I began to realize the other morning—another glorious one, by the way—that there remain only a few weeks of “cottage life” for this summer. Without any fanfare or heralding, those little “hints” have begun appearing all about, particularly the trees and bushes displaying slight tinges of rust and orange and yellow. Even the sunlight has begun to have different slants throughout the day, and the shadows seem to be deeper as the dark of night creeps in so much earlier.
Yesterday, as I cruised in the pontoon rather late in the afternoon, I thought it was more of a September day than a late summer August one. The vacationers have mostly wrapped things up and gone back to their routines of jobs and other family duties. Many kids have started school—or will very soon—and the tubes and jet skis and wave runners are few and far between now, a sure harbinger that the end of summer is edging closer.
When I pushed off from our pier, I seemed to be the only boat on the lake. Even the fishermen, who thrive on days such as this, when the lake is free of wild and crazy traffic, were not to be seen. I had the lake all to myself.
I loved chugging around at a very slow pace, studying the shore and the piers and the houses that I’ve studied hundreds of times before. While I noticed that nothing had been closed up or put away at these places, there seemed to be a sense of calm and quiet, with everything seemingly at rest in the late afternoon sunshine.
For whatever reason, there seems to be that intangible “thing”—feeling?—that seems to show its face around here this time each summer. Somehow, it triggers a kind of inner alarm clock that says: Enjoy it while you can…closing time ain’t that far away! And when “closing day” does arrive (September 16), I’m pretty much ready for it so that we, too, can get back to our fall and winter and spring routines. Curiously, though, it seems to get here much too soon. After all, wasn’t it just the 4th of July? Perhaps it only seems this way because I’m another year older, and what seemed to drag on forever when I was young and foolish now seems to go fleetingly that I’m old and foolisher! (Thank you, Mark Twain!)
I suppose I’ll have more thoughts along these lines in the days ahead as the summer winds down, and I had best take the advice of that inner alarm clock and enjoy it while I can. I’ll keep to my daily routines here in the weeks that remain. There will be morning coffee on the porch so I can watch the lake “go by.” There will be lots of quiet time to write my morning’s “stint” and update my blogs. There will be many hours to read the good books that sit on the shelf above the microwave awaiting my attention. There will be walks to take the trash to the dumpster. And, of course, there will be slow chugs around the lake, late afternoons, to once again see the little “hints” that closing time ain’t that far away!...MLA