"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

Saturday, July 06, 2013


Greetings from the lake cottage, where we have--at long last--settled in for some much needed rest and relaxation. And amazing summer sunsets like the one last evening:

Ruth opened our swimming season, on a blistering day of 90-something degrees. The lake was 78 F, quite warm for so early in July.

Eleven days ago, within hours of my return from the novelists' conference, we moved from the Lodge. It was hot, humid, sticky, and uncomfortable when 3 movers and 2 trucks arrived at 9.30 a.m.. Conditions worsened as the day proceeded, and late in the evening when our possessions arrived at the new abode, there was a rainstorm to further test our patience and fortitude. By about 11.30 p.m. (!!!) all was off-loaded and truck vanished into the night. Because our box springs couldn't make it up the curving stairways, we slept on the mattress on the floor for the first few nights.

Once the girls arrived, they seemed to like their new environment.

On a trip back to the Lodge to collect odds and ends that didn't make it onto the removal vans, I cut roses to decorate and scent the new house.

The early days of our residence in the new house required dodging flooring and fitted carpet installers, our wonderful painter, plumbers, granite worktop installers. For various reasons there were delays in the work projects, so nothing was actually finished by the time we moved in except the hard surface floors, and the painting of our master suite. Now everyone is finished except the painter, who was very gracious when Jewel (of course!) stepped into a tray of white ceiling paint for an upstairs bathroom. It took a while to wipe her paws clean--and the hardwood floor in the corridor where she stepped. But now we have only this print, on a carpet scrap, as a souvenir:

We have been warmly welcomed by new neighbours and their dogs. The Chap loves his 2.5 minutes commute to the office. Our .21 acres are attractively landscaped with perennials and overall more easily maintained than the Lodge's 21 acres. My feeders have attracted--so far--hummingbirds, a pair of cardinals, nuthatches, chickadees, a sparrow. And ravenous chipmunks!

We stayed at home through the July 4th holiday, then came to the lake cottage for the duration of the latest heat wave (following an entire month of rain during June!) The move has added perhaps 10 minutes to our drive to the Big Lake, not at all bad. After so much upheaval and disruption, we're thankful to spend some time at our under-used waterside retreat, and intend to return more often now that life has settled down. We currently own 3 (!!!) houses, but not for long, as the Lodge is under contract with a closing scheduled for the end of this month.

I'm mindful of the fact that twenty years ago tomorrow I saw the Lodge for the very first time--the owner's red-white-and-blue bunting was still hanging from the windows that day. I knew as soon as I walked inside that I needed to live their. I returned to this cottage--where we were holidaying--and told the Chap, "I've just seen our future home!" Within a day or so I took him back to see it, and he liked it just as much as I did. We returned to Colorado wondering how on earth we could buy a house that a) wasn't even on the market yet when b) we were still living in the Rocky Mountain West.

It took us 8 months to make our dream of country living come true. And now, after 19 happy years in our own private forest beside our dear little lake, an entirely new dream is our new reality. It all feels so right. Whenever I visit the Lodge, divested of our furnishings, books, dogs, plants, I expect to respond with sadness. But no, I'm simply thankful for the joy of living there, and I hope the next occupants will enjoy the dear place just as much as we did!

Here on the bay, my wild pet fish Walter has moved on to the deeper part of the lake,his eggs hatched and the fry are swimming around our dock. Time passes, changes come, many things endure.

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