Last night of vacation for 2016

by the Carpenter

(this was written this past weekend as the Carpenter sat by a lovely fire. The lake was calm as glass, the air was perfectly still. The moon was full.)

Yep, it's October 15. The Artist and I are on the shore of our favorite lake in northwest Wisconsin. Sitting by the fire, watching the full moon lift above the east shore of the lake and above the tree line across the water. The lake is so calm, I’m tempted to “chunky dunk” (camp lingo for skinny dip). But I won't.

We arrived on Wednesday with the intention of having no agenda for five days. This was a re-do of our lost vacation in July due to a funeral and some medical issues that needed attention, so here we are.

Of course there is some guilty feeling I always have when leaving work. Don’t know why, it’s just there. Fortunately for me that feeling is not as strong as it used to be. There was a day when we had a vacation planned, I would add up the cost of lost time at work and the cost of the vacation and make a justification that it was not affordable. Not good decisions. I never took into account what not taking a vacation cost in terms of refueling, time to rest, sometimes time to heal, body and spirit. Looking back years ago, there would be stretches of time several years long we never got away.

Yes I would have a day off here and there, go hunt or fish for an afternoon, attend the annual fall Olson men's weekend and a few various other things that got me away on occasion. But not the two of us. It was bad for awhile, never getting away.

Things have changed though. It is now a priority. We will be taking two weeks next summer and a year from now again on this same beautiful lake. And if the weather is with us and the ice is off the lake we will try again for a long weekend in May.

Like I said, it’s the last night. My mind is back home thinking of bids, schedules, upcoming jobs etc (don’t tell the artist). I really hate the fact I start my week and I’m still at the lake. I am working on that.

Ok back to the fire, the moon, and the lake, I still have 36 hours before work starts. Oh and the Artist thinks she hears a bear!


Well the bear turned out to be a bear of a beaver! He rambled out of the woods and slipped into the lake. We didn’t know he was that close until we saw him swim by the campsite and crawl back up on to the shore. The amazing thing wasn’t so much the beaver, but what seemed to be following old "rollie pollie." I thought it was a snake at first. It turned out to be a very large Muskie! We watched this water parade for about 30 minutes. There goes the beaver, here comes Mr Muskie. About four times this happened. The Muskie never seemed to get too close, maybe he was looking for Beaver Jr. However, one time during the drive by, we were standing on a dock trying to get a better view, and all of a sudden, SWISH! Ol' MuskaLunger was waiting in ambush mode directly under our feet. His tail hit the side of the dock and off he went. I’m pretty sure I heard him cuss us out as he swam away for giving up his hideout.