I’m in the place on this earth that I love best. The place my dad dreamed of, scrimped and saved for, and plopped down a shell of a house in 1972 that has been evolving ever since.
I know how lucky I am to have this legacy handed down to me, to be the caretaker–with my husband–of this sacred place. I know how lucky I am to have a career that has evolved so that I can live and work here. I am lucky, grateful, honored to care for and live in a cottage on Lake Michigan for a good chunk of the year.
And like the shores of this lake, which ebb and flow and deposit (or demolish, as is the case this year) sandy beaches, treasures of driftwood and perfect skipping stones, my experiences here change. This summer, after two years of learning to live with no kids in my home, said (grown) kids are here with me for the month.
There is a music festival not far from here that happens in a few more weeks. My kids are working to build the experience for the 40,000 or so people who will hopefully attend this four-day festival safely. My kids wake up to coffee here and spend the day onsite at the festival grounds, then come back to the cottage tired and hungry and not always cheerful (but mostly they are). It’s hard work, and they’re good at it. I am the coffee supplier, the occasional breakfast maker, the baker of brownies and cookies. The goodbye-er and hello-er and the hearer of stories after long days. It’s a little like it was before they left, but different because they are adults. We navigate the sometimes tricky path of communicating in a different way.
I am different here, too. It’s a stripped down way of life, different from the city both physically and emotionally. The days are longer on the lake and the distractions are fewer. I have said it before: I am most myself with sand in my hair, the lake water in my pores. And like the changing relationship with my kids, and the ebb and flow of this shoreline, I am navigating a changing relationship with myself. More acceptance, less chatter, nicer words, less worry. I’m working on these things, anyway.
Here’s another thing I’m working on. Or working with. It’s one of the first generation Olympus PEN half-frame cameras. This one is probably from 1960 or ’61. The whole half frame thing intrigues me… You get an image on half of a frame of 35mm film, which means you get double the shots per roll. Who doesn’t like that? I spent the week trying it out and will send my test roll for processing on Monday morning. I’ve got my fingers crossed, because wow, this little thing is fun to shoot. Hopefully I’ll have something to show for it next week.
So that’s where I am. In my favorite place, working, enjoying my kids, trying out a new camera. A divine start to summer.
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