon, Clair Bee, and Carolyn Keene were responsible for my faking that sore throat so many times. And I’ve often rationalized my dishonesty by telling myself that I probably learned more at home, cuddled up with a Hardy Boys book, then in that dreaded math class at school!

I write because there has always been a desire within to create some of my own stories—ones that others would like to read. And I would like to think that there might be, somewhere, an impressionable young person who’d rather skip school and stay home because he/she simply couldn’t wait to see how my tale would all turn out!

I write because there’s the need to shape and mold things with this strange and wonderful language of ours. I find many rewards when I’m able to piece together some thoughts that stretch my mind, my memories, and my path ahead.

I write because I also believe that all of the experiences I’ve accumulated through my many years are waiting to be shared through writing about them. For as long as I can remember, I’ve romanticized about sitting at a keyboard and pounding out my thoughts and ideas and bringing to life all of the things I’ve been through—from young days to the present.

I often question just how many of these experiences are of interest only to me, the writer, and not to others out there who couldn’t care less about any of it? I suppose that’s the chance all writers take when they sit down and begin the journey that is writing.

I write because that journey is not an easy one, either, but well worth all of the ups and downs and pitfalls endured along the way once the end is reached.

I doubt, though, that the end is really ever reached. Once we think we’re done, we’re really only beginning. It’s on to the next thing. And because there’s always that chance to start something that will turn out OK, I relish the challenges and the ups and downs and pitfalls once more. I like beginnings!

“You’re welcome”…Perhaps?

Unknown-2.jpegI had every intention of writing about a “good news” e-mail I received yesterday, but then I went to Dunkin Donuts for my favorite coffee to get the day started. Oh, how it got the day started! (I’ll save the “good news” e-mail for the weekend’s One Good Thing post.)

Anyway, back to Dunkin Donuts, where the young lady at the window was quite pleasant and smiling as she handed me my large hot black coffee with cream:

She: “Here ya go…” (handing me my change)

Me: “Thank you.”

She: “No problem.”

(I drive away, irritated…)

I was once again reminded of how annoying “No problem” is as a response to my “Thank you,” especially since I was the one initiating the “Thank you!”  My blood pressure didn’t suffer any intense spikes sending me into convulsions or apoplexy, mind you, but the pleasant morning had quickly been nicked a bit as I drove off for home, once again wondering whatever happened to common etiquette.

Later that day, I did some quick “research” (Google) to see if the “No problem” phrase was as bothersome to others as it is to me, and I found out that it is. On the other hand, I also learned that there seem to be far more people who don’t see what all of the fuss is about.

Call me old-fashioned or whatever, but saying “You’re welcome” seems to be very clear-cut and respectful. (Blog post from February 9, 2013)

And I asked myself that very question: What is all the fuss about? My irritation stems from, perhaps, my sticking to the way I was taught and my values—perhaps considered by some to be outdated and too conservative. I’ll go with that, knowing that I do tend to be pretty rigid in certain “rules” of language, etiquette, and social graces—for better or worse, perhaps.

I wrote about this pebble-in-the-shoe type of annoyance here a few years ago, and it doesn’t seem to have ridden off into the sunset as I had hoped it would, sooner than later.

Perhaps I’m tilting at windmills or, like Sisyphus, rolling a massive boulder up an impossibly steep hill, and I, perhaps, should lighten up, move along, turn the page, go with the flow, change with the times, be hip, be cool, make language anything I want it to be.

Perhaps I should forget about much of what I was taught and what was always considered the “correct” way to speak and act, but I doubt if that’s ever going to happen, just as I doubt that people will stop using annoying words and phrases when there are perfectly better ones at their beck and call.

Perhaps I’ll wake up some morning and all will be right in the world and everyone will have realized that there’s still a place for those things which were once the norm. I fear that it’s only wishful thinking on my part, though. What will be, will be.

In the meantime, perhaps I need another cup of coffee and there’s that boulder to roll uphill!