I ride my bike one last time down the road. This time though, I'm keenly aware of everything. I feel the warm, late-summer wind against my bare skin and through my hair, flying behind me. My legs burn as I pedal uphill, then rest easy as I coast along and spy the chestnut mare out in the field, lazily grazing, happy that black fly season is over. In the distance I hear the familiar sound of a chainsaw hard at work, but not before freshly cut pine meets my nose as I deeply inhale. The pine mixes with warm woodsy earth and fresh air to envelop me in my surroundings. A deer darts out in front of me, and after both our heart rates accelerate we slow to inspect one another. She remains in the brush, curiously staring me down, before nodding and continuing to munch on her midday meal. I pedal on. Back toward the lake a loon calls out eerily, its minor tune matching the one in my heart.
June is our favorite, when on the cusp of summer all things promise warmth, lazy days, and good times ahead.
I jest - they were perfect gentlemen - and actually required less effort than girls of their age. Except when it comes to food. I'm afraid I didn't do so well in feeding such a small army, so I kept pushing watermelon at them.
Mr. Musky's assessment? He wandered downstairs to say hello, then came back up with a profound revelation.
Then like a whirlwind, July madness descended upon us. We hosted guests for eighteen days straight, starting with this gem who I met my senior year of high school.
In the end, he made peace with them, and Summer even cozied up to him, despite her constant reply of "Really?" to every statement he made. The skepticism runs deep in that one.
TREE DOWN! Lady Luck swirled around with that storm though. The downed tree rotted from the center out, something we would have never realized. As it fell during the storm, a pine tree diverted its path, saving our dock and boats from disaster. The power was out, so we all channelled our inner pioneer and humped water from the lake in order to flush toilets.
Despite the severity of the storm, we were able to call in the professionals. They arrived the next day and cleaned up the rubble in no time. I have a newfound appreciation for arborists.
Things calmed down a bit after that, with the arrival of Mama and Papa Kahling. They had but one item on their agenda: Relax.
Next up - our dear friends, Rob and Kara, who also took the art of relaxation very seriously.
And that about covers it, with the exception of two quick day trips to Ontonagon, Michigan. With a population less than 1500, don't blink or you'll miss this sleepy little town at the top of the Upper Peninsula. We love it for escaping the heat in the Northwoods (which happens maybe twice per summer) and for the pristine beaches on the shores of Lake Superior. If this Great Lake ever beckons you, go.
If I were melancholy when I started this post, now I'm depressed. In two weeks we ship our oldest off to college, and while I am mentally ready for that, I still don't want to call it quits on our summertime paradise. But like many things in life, I have no choice.