"It was imprudent of us, in the first place, to become authors. We could have become something regular, but we managed not to.
We were lucky, but we were also determined." Roy Blount Jr

"I don’t change the facts to enhance the drama. I think of it the other way round, the drama has got to fit the facts,
and it’s your job as a writer to find the shape in real life."
Hilary Mantel

Friday, April 15, 2011

Ice Out & Ice Not Quite Out

The ice went out on our little lake sometime on Wednesday. Now the migrating waterfowl can land on our open water, although I haven't spotted any yet. We've got only a little snow cover left at the edge of the woods and in a shady spot in front of the Lodge, but it's receding very quickly these days.

I took a little road trip today, an overnight jaunt. It took me to the Big Lake. At the bottom tip of our bay the ice is completely out, and well into the middle portion. Beyond that is some remaining ice cover. Then it thins out a lot.

This is what I found when I stopped at the cottage and went down to our dock--our section of the Bay is very nearly ice-free!

Some waterfowl were sitting atop the very thin--rapidly thinning--self of ice. The trio on the left appear to be loons!

The cottage atop the hill.

In the next town I stopped for a cup of coffee. A pair of elderly gentleman were seated at one table near the door, chatting. As I was standing at the counter waiting for my dose of caffeine, I heard one of them say, "That young lady there in the flowered skirt, she'd probably enjoy a tune." (I was indeed wearing a flowery skirt, I was younger than they, besides being the only other customer in the joint.)

One of them whipped out a harmonica and played "When You're Smiling, the Whole World Smiles With You." I stood there grinning. On my way out I thanked him for the concert. He held up his arm, then strapped on a velcro brace. He explained he'd recently had surgery, part of his hip bone was used to rebuild the bone in his left arm.

He grinned up at me. "My doctor says I'm healing perfectly. I'm doing physical therapy, and it's going so well that this morning I was able to play my violin."

"I play the mandolin," I volunteered.

He nodded. "G--D--A--E."

"That's right. Tuned exactly like a fiddle, only eight strings instead of four."

"My mother played the mandolin," the other man told me. "I play the ukele."

I stood there for several minutes, talking music. I learned that there's a local crowd that does music sessions in the next town over, on Tuesday nights. They invited me to come along. Maybe, on some summer night, once I'm back in residence on the Big Lake, I will.

I hopped in my Author-mobile and proceeded to my destination, the undisclosed location where I'll spend a total of 24 hours with a group of about 34 people. Some I know well, some I hardly know, and some I've never met in my life.

This is the view from the balcony outside my room.

The last time I gazed upon those mountains, about two months ago, they were entirely covered with snow and it felt like winter would never end. Having such a fine vista doesn't entirely compensate for a night away from the Chap and the dogs, but it's not bad!

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