Monday, August 13, 2007

Camping The Way God Intended

After a rather hectic summer, The Wife and I are getting away this week, camping in the piney north woods of Michigan; a couple of miles north of Pentwater, on the shores of Lake Michigan (okay, about half a mile from Lake Michigan, but, still, pretty close.) The weather is perfect; the temperature in the high 70s, creeping towards 80; not a cloud in the sky nor a client on the horizon. We are eating as you can eat only in Michigan. Fresh lake perch, fried in a light batter. Fresh sweet cherries. Fresh peaches. Fresh blue berries. Fresh sweet corn. (Please try to avoid drooling on your keyboard.)

This is camping the way God intended it, sitting on the deck of a three bedroom; 2-1/2 bath house, with Waylon Jennings wailing on the CD player. (Vivaldi has had his turn on the player; we are nothing if not eclectic.) I am told the cell phone should get reception if I lean over the back deck railing, but don't lean too much because the railing is weak and might give way. Perfect.

I have brought along plenty of reading material. I want to finish Gunter Grass's The Tin Drum for our reading group. (It is amazingly funny and readable. I was expecting something more dour and Teutonic.) I have also brought along Richard Powers's first book, Three Farmers on Their Way to a Dance. I first read that many years ago, soon after it came out, but I want to re-familiarize myself with it before he visits our reading group on September 30th. Just in case I run out, I have also brought along several Eric Kraft novels recommended to me by a fellow blogger.

Besides reading, I have promised myself that I would spend two hours a day writing, aside from blogging. I have a memoir (french word for "lying") started several years ago in a cabin in the Ozarks, that I need to work on. I have a short story percolating that I need to get down on a computer screen. I promised my friend, Philip Deaver, that I would at least try my hand at fiction. He thinks if I can write the Aunt Tillie reports, I can compose some Amish fiction. We'll see. I never thought I could, but maybe it's just a matter of doing it.

But not all of my time has been spent lounging on the deck with books and a laptop. We've done some walking; even if it was just to the fruit stand about a mile away. I've looked up at the night sky and was amazed at how brilliant the stars look when there is no light pollution. Last night was a new moon, so there was not even any moonlight washing out the stars. And, we got to the beach last night, just after sunset, to see this amazing sight.


steve said...

Several years ago there was an NPR commentary about camping. The commentator said that indoor plumbing was Rome's greatest contribution to civilization. And who destroyed the Roman Empire? Campers, such as the Huns, Goths, and Vandals.

You're doing the best kind of camping imaginable: one which owes more to the legacy of Rome than to the campers who brought it down.

gerry rosser said...

Three bedrooms and two-and-a-half baths? Camping? Hmmm. If it had three full baths would that still be camping?

Uncle Menno said...

Well now. I think if you just let Aunt Tillie talk for a while, it would make for interesting reading, to me at least. If you tell her it's for a book, she won't likely have much to say, but you don't have to tell her that. Just tell her you want to hear some stories about her family and growing up. Ask her if an old sow ever chased her out of a pigpen. And what did she think when she took her first ride in a car? Did she ever take any fancies to English boys? I promise I'll come by with some homemade icecream if she'll tell some stories.

Amishlaw said...

Steve, I'll be on the lookout for any Huns, Goths and Vandals lurking in the woods up here. The big news is that the Michigan Department of Natural Resources is finally admitting that there are panthers here.
Gerry, if it's in the northwoods and the cell phone doesn't work too well, I consider it camping.
Uncle Menno, I'm sure Aunt Tillie has a few tales that could entertain us, it's just a matter of getting her out of her garden to sit down and tell them to us. But maybe if you brought the ice cream first, we could lure her inside to tell a few.

Ich bin auch Amische said...

"For Mario Batali, It’s Molto Michigan"

For Amishlawyer, It's Amazing Michigan...

Has Mario invited you over for pizza?