and here is summer



My friend Pat just sent me this.

I think it says it all.  We don’t watch television here, but I do keep up with the news online and I am waiting to read about something good.

It could be a long wait.

As I sit here in Lake Bubble Mode it is a relief to be distanced from all the bad news.  Escapism, maybe.  Healthier?  Definitely.

Will and I went to town yesterday because I had an eye appointment.  We drove through the recently reconfigured main street downtown.  The street is narrower, the sidewalks wider, the visibility is bad and finding a place to park will always be a challenge.  And there were people everywhere–so I guess the summer visitors have arrived despite the chilly weather.

Will wore his mask and explored the antique stores while I was having my eyes checked.  We ate lunch via the drive-up window at Serv-A-Burger.

Banjo Man got his fishing license and spent the evening on the dock with Will as they tried to catch something (they didn’t).  Will announced that he had worn wool socks on the last day of June.

He is not in Texas any more.

Monday night we finished burning the ugly driftwood.  I say “we” but I didn’t have anything to do with it except carrying the paper bags and matches down the hill.

IMG_4551 (1)

It ended up being a huge project, coals burning until bedtime.  But the beach is clean and ready for summer.

Banjo Man built a stone patio as a platform for a chair or two and an umbrella.  It is gorgeous.


Patio in progress.

All we need now is sunshine.  Come on, summer!  Let’s get this party started!



Posted in family, lake | Leave a comment

cleaning up the beach


Will working on the fire.  The assortment of rocks in the top right corner will be part of a new shaded patio.

We’ve spent quite a few evenings on the beach lately.  There is always plenty to burn and we love campfires.

We need to enjoy them now in case the fire danger ramps up later in the summer and puts a stop to outdoor burning.


We’ve had a few warm evenings, but many more cool ones.
Whatever the weather, Banjo Man and Will burn driftwood and I sit nearby and enjoy the fire.

My job is to give out compliments.

This is what you do when there is no television.  We do have streaming capability, but we have only used it once, when we watched an awful movie, THE HOSTILES, and even had popcorn.  Most evenings  we are happy to play a few rounds of Canasta and go to bed early.

Oh, the excitement!

We are saving the marshmallows for the Funny Grandson, whose arrival we expect will liven things up around here.

The beach will be ready for visitors.



Posted in family, lake | Leave a comment

and covid continues

Last Saturday afternoon we took George to Spokane, as he was going to spend the night near the airport and catch an early flight out the next morning.

On the way home we stopped at Kohl’s because I remembered I had a 30% off coupon, just in case anyone needed anything.  Well, the guys decided they needed boots and sneakers.  They wore masks, the store was fairly empty and we weren’t in there very long.  That was in Washington.

When we reached Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, we decided to grab something to eat.  Our choices boiled down to Taco Bell (drive thru) and a favorite pizza place (eat in the car).  After looking online at the flatbread menu at the pizza restaurant we decided to do that.  The parking lot was packed with cars, which was a surprise.  I went inside to order (it was so difficult to do by phone that we totally gave up) and was shocked to see that the place was filled with people.

The large restaurant was full, couples and families were waiting for tables, and the only people wearing masks were the servers.

It was pretty unnerving, especially after months of self-distancing and the occasional take-out meal.

I ordered and then escaped back to the car to wait.  When I retrieved our little pizzas the place was even busier.  It seemed so very strange, as if I’d entered a foreign country.

In the past week our county has been hit with the virus.  Visitors from out of town are descending on Sandpoint to enjoy the restaurants and bars and shops, but they have brought the virus with them.

So we are very happy to be in our quiet little cocoon here at the lake.  The guys have quarantined for two weeks and are, thankfully, healthy.

And they want to stay that way.

Campfires, kayaking, arrowhead-hunting, fishing and swimming are all part of our summer.  And Covid doesn’t affect any of that!

sunset 1

The view on our way home from Spokane.



Posted in family, lake | Leave a comment

the ghost otter

I know my otter isn’t really a ghost, but for a week or so we really wondered if Will had actually seen what he thought he had.

A little gray head, the V of the water surrounding him, swimming away from our dock in the midst of calm morning water…well, that looked like an otter to Will.  And then it disappeared as Will ran to get a better view from a different window.

Uh, where did it go?

Then on Tuesday morning as I sat here at my desk looking at the bay, there was the otter.  Swimming towards the dock in the glassy water.  And then, as I raced to another window to follow its progress, it was gone.

I googled “otters”, of course.  River otters can hold their breath under water for eight minutes.  At the rate of speed they swim, they could travel a long way–way past our window range–in eight minutes.  In our years here at the lake, this was the first summer to see an otter.  We suspect he lives around the bend, in a quiet little Forest Service-owned part of the bay sandwiched between homeowners.  Has he been fishing for bass underneath our dock?

“Watching for the otter” is now on my morning to-do list, along with “watching for the geese” and “watching for the eagle” (who shocked me by flying just above the water between the dock and the beach on Monday morning–he was huge!).  And of course, there is always “listening for the osprey”.

As you can see, I am very busy.

Today is exciting because we are driving to Clark Fork this afternoon to pick up books at the library (open three days a week, masks required), go to the dump, and get ice cream at The Pantry (masks optional but always a good idea for my guys, who will wear them).

Such is quarantining at the lake.

It’s going to be a quiet summer.  And that’s just fine with us.



Posted in lake | 1 Comment

they are out there somewhere

arrowheads (2)

Will has been renamed “The Hunter”.  He found these in one evening, the first evening he was on the beach in 2020.

Two are chips, of course.  But the one second from the left is the real thing.

We remain amazed.

He also caught a foot-long bass the first time he put a worm in the water.

We want him to buy a lottery ticket!

Sunday evening (when the light was right) I joined him on an arrowhead hunt.  We sorted through a lot of wet rocks, but didn’t come up with anything.  We could search all summer and not find another arrowhead on the beach so we will admire the one Will found for the rest of our time here.

But I will not stop looking.  We are going to develop a system and possibly a grid.  I’m psyched.

The sun has come out and summer weather has moved in, as of yesterday.  Oh, joy!

Time to take my coffee down to the dock…


Posted in family, lake | 2 Comments

social distancing at its best


Image | Posted on by | 1 Comment

saturday june 20 at the lake

Well, I just spent two hours trying to sync the photos on my phone to my new laptop.  I thought I’d done it, but…no.  There are pictures on the computer somewhere, but I can’t find them.  Excuse me while I scream.

So you will get no sunset or storm or geese pictures from me this afternoon.

Maybe tomorrow.

All is well, though.  We have quarantined and taken all necessary precautions.  Banjo Man’s quarantine ends on Tuesday, but he will still wear his mask in public.

Son Will has to wait another week, but so far he looks pretty darn healthy.

We have eaten a lot of pie from The Pantry.  I love the peach.  George loves the cherry.  Banjo Man likes it all, and Will declared the “Multi Berry” pie the best pie he’d ever had in his life.

We have played dominoes and cards each evening.  Outside the weeds have been whacked and all Trex surfaces power-washed.  The kayaks are on the beach, as are some chairs.

Arrowheads have been discovered.  Yes, already.  Will is some kind of miracle hunter.

Again…I can’t access the photos with which to impress you.

It is very relaxed here, and I don’t mean just on our little property.   The few people I’ve come in contact with are happy and smiling.  The stress of the past months is dissipating, at least for Banjo Man and me.  Will has been decompressing since leaving the heat (and virus and protesters) in Texas.  I’ve seen his mood alter daily and now he is his normal cheerful self.

Not so when he arrived.

George returns home tomorrow, unfortunately.  But we’ve enjoyed our days together.

The weather has mostly been cool and cloudy but of course we don’t care.  I’m waiting for July, with sunshine and kayaking and days on the beach spent reading and watching the boats go by.

Photos soon, I promise!



Posted in food, lake | 1 Comment

an anniversary

We are here at the lake!

I think I need to say that again:  We are here at the lake!!!


Flying from Providence to Spokane was easy and exhausting and just plain weird.  The airports were almost empty.  The few passengers wore masks.  The planes were about 1/4 full.  The flight attendants said, “Spread out!”

Finally in Las Vegas there was food.  A Burger King was open and we raced into the line like starving wildebeests.  I had brought three kinds of trail mix with me, but we all know it doesn’t take long to get sick of it unless you’re starving on a mountain hike.

We spent the night in Spokane and my wonderful brother-in-law George picked us up the next morning.  We headed to the lake.

Thank God.

This past year I had my doubts as to whether I would ever see it again.  There have been some pretty bad days, especially during the worst of the virus lockdown when travel was banned.  As we got closer to June 8th, I didn’t even want Banjo Man to drive to town for fear of accidents.  I have been a wreck and not even CBD oil could calm the anxiety.

The bright, shining, glorious news last month was having Covid antibodies and I am grateful.

Today is the year anniversary of my cancer surgery, when many people worked together  to save my life.  I remember getting a pink tote bag of gifts from a breast cancer organization and reluctantly taking it just to be polite.  I didn’t want to be part of the club and I didn’t want a damn pink bag!

I got over it.

I thank you all for reading about this Year of Cancer.  You sent loving comments and gifts and support and my heart needed all of that desperately.

You will never know how much.

I admit to crying a lot–I prefer to call it “leaking stress”—but it has been a long Spring and I have lost my mother and I miss my parents (most of you know how that goes) and the loneliness continues. I rarely cried at all during the months of cancer treatment as it was easier to be stoic in front of strangers, but I guess it had to come out sometime.

But on the bright side?  I went to the quilt store in town here and bought fabric.  No one wore masks and everyone talked to me and it was so lovely and normal that afterwards I sat in the car and sobbed with relief.

And son Will arrives tomorrow!!!  How wonderful is that!!!!

So no more blogging about breast cancer.  Tomorrow starts a new year.

My love to you all.


Posted in lake | 4 Comments

the new normal

My friend Pat sent me this picture so I would be prepared for my flight this morning.

I’ll let you know how the trip goes.

social distance plane

Posted in just for fun | 1 Comment

over and out

We’re packing.

Time is running out and the pressure is on, but that’s okay.  It happens every time, so we’re cranky and stressed but keeping our eye on the prize:  summer at the lake.

I haven’t blogged for a few days because with the state of the country the way it is, I’ve been either (a) glued to the news or (b) self-medicating by watching “Find My Lottery Dream Home” on HGTV.  There is something about watching happy people shopping for a home in which to be happy that serves as an excellent stress-reliever.

And I am still waiting for my anti-depressant to kick in.

It is raining paperwork here as I work with a very patient lawyer to settle my mother’s estate.  I’d hoped to have it done before I left but there is something from the town that won’t be finalized until after June 18 so I can no nothing more.  At least here in Rhode Island.

So now that I’ve signed more papers at the lawyer’s office, I will finish the rest of the laundry and return to cleaning my refrigerator.  It is hot and muggy today–welcome to summer in Rhode Island!–so I’m sure the recently-opened beaches are packed with very happy sun lovers.

I’m happy to home with my suitcases.

Today is the anniversary of D-Day.  I am filled with gratitude.



Posted in rhode island | Leave a comment