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.