Images from Summer

October 28, 2000

Last night I spent several hours updating and working on this site. As I looked over the dates on the table of contents I noticed that I had not written a thing during the summer.

Granted, Zack's arrival on the scene caused some major changes in my life, at least for June, July, August and September. Late in the spring my assistant and I decided that the pool of resumes left little to be desired and we figured that I would just fly solo for the entire summer.

No staff, save for my new Palm Pilot Vx that I named K2 in honor of my assistant.

Granted, I have been working on a career change for some time, but given that the office was empty day after day, I spent tons of my office time looking for new opportunities.

I also decided that for the working world would probably not end if I took some time off as well. That's where the images of summer come into play. This year, rather than play over to the lake and back and then maybe back again, I decided to spend the entire two weeks on the shore.

The working world did not end, and I have recorded some wonderful moments from those weeks on the beach.

My summer world would not be complete without great sailing experiences, and this summer was no exception. The last week of June and the first week of July brought forth some great northwest and southwest winds. My daughter caught this picture on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon.

The weeks did not bring as many great sailing days as I had hoped however, but I am quite thankful for the 4 or 5 great days of sailing that I did have.

The hobi-cat is my platform for dancing with the wind.

A Lake Michigan summer is not complete without endless walks on the beach, but this year my attempts to find gulls to photograph came up fruitless. I walked for miles and miles and ended up losing about 5 -7 lbs during the 2 weeks I was walking the beaches.

This year I chased butterflies and was rewarded with a quick visit to my toes. It's not quite the same as having one alight on your thumb and hang on for dear life, but graced on the toes is still graced.

As the 4th of July draws closer and closer, nights on the beach are filled with private celebrations of light and fireworks. Each night found families cloistered on the beach round the campfire while the dads set up their fireworks a safe distance from all the children.

Needless to say, the beach was crowded every night while the youngest roasted marshmallows and carried sparklers about in the night. The sparklers held by my eldest and her boyfriend are pictured here. The nights were warm, and a gentle breeze blew the smell of gunpowder down the beach away from where we rested on a set of large logs.

These were nights of Lake Michigan at its best, a crescent moon hung low on the horizon, suspended in the indigo blue of the approaching night sky. Unlike the sunsets say in Florida or southern California, the light lingers in the northern latitudes, long after the sun has slipped below the waves of the big lake.

This place where we go is a place of memories for all of our family. For over 14 years we have rented various cottages at the same resort. My children have developed friendships that have been refreshed every summer. One of our summer traditions has been the trip down to Grand Haven for the local "big" 4th of July fireworks celebration. Finally, after all these years, we have found the best places to park, and have decided that a long walk is far better than being stuck in the jam of people who all try and leave at the same time.

Camera in hand, I took photograph after photograph, and ended up saving only one or two, reminders of the Ooohs and ahhhhs as explosions of light burst overhead. The fireworks are set off on a hill across a small bay. An armada of boats is kept in line by the Coast Guard, and once the shooting starts, all traffic in front of the crowd stops.

Our favorite memory of the fireworks has to be the year that the hill caught on fire. Sparks from the fireworks ignited tall grasses and soon the hill was ablaze. The crowd cheered the fire as it engulfed small pines that burst into flame. The Coast Guard fire boat put out the blaze, and the fires in the sky continued.

Trips to Grand Haven would not be complete without a walk out on the pier to the lighthouse. We made two trips to the pier this year, always with camera and binoculars in tow.

Why the binoculars? It's that emerald on the water thing, and by now, I am known at the resort to be the guy who is down by the water every sunset looking for some ray thing. Some make fun, others join me at the waters edge, waiting for the very last ray of light from the setting sun. This year, as I sat and discussed the "green ray" with the owner of one of the sailboats pictured below. Mine is the one on the far right, his is on the far left, and we watched the sunset from a 4th boat on the shore. Just about a minute or two after I took the picture, I pulled out the binoculars, spotted not quite a ray of green, but a burst of green, and was able to share it with my friend who was able to see it with the naked eye.

I'ts been over 2 years since I last saw the ray, and I've watched plenty of sunsets trying.

Content again, I am surrounded by images of a great couple of weeks on the big water called Lake Michigan.