Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Monday Night Was Brutal

Monday was Chemo Day. By now, we’ve got a routine. Once the treatment is over, Mike finds he’s hopped up for the rest of the day. It’s akin to that supposed burst of energy that pregnant ladies get just before delivery. So I’ve heard.

Since we are north mostly, perhaps you’re curious about Chemo Effects. So far, except for our initial problem with low blood counts, Mike is breezing through. He has experienced no nausea. And his hair? (Everybody’s interested in the hair) Well, he’s not lost any. The chemo HAS made his hair softer and wavy. Really nice to touch.

We were both in Kokomo; I had a list of errands and finished about the time Mike arrived home from the hospital. As the weather was spectacular, he announced the travel plan. He would take his motorcycle and I could bring up my Caliber, loaded with new projects. He left several hours before me so I could catch up on laundry and so forth.

When I arrived at the lake, he greeted me with a most pained look on his face. “Where have you been?” he asked. “I thought you were coming right up.”

“Ivy was off touring the neighborhood,” I explained.

I thought that it would be no big deal as this would be energy night. Alas, it was not to be.

Mike’s face took me back almost 25 years ago. It was how he looked when he was getting a migraine headache. He hasn’t had one in all these years.

Now, let me explain that I was not always the most sympathetic to headache suffers. I was raised by an Army nurse. At my house, you needed to be bleeding from your ears AND mouth to stay home from school. I’ve learned recently that her hard line was partly for our good and partly because she really didn’t want to have a kid underfoot when she had other projects on her agenda. It’s OK, Mom. It made us tough.

When friends would get to stay home from school with a headache, I’d think, “Give me a break. A headache?”

In my limited experience, I had not seen a migraine sufferer. Until I married this man and he went to law school. I would come home from school to find him utilizing what worked for him: he would be submerged in the bathtub with only his nose and mouth in the air. He would rest there until the headache went away or until he ‘lost his lunch,’ which also seemed to speed the pain away.

Why should Mike develop migraines now?

Since marriage, I’ve increased my knowledge of many things, including internal human anatomy. The only way I survived Freshman Biology at Wheaton was that I sat next to this Red-haired Hoosier who let me, um, copy what he saw under the microscope. I never saw anything but blurs. (Bacterium moves fast!)

I know that you can drive a motorcycle with your left wrist broken in two places. I’ve seen the doctor ‘insert’ a tube into a collapsed lung. I know where heart caths go and what ERCP stents look like, new and used. And the human neck. Fascinating piece of equipment.

Mike might work this into any conversation. “When I broke my neck…..” “My broken neck….” “The break in my neck….” much to the surprise and horror of the listener. I mean, a broken neck? Then, you’re paralyzed. Or dead. But here this guy is. So what gives?

In case you, too, struggled in the sciences, let me speak slowly. If you were to look at a cross-section of the neck, you’d see three openings. The big round one in the middle and two ovals, one on each side.

And yes, Mike broke his neck. His doctor called it a ‘lucky break.’ He cracked one of those ovals. Except for an occasional humid day when tissue swells, he hardly notices it.

How did he break it? Do you have time? About 10 years ago, he was racing mountain bikes with our nephew Caleb. They were each trying to out-do the other. In the woods, on untried paths. Up. Down. Watch out for the tree. You get the picture.

At one point, Caleb flew across a shaky bridge that took you over a stream. Uncle Mike was right behind. But he slipped. His bike went over the bridge and he fell, head first, in the muddy bottom of the stream. That’s when the vertebrae cracked. And as they say, it could have been worse. Had Mike been alone as he often was, he might have drown, stuck in the mud and his head underwater.

Caleb pulled him out and brought him to the cottage. The mud was the least of his problems. He was blue and trembling and sister Lisa knew he needed to get to the ER.

And so, technically, he broke his neck. If he strains it, OTC usually makes it better.

However, Monday, on his mighty bike and the back roads, the hub bragged that he had traveled, um, a bit faster than the posted limit. And, without a wind shield, his face (and neck) took the brunt.

So the pain radiated from the neck to the head, all over.

I filled the tub. I got the ice bag. I grabbed our assortment of analgesics. It was a rough night.
Nothing really touched the pain. And although Mike’s not been nauseous from his treatments, he made up for it, 10 or 15 times.

In between the trips to kneel at the porcelain throne and runs to the kitchen for water, ginger ale, and so forth, he nudged me and I was up. Then back. Sometimes, he wanted me to massage “GENTLY” his neck, right where that break occurred. As the night wore one, I would doze off in mid rub.

Now, I’m not complaining. This is part of the deal, after all. It just was a brutal night followed by a day of feeling like we’re sleepwalking.

Tuesday night, after a clear sky day, the temperature dropped to 55. Windows open and blankets.

Good sleeping. And a brighter day tomorrow.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Weather and Such

It‘s been a weird week for weather in northern Indiana.

I know. Talking about the weather? Next thing you’ll be working jigsaw puzzles between spells of sittin’ and rockin’.

Yeah, that’s us. When nephew Brian, all of 34, comes by, he and the hub BOTH age about 30 years as they ponder and reminisce, all while rocking. (Except, of course, when they take to racin’ in the lake) And me? I’m on my third puzzle.

So back to the weather. Last weekend we had very hot and humid. That’s one reason I made such progress on the puzzle. Not much desire to move around when it’s so hot.

Then, Monday brought darkening skies and temperature drops. We went from sticky hot to shivering cold, along with a clammy sense that a storm was on its way.

Except no storm.

The gray and cold continued onto almost the end of the week. When Mom showed up to spent the night, instead of wondering if the fans would be enough, I went digging into the blanket closet and fetching hoodies for my guests.

So, when Wednesday dawned with no visible dawn, we expected another cold day. But then the clouds began to churn and the wind kicked up a bit: harbinger of storm.

Our cottage faces WEST, in the direction of most storms; as such, we can usually sit on our outside deck and watch the rain tap its way across the lake and move inside with plenty of time to avoid a soaking: one little game we play.

But this day was different. After several empty threats, the sky formed a solid and down came ‘ropey rain.’ Heavy, straight plaits that drenched the earth. 5 minutes later, the rain stopped, the sun came out, and within 30 minutes, sidewalks and other pavings were dry.

About an hour later, the sky grew dark again. A sudden gust of wind that died as quickly, and heavy droplets fell --- plop plop plop – for about 30 seconds and then stopped.

At which point, our neighbor Jenny walked by and said we should come over for pie. Sounded like a plan. She and Hal are full time residents. Their home faces out the lake from a glassed-in porch that opens to a large deck. They are good friends who live only a few dozen yards from us PLUS they had pie so we were off to their house.

As we sat outside, talking about the weather and munching on warm peach pie with vanilla ice cream, the sky began to churn again so we moved indoors to finish our dessert in the dry. Again, a cloud burst of sorts, this time with some sideways wind.

I finished my pie first (!); Mike and Hal were all about some discussion of the weather report on The Weather Channel, so I excused myself to stroll back to our porch. I walked as the sun again dried the ground.

Inside, (really this is going somewhere), I had just taken my seat in the puzzle corner when the wind/breeze stopped, dead still. Then there was an enormous CRACK of thunder and a WHOOOOOOOSH that shook the house. I ran to crank in our windows that take the brunt of eastern winds as the skies opened again, this time with a torrent AND the wind.

That initial ‘whoosh’ took another swipe at our red maple in front. Island trees have shallow roots and the last time we had a big wind storm, our tree developed a bit of a lean. Now there is a crack at the surface: it may be a loss.

And then Storm 4 was over and the whole Island Neighborhood was out to survey damage. A few limbs here and there and then onto Hal and Jenny’s home.

Down the street, that gust uprooted a much larger, mature tree. It left a 5 foot hole as it leaned toward many houses.

It fell squarely in the middle of the street. Not a single residence was damaged. That's Hal and Jenny's home, behind the tree.

It DID crash onto Hal’s truck. He loves his truck. It also scraped his ‘vintage’ van.

Clean up began almost immediately but it will require some finesse as certain heavy equipment is not permitted on the island. No one was hurt and all but that truck can be duplicated.

What struck me is that in times like this, when “it could have been much worse,” we talk of coincidence.

If I’ve learned nothing else in the last two years, I know that for God’s people, there are no coincidences.

Thursday, June 23, 2011


It’s a trick to change residences. What to bring? What to buy? What about mail? And so forth.

Son Zach is at the homestead often enough to stack the mail and we will be in town for treatment often enough to keep up with bills.

What to bring? We already are in the habit of two sets of contacts/glasses/wetting fluids/toothbrushes/deodorant, so not much problem.

As for clothes, well, it’s the lake. Casual to swim suit is de rigueur.

What to buy? How many bottles of ketchup do YOU have?

The news is that Mike had another chemo treatment Monday. Sister Jan had arrived late Sunday night and we spent the next morning on errands and such. Then, we all came north.
Chemo jumps the hub and he finds it hard to sleep the first night. So on Tuesday morning, when Jan heard someone up before dark, she assumed it was her formerly early rising sister and came downstairs to find Mike up and dressed. Not sure what they did, something about a trip to the woods. Sister Lynne stayed abed until about 8:30.

Later, Jan left for Michigan and will return today. Also on the way are my brother Ken, his wife Janelle, and my mom. All will converge tonight and then Ken and Janelle will leave to Illinois, with Mom and Janis following on Saturday.

Whew! This is the most scheduled we’ve been. Today, cool air and all, we slept until

(wait for it)


As for lake life, we’ve had several whitheringly hot days. Since we have no air conditioning, we are at one with the temperature. For those too young to remember life before central AC, what that means is that you, by necessity, slow down. Sit a lot. Eat a lot less. Chewing generates heat, I've heard. Drink more water.

I have found a spot on the screened porch where I sat up a jigsaw puzzle table. I have a history with jigsaw puzzles and will save that story for another time. On a hot day with an occasional breeze, I can sit, not move much, the work my brain a bit. Then, as a gust of lake wind flows, I can just sit, refreshed by the cool.

After several weeks here, when Mike had fixed everything he plans to/can fix, he was getting a bit restless --- some of us are better suited for sitting than others.

“I need something to do,” he said.

Wouldn’t you just know it? Just before the move, he had announced that he was done with big furniture pieces and started making wooden boxes. These found a place to cure, right on top of my dishwasher.

So I asked him what he needed up here to make boxes.

He thought for a moment and then, “I wonder how much an inexpensive table saw would cost?”

“Why don’t we go and see?”

Truck Trip!

As it turns out, the saw was rather cheap. He said, “I could make boxes if I had my small tool bench.”
“Why don’t we bring it up?”
What a team.
So, Zach loaded it up in the truck and now it’s on the front porch, near the Puzz Table. We can both play and keep each other company.

Mike is merrily cranking out boxes. There’s more to it, of course, than the saw; his finish work takes my breath away.

As does he, every time.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Lake View

Living here almost full time, there were several things I wanted to do. One was to stock a bird feeder and invite our chirpy neighbors to drop by.

Such a good idea. However, I'm beginning to think that my other neighbors have given up luring birds to their yards. We fill up this tube and within 60 minutes, it's empty.

Yes, we are seeing lots of birds and the squirrels can't reach it. But these are rather tame birds and they have attitude. When the feeder is empty, some of them, especially the male robins, perch on our fence and complain. They stop only if I give the feeder a second fill

Mike and our nephew Brian have resurrected Last Call, the Cocktail Class Racer that Mike made. Brian has built a small hydroplane and together, they are racing around the lake.

I hear that last weekend, the Conservation Officer, Nathan, (always good to be on a first-name basis) pulled them over for some silly thing like speed or registration.

I hear that the offenders have addressed the issue.

Back at the cottage, my other goal, since I can be here daily, is to keep my window boxes vibrant. In the past, I planted what I hoped were hearty flowers that had to survive 4 or 5 days without water. Usually, when we arrived on Friday, they were all wilted and drooping. I'd drown them and sometimes they would spring back.

However, now I can water daily. I may have lost the BLACK THUMB for which I am so famous.

Also, my big treat is my single tomato plant. It's very easy to grow tomatoes in Indiana. The problem is bugs and critters who also like them 'maters.' So, this year, I plunked my tiny seedling into a pot, clearly 2 feet above critter reach. I placed a intimidating bright yellow cage around it and daily, I'm watching it reach up to the sun.

"When might we expect some tomatoes," asks the hub.

"August, near the end of the summer," I brag, assured.

So here we sit and watch the lake and the sunset. Peace.

Update: Busy

Friday, Mike had his 3rd ERCP. By now, he knows everybody's first name.

Hardly routine, but there IS some sort of ritual by now: no food; bring the meds; someone has to drive you home; Dr. will discuss this with you but you will not remember; the day after is for sleeping it off.

Dr. says he'll see us again in about 3 months. Mike does not remember.

I'm back from San Antonio where is was and is hot. Amazingly hot. People actually live there, outside sometimes. Grandson Drew who has just finished 1st grade, is reading chapter books. He just finished Mr. Popper's Penguins, a Gramma favorite, in time for the movie.

I hope it's exciting for everybody, but it's extremely so for this teacher, to witness a child 'getting it' and loving it, when it comes to reading. Drew's such a normal kid, except he's had his tv and computer time limited, so books could stick their feet in the door. Once, and if, a child learns to read well, the world can open up for him.

Noah just graduated from preschool. Next year, he and Drew will ride the bus to their new school, as they have moved to a larger house. Allyson has wanted, among other things, for the boys to be able to ride their bikes. This was hard in their old neighborhood which features breath taking hills and drops. New digs are in a more flat subdivision. They also will have a larger back yard.

Today, Sunday, sister Jan is on her way from Kansas City. She should arrive late tonight at the Kokomo address. Mike has chemo tomorrow so we are heading back south. Then, we will all drive up to Winona. Jan will continue to Michigan to visit with some friends and then she'll return here.

In the meantime, brother Ken and his darling wife, Janelle, are headed this way Thursday, on their way to the annual Hayes Family Reunion in Illinois. They will pick Mom up at the airport in Indianapolis and then head north.

It's great we get to visit. For them, it's only about 1 month to the BIG WEDDING of their daughter, so their lives are getting busy.

It's a sticky Father's Day at the lake. The Father of my kids is taking a nap. I really love to watch him when he's sleeping so peacefully. We talked and walked last night and recounted our blessings: great kids, great friends, and, of course, our Father's love. We rest in that.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


Early in the morning, we will drive down to University Hospital for ERCP #3.

We covet your prayers.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

DON'T Tell My Mom

My mom is, among many other things, a survivor of The Great Depression. My dad used to say, often, that he never saw anyone who could stretch limited resources like my mom’s mom. They were a minster’s family in a rural community and saw, first hand, much suffering.

It made an impression on my mom. Waste not! Never! From my earliest memories, for me, it meant hand-me-down clothes from my older sister. (When I was done with them, well, they were also done so younger sister got new clothes. Also, Lil’ Sis and Baby Brother were born during the Gravy Years: Other Sister and I were born during the Biscuits and Gravy Years.)

It meant cleaning your plate; turning off the lights when you didn’t need them; using all of the toothpaste up; washing with that bar of soap until it disappeared.

Not complaining here: all good things.

However, as a newly minted adult and wife, I would occasionally assert myself when Mom and Dad came for a visit. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see Mom tense up as I emptied uneaten foot into the garbage disposal. She would sometimes make suggestion about what I could do with it besides throw it away.

Then, there were clothes. I remember that once my little girl’s gorgeous-but-not-expensive voile dress came apart at the waist. It had begun to unravel. I quickly assessed that the fix was not worth it. But Mom happened to be there, swooped in, and fixed it, good as new.

I HAVE grown up a bit and no longer wish to bait the mama. But, I will never be as wise and as frugal as is she. Some things are just beyond saving. Toss it out. Get another.

Alas: last week we were faced with a rather expensive mess. Our darling dog, having just received several injections, proceeded to eat some of her reddish dog food and then jump on our couch…..loyal readers know about the sleeping couch…and upchuck the contents of her stomach. In three different places, including between the cording.

Look, I’m a mom. Puke does not deter me. But RED on our WHITE (blue stripped) favorite couch?

At times like this, messes beyond reason, the hub stands back. “What are you going to do?” he asked.

“I don’t know. I’ll wipe it up and see how bad it really is.”

Bad. Really bad. Really, really bad.

I drove over to our local ACE Hardware Store (which is, single-handedly, giving the big boxes a run for their money) and talked to my helpful hardware man. As we strolled to the cleaning supplies, he winced and said, “Red, huh? That’ll be tough.”

I headed home with some upholstery cleaner, read the directions, and got to work.

Vacuum first.


Try on a small spot.

Nah. If it fades, well, that’s better than red.

Squeeze a little foam and then scrub with brush.


Wipe up excess.


Let it dry. Maybe it fades as it dries?

Uh, nope. Still red. Really red.

Again, with the hub, “What are you going to do?”

“I’ll keep at it after this dries completely.”

Long, thoughtful pause.

“Maybe it’s time for a new couch,” he said.

Magic words for me.

Would we just toss this one out? Would we even be able to find a replacement? Certainly not just like this one, as it holds history, along with red doggy juices.

But after an hour of scrubbing and pretending that it really was getting better, I was warming to Plan B.

THIS is why you can’t tell my mom. No matter where her world travels are taking her today, she’d jump on the next plane and get here, supplies in hand, and she’d work on this couch until it was perfect or the fabric dissolved.

(As she is a follower of this blog, well,…..)

Not to worry, Mama. Plan A1/2 began to materialise.

Quite a few years ago, our cottage suffered from a kerosene heater malfunction. Every single thing inside was coated with black oily goo. Everything, including this couch. A local restorer has worked some magic and cleaned it up. Black and oily is as difficult as red and pukey, I reasoned.

So, I drove over to his business. Yes, he had remembered me and all the black mess. Yes, he would send someone over.

Early the next day, ServiceMaster pulled up and Josh jumped out. I shook his hand and escorted him to ground zero.

Hmmm,” he said. “Ok, I’ll see what I can do.”

Magic, it appears. Within a hour, the entire couch was cleaned and freshened and sanitized.

We have our couch back, ready for our next guest.

Mom? Is that you?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


37 years ago today, at high noon, in the First Baptist Church of Lincoln Park, Michigan, in front of God and a whole bunch of witnesses:

We joined hands and promised that we would.

We have.

We still do.

Chemo and Cars

We were back in Kokomo for a Monday appointment.

Yesterday, Mike drove out to the Oncology Department. His numbers were acceptable so the treatment commenced. He reports that he was the only patient there. That meant that all 4 nurses came and checked on him and chatted him up and chided him to be careful and asked why he had not brought his guitar. He said all of this with a tinge of bother but I know it’s a show. He loves how they care for him. So do I.

Meanwhile, I got a few things done in Kokomo: bills paid, errands run, and some laundry completed. I also laid out the things I’m taking to Texas later in the week. I have one dress up event and then I believe I will dress for the weather, which is even hotter than Indiana, I hear.
Mike rode his motorcycle back to the lake and I followed in HIS truck.

A word here: My husband and I do not share the same philosophy about automobiles. I was raised in Detroit when that’s where cars came from. And there were a lot of cars. That region’s idea was 1) drive it, and drive it fast; 2) wear it out; 3) get another. Mike, on the other hand, has always been one of those car fanatics: he washes the car, by hand, when it gets RAIN on it. If we are driving after a storm, he will alter the route to avoid puddles which might contain, GASP, mud. He always parks away from other cars as ‘you just can’t trust them.’

Consequently, over the years, people have wanted to buy his cars, knowing what good care he takes. Mine? Ready to trade or scrap when I’m done with them. Some of us consider auto dings as its patina.

Honestly, I’ve gotten better over the years, although I refuse to let the weather determine if I’m going out.

So, although he loves me lots, he would rather me not drive HIS car which at this time is a Silverado truck. But this moving back and forth is tricky; this time, the bikes needed to come. That requires the truck. So, hub sucked it up and tried not to think about me driving HIS car.
I will report that I ran into no puddles and arrived several hours after he had.

“Where have you been?”

“Puddle jumping. Also, I stopped at Wal-Mart, just to get a few things, so I parked right by the door.”

Kidding. Kidding.

Today, we are enjoying the hottest day of the year so far. We both worked in the yard for about an hour, early in the morning, and then it was time to come inside to get out of the blazing sun.
Wednesday we head south again as I will catch a 7 AM flight on Thursday, from Indianapolis.

I asked a friend, an oncology nurse, what to make of days with pain, days with mild discomfort, and then days with nothing to make us think about cancer.

“Good days,” she said.

I’ll take as many good days as God will give us.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Sitting in the Shade on a Sunday Afternoon

You may have noticed that I’ve lost count of the CHEMOs. That’s because the best laid plans of mice and men and Chemo Doctors, can go astray.

This treatment has targeted, among other things, Mike’s various colors: Red, White, Blue (ok, no chemist…..). All of the colors must be flying to get a treatment. We’ve had a few weeks when one or more were not at attention. Last week was such a week.

Tomorrow, Monday, we go back (yes, a trip back to the OLD neighborhood), get the colors checked out and then, if the time is right, Mike will sit for some more juice.

Right now, we’ve retreated inside as the afternoon sun is beautiful and brutal. Mike is snoozing off a monster steak he just ate. He saw a table top grill in a magazine and decided that we needed one. It’s out on the picnic table, all round and small and cute; and right now, it’s cooling off.

Earlier, I ventured back down to the Art Fair and dropped in to visit with several of my favorite shop keepers. While I was strolling, Mike tied the kayak to his ankle and went for a swim. It makes him feel good except that, as they say these days, the “algae is in bloom.” That is nicey nice talk for the lake is really dirty……bloom away, oh you green gunk.

We decided that we DO have a few appointments and visitors and trips and such so I brought back my desk top blotter/calendar….but I’m keeping it out of the way.

June will see visits from the Hayes side of the family. Also, I’m making a quick trip to San Antonio to hug some grandboys and to see Allyson graduate from residency.

July brings, I know, the 4th. Winona Lake does it up big on that weekend. Also, a buddy of mine may come up and teach me to play bridge. Here’s what I see: when you become a vintage lady, you either play golf or your play bridge. I’m no golfer. My mom, who is both, tried to teach me to play bridge but I think she began in the middle, too far ahead for me to follow. My buddy is a freshly retired teacher….teacher….you know, good at reading confusion on the student’s face. I’m hopeful I’ll get the hang of bridge.

THEN: best part of the summer, darling niece and her almost-as-darling fiancé will tie the knot in Raleigh at the end of the month. A large contingent of family will be there for the weekend.

Much fun.

So, for now, here on Sunday afternoon, I’m packing up to go back to Kokomo for the day and then back to our lake house home.

I’ll keep you posted as to our progress in the oncology department.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

On Lake Time

So, we've sorta moved our residence. We are 'at home' in Winona Lake. We will make trips back to the other home for treatments and so forth.

Just Thursday, two days into our 'move,' we had to go back because is was ROOT DAY. Some women of a certain age, certainly THIS one, make scheduled visits to the hair genius who cuts and colors and styles the hair.

Sally, a true artist, has been with me through much of my adult life. We figure it out...about 25 years. She coaxed me into perms when that was a bit deal; she coaxed me into that hair-through-the-cap stage until what remained was getting quite gray. Now we color and, on occasion, foil. Sally is so much more skilled than I appreciate. I know that I am approached regularly by someone who does appreciate a skilled coiffure, who asks for her name. Alas, or yon-ya, Sally is way too busy. I am blessed, believe you me.

Other than that, we are sliding into the lake life. It's a bit of a shock: no TV; no Internet; no central air; also no make-up or the need for dress up clothes.

The Village of Winona sponsors events throughout the summer. This weekend is the annual Art Fair. Lots of artists in various mediums, display their creations for the huge crowds that come. Today, it was steamy and sunny, good for that kid wheeling the cooler with bottled water. (Enterprise: another art) Sometimes the first weekend in June can be cold and rainy so this is better, meaning bigger crowds.

Two Winona Lake friends, who are also mother and daughter, have formed their own company. Their art is hat making. And although I'm in declutter mode these days, I just had to buy one of their hats.

As some of you come to me via other sites, you might enjoy checking out their work: Jillandabby.com Abby is a precocious 11 year old. And Mom is pretty cool, too.

From our porch, we can watch, as we did tonight, the storm that blew in. We've had a steamy hot day, even with a hefty breeze. So, the storm a-coming dropped the temperature about 10 degrees. Dark clouds mixed with pink ones, swirling until they were all dark. Then, big drops began to fall, just before the lightning. From our white rockers, we felt the cooling breeze and saw trees sway and grass ripple.

On other nights, we sit out on our pier, sip a little of this or that, and watch the sun set over the lake. Swans and ducks float past as the waves lap across the bow of a wooden boat.

And, I taught the hub something: he kept looking at his watch, like we had somewhere to go by a certain time. Which we don't. We're on lake time. "Why don't you take off that watch?" I asked him. "That's how I unwind in the summer, no bells, no set times."

It was obvious that this idea had never occurred to him. His watch, well, it's like part of his wardrobe. Ah, but we are sporting new wardrobes, or the lack thereof. So, he smiled and took it off.

NOW we don't really care what time it is. Sun up? Day time.

So, my set plan when we moved was to rise every day before dawn and walk to the drug store to get a newspaper. Then, I would walk back. And I would set aside a hour a day for uninterrupted writing.

You see that I have trouble letting go of a schedule.

So far, we've been sleeping in (and taking great naps), and the 'hour a day' just hasn't happened yet. I have a few entries, not finished, that will appear soon. But not tonight.

We're on lake time.