Sunday, April 11, 2010

He thinks it's a Dolphin

Or a Duck. Or a Porpoise. One of those cute nautical names given to boats by their manufacturer.

IT is the little, single-seat, fiberglass sailboat that he launched yesterday. We had no champagne and it has no name as of yet.

What it DOES have is a serene skipper, hoisting the main sail and jib, and tacking across Winona Lake at a healthy clip. Wind gusts reached 30 mph so the tiny, mighty craft deftly maneuvered through white caps and shallows.

Mike and his sister went halfsies on what they said was a bargain last spring. The ship, however, lay in dry dock for most of 2009. I believe Lisa rigged it and went sailing a few times. Her brother was mostly out of commission to take her out.

That was last year. This spring, the yellow and white craft saw its first foray of what will be a busy summer.

Spring in Indiana: last weekend (NCAA, by the way. Go Butler!) the skies were clear and blue. An occasional cotton ball cloud drifted overhead and a light breeze combed through one's hair.

Then, Monday and Tuesday, we saw the temperature rise...50s....60s...70s...almost 80.
Time to dig out the shorts and T shirts and move those heavy sweaters to their seasonal resting place.

Wednesday, forecasters said something about a front. Wednesday night, the thermometer read...surely it's broken...39. Then, by Thursday afternoon, as we drove to find some Greek salad, what was that on the windshield? Sleet? Hail? And the weather guys warned (ominously, because we must have drama with weather) that we might cover tender plants to protect from frost.

Frost? Well, yes. But as friends of this blog may know, we steer away from tender plants at this address. Our vegetation must be tough. Really tough.

No matter the temperature, on Friday we hopped into the Silverado with Ivy in the middle and headed north to the lake. Whether it's cold, cool, warm, or stifling hot, this place is the healing place.

We spent some time at the cottage last summer but performed few maintenance tasks. Our good friends next door filled our planters and mowed when we were not looking. As for cleaning and painting, those never-finished chores, it seemed to us that we had better things to do.

However, THIS spring, as we look forward to summer, the chores list is posted and we begin. Personally, I tackled all baseboards. Some, I confess, have not seen a dust cloth for, um, more than just a year. But today, they not only gleam, they smell really good as I performed a one/two....dusting and then washing with a strong-smelling chemical cleaning product. I LOVE my chemicals.

In the guest room, under the beds, I found so many of the books purchased for the boys. They kept losing them and I kept buying them more. HM..Could have bent over and looked, I guess. No matter. Boys: check the mail!

In the same guest room, I discovered what remained of a brave little bird who had entered our cottage through, I'm guessing, the chimney and then tried valiantly to find a way out. His last, finest effort was aimed at a large, lake-facing window.
Alas, closed. And so he went down, right by a rather dusty baseboard.

Time at the lake affords us so many pauses, for leisure and for talking. We faced each other yesterday, between sailing and retrieving dead birds (bird), for one of those good talks.

Mike said he sat out on the pier and just inhaled everything. He watched fishermen in waders and others in bass boats; he listened to the beginnings of motorboats and lawn mowers; he waived to anyone who walked by and greeted them as if he were the sole proprietor of this place. And, as he said, he "thanked God for giving" him this time, this place, these people.

Even sleet is sweet at such times.

So as the new week begins and my break from school ends, we will pack up shortly and return to our home south of here.

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