It is time to leave “Our Lake” again. The folks that renamed Burrrard Lake “Our Lake” when they put a bunch of double wides around it between the cedars and firs were optimistic, but within their rights.
Our Lake seems like a pond next to Lake Padden, across the street, but it really is 5 acres and takes twenty minutes to circumnavigate, including the pause at the off leash dog area where very few dare release the hounds because of the squirrely and goosey temptations.
Her water is every shade of reflected green, topped with millfoil and other fuzzier algae in the summer. In the fall, she turns to coffee and tea, with wet teabag maple leaves slowly sloughing to the bottom.
The leaves of Halloween still hang on around the lake, and the cattails ring its entirety. The geese are talking about going, but still return in the evenings, overcome by sentimentality. I wonder if the whole thing will crust over with ice and snow as happened last winter. The frogs have quieted and are digging into their muddy burrows. The grey squirrel, its feud with the black squirrel interrupted by plunging temperatures, madly strips the bark from the cedars. It shoves them into the handy little hole in the host tree for cushioning and warmth. I have often thought this cedar bark harvesting was solely done by the Lummi Indians, our local tribe, but saw the fat grey squirrel at it this fall. Of course, he could be having a go at basket making. I don’t know what goes on down in that little hole in the cedar.
I wanted to introduce you to Our Pond as we said goodbye to it, because isn’t that when you really appreciate a spot of dappled sun with a bench, a blue jay feather on the trail, even your dearest most darling friend, the moment you kiss them goodbye?
I will let you get to know Our Pond more intimately, when we return with the geese, with the hummingbirds, the robins and the mallards, the whistling pintails and glittering swallows. I will introduce you properly to scene and character, and we will get right down to the muck of it.
But, for now, I sign off at a damp campground in Twanoh, near Hood Canal after scooting along in a big ferry from Clinton, near Oak Harbor, and then across the Puget Sound again from Edmonds to Kingston near Bremerton. Port Townsends Ferry was much delayed due to strong winds (imagine trying to jump your car over that unfortunately widening gap before the dock). So this is plan B. Most of us know that plan A is simply something to talk about before the need to alter your course makes itself plain.
I give you exhibit A: My Mother, moving back with her husband to what once HAD been plan A, and now, for a moment, maybe plan B or C, it become plan A again.
And I have to mention my stalwart sailing sibling, whose digs have gone from A to B to C to, well maybe even, D, and then, through the fruit of his labors, I believe he has gotten right back to A again. How could you not call sailing in the clear blue sea of Cortez, anything but a plan A?
Good night, dear ones, we wish you well through the winter. I will try to send these little postcards from the road now and then. It isn’t as good as having you right here with me, but it does help me feel not so terribly far from you, if I can tell you a little story now and then, and read the ones you share as well.
My faithful editor is ten toes up after driving out truck, camper and cargo trailer in a real soaker half the day. All grammatical offenses are my own.
Moxy is kicking in her dreams and I can actually hear her heart beating. She was only carsick the last few hours. One rx for motion sickness, one for anxiety and one captivating eau de grouse wing tucked away in the cab seemed to help.
There is a mouse gnawing on something in the cupboard under the tiny sink. Why would he be in with the pots and pans I wonder. And the dog too doped to even notice!