it's not the golden leaves or boots and sweater weather. yet. but just now there is that familiar shift in the light, a welcome chill at nightfall, a hush when we realize the cicadas have stopped croaking. for a moment or two. a time to consider if i may be ready to finish unpacking my bag from vacation...
see more of my collage a day project in my paper works flickr set.
every summer the beach we walk and comb offers something a little different. if you are observant and come back to the same place once a year, you may notice this, too. washed up along the cold wet sandy border of our big lake we have found among the stones and pebbles an abundance of birch bark one season, tiny broken shells the next, and oddly, last year, tiparillo tips everywhere we looked. but 2011 happened to be a very good year for face rocks.
happy weekend everyone!
we tried the deep fried sweet corn. we sampled the hot barbecued brisket, pulled pork, sausage and rib tips. we licked our fingers in the car and passed the styrofoam containers and plastic forks around. the rain poured down outside and soaked the parking lot where we sat but we were happy. we had already sipped the sweet fresh melon juice with our barbacoa, al pastor, steak chili and fish tacos the day before. we ate homemade pies from the dutch farm market. apple walnut, strawberry rhubarb and sour cherry, mounds of vanilla ice cream melting down the sides and pooling in our bowls. we took long walks along the lake shore, heads bent in search of treasures, our pockets filling up with singular stones and cloudy beach glass. we watched the fog sweep in and burn away. we were surprised at the used book sale and curled up in the quiet hours at the edges of waking and sleeping, sprawled on every chair and sofa, reading. we played scrabble and drank beer and tasted the locally brewed cherry cranberry hard cider. we watched the cottony clouds, squinted into the blazing sunset, looked out on the rains that came and went, leaving steam rising in the burning sun that came after. we saw the black, red and grey squirrels fighting over the birdseed, leaping like acrobats from the tree branches onto the swinging feeder. we looked for deer while we sped along the blue star and red arrow highways. and we spied a few, half hidden in the brush beside the road. they turned up their white tails and vaulted back into the woods (not the road, to our relief). we counted hawks sailing overhead and roadkill down below. roadkill won. we roamed the aisles of the cavernous musty antique malls, explaining to the youngest one; how that was used to grind coffee; this was where the ink was kept for dipping pens; this held the flowers in place at the bottom of a vase... and she was always genuinely interested in the answers. we ate the biggest blueberries we'd ever seen. they tasted like michigan. we went back to the farm stand for more. we cooked dinner in our bare feet, nachos one night, tomato sandwiches and buttered sweet corn the next. we listened to music while we set the table and ate our simple meals. fleet foxes, bon iver, gillian welch and sara tavares. we snacked on licorice and trail mix and hot buttered popcorn, bugles and dark potato chips. this felt decadent. a ukulele was strummed. someone threatened to play the harmonica but nothing came of it. mostly we slept well. under the ceiling fans, beside the open windows, under the summer blankets. we sat on the porch and heard the waves on the beach. which made us want to walk back down and put our feet into the chilled lake again. some of us jumped in. some of us eased slowly forward, up to our knees, gasping and drawing our shoulders up tight. shivering and retreating to shore. one of us was ambitious and geared up for a twenty five mile bike ride. one of us scored a mid century office desk chair from a junk shop, the metal legs speckled with rust. in vacation mode, some of us didn't bother to shave. some didn't use a hairbrush or comb all week. no one needed a hairdryer. we wore no makeup. we kept our swimsuits on under our clothes, just in case. we shared sun hats. we had sand between our toes. we spoke softly together of forgiveness, frustrations, hopes and plans. the future, the blurry past. there were belly laughs and chuckles and many grins. on the last day we washed the towels and put away the dishes. we packed up our bags and looked one last time in each room, closet, corner, to be sure we left nothing behind. we stood on the porch and waved goodbye as cars pulled away with a crunching of tires rolling slowly over gravel. the bittersweet sound of vacation. the same at the beginning as the end. then we last two said goodbye cottage as we locked the red door and heard the wooden screen creak closed one last time. we loaded our old volvo and turned onto the road leading the long way south, curving west and then north into the city, hugging the round tip of the huge lake all the way.
470 photos and 3 videos later we are home. the heatwave we left behind a week ago has broken. we opened all the windows and sighed as a cooling breeze blew thru the apartment. the sun was low in the sky when we arrived last night. this is the late summer light that makes the rooms here glow. we can almost feel the approach of autumn. i stood at the door of my workroom, the familiar scent of old books in the air, and looked down the hallway. i love it here, i said. me, too, he smiled. happy to be away and happy to come home. how lucky are we?
poppytalk is hosting a flickr pool this week called summer colours week 2011. these are a sampling of my submissions. focusing on a color a day was a welcome distraction this week and sparked more than a few ideas for future pics and projects. the photos don't have to be shot on these days this week so you can play, too, if you like.
it's official. summer in the city and the curtains and windows are closed against the heat and humidity. the deep hum of all fans blowing on high settings as our trusty window a/c cools at full blast means i won't hear my phone ring if you should call me.
i'm in the mood for chilled foods and no-cook meals. like these vietnamese spring rolls in red chili vinegar sauce. yum. and watermelon. and iced tea. and big salads. and frozen grapes. and staying indoors until it cools off. because i don't like to sweat if i can help it. (and i've got a ton of stuff to shoot for the shops) how about you?