I’ve been planning my annual music week with my three best friends for many months now, and in past years I’ve returned home as soon as it was over, with maybe one final quick weekend at the Lake in late October before shutting it all down for the winter. But CD has a full week off, starting in mid-October, so she suggested that I just stay, renting a car until she can come. This gives me another full 3½ weeks at the cabin, encompassing the prime autumn time—for a grand total of 76 days during the year, or nearly 11 weeks! What a special treat!
Since we sold our second car this past summer and did not replace it, we must use rentals when we travel separately. I used this opportunity to rent a small truck for the trip up, so that I could bring three new(er) twin mattresses to replace older ones. When I did my research for the rental, I found to my amazement that it’s cheaper to rent a truck than even an economy car! So I drove up on Tuesday with Limo as my co-pilot, the cargo area
carrying the three mattresses, one box spring, four guitars, my l66-key Yamaha keyboard, a smallish array of recording equipment, and some clothes. Bathroom renovation is going on at home, and due to a glitch there was no hot water until around 10:30, so we couldn’t leave as early as I’d planned, and therefore arrived after dark, but it was a very pleasant drive through the early fall palette of Iowa and Minnesota. It was perfectly calm & clear when we pulled in, the sky ablaze with stars.
Yesterday dawned the same, the Lake was smooth as glass. After I’d unpacked
everything but the mattresses & the box spring, Limo and I went for a hike in the woods across the road on my nature trail. The autumn colors are developing rapidly, some of the maples and most of the sumac already in riotous color, with the promise of more to come in the very near future.
When we’d left the cabin for our walk, I’d put a handful of sunflower seeds on the step to see if the chipmunks were interested in some easy pickings to stock up their larders, and when we returned, it was gone—and I saw movement out of the corner of my eye. So I got another handful of seeds and sat down on the step. It didn’t take more than a few minutes until one approached, cautiously at first, but ever bolder, and soon took some from my open hand and, when I slowly raised it, jumped on and sat calmly, packing in as much as possible.
I spent the rest of yesterday replenishing the firewood supply in the woodbox on the porch and the ready stack next to the fireplace, playing some music, working with the day’s photos, and making a quick trip to town for enough groceries to feed Rick and Ron,
who will arrive this afternoon (Tom can’t come until tomorrow), and a quick pizza (I ate half and will have the rest for lunch today). The construction on our road is progressing
very slowly, and the eastern section is all torn up, sandy, rutted, and treacherous, and will probably be un-driveable in a non-4-wheel-drive vehicle if it rains, so on the return I made the detour that allowed me to approach from the west, as I had on Tuesday.
Today (Thursday), everything has changed. The temperature has dropped, the wind is up, gusting to about 35 mph, it’s all gray and overcast, there are whitecaps on the Lake, and it’s been drizzling & raining off and on all morning.
I had to drive to Laporte to mail a forgotten item to CD, so took the safer, longer route.
Spent the rest of the morning laying a nice fire to light when Ron & Rick arrive (around 6 pm) and another in the Weber for burgers, eating my leftover pizza, tuning all the guitars, and playing music. Soon the party will begin—let it rain & storm outside; we’ll keep each other warm! I’ll report more again soon, so stay, um, tuned.