Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Summer Vacation

It's almost January and outside the window the world is white. Snow is falling and from the comfort of my living room I can just tell that it's cold. As an antidote to the cold I thought I'd offer this tale of our summer vacation, which I have previously failed to record.

As regular readers may recall way back in July we once again headed off to Wakanda on Rainbow Lake in the wilds of the Adirondacks for two weeks of rest and relaxation. The day we left was hot, really, really hot. I stopped to let the neighbors know we were leaving and their grandson, A, who's about 9 offered to help pack the car. Given the weather I took him up on his offer. First step was to load the kayak onto it's rack, then drive the car up to the front of the house, unload the kayak and load the car. Into the car we packed games, puzzles, food (there are always a few things we take from home), clothes, and books - lots and lots of books. A carried/dragged most of the bags and boxes out of the house. Particularly amusing was watching this boy try and propel our large, rolling duffles down our bumpy front walk. The duffles were almost as big as he was and very definitely out-weighed him. I really wish I had a picture of that. Finally the kayak, once again, took it's place of honor on top of the car and we were ready to head out.

The drive was uneventful, or at least uneventful enough that I don't really remember it 5 months later. We did stop at a liquor store near my parent's house to pick up wine for a co-worker. (The back story on this is that he'd been to a wine tasting and fell in love with a particular dessert wine that he then couldn't find near Boston. He found it at a liquor store in New York, and asked if we would mind picking some up for him. Since the liquor store was on the way to my parent's house, the halfway point of our journey, we were happy to oblige.

We arrived at Owl Cabin well after dark, perhaps our latest arrival. We quickly unpacked and finished just as the clouds opened up and rain began to fall. It rained for days. We were prepared so this did not impact the enjoyment at all. We read, worked puzzles, baked, and I swam.

caught tree

moonday cookies

Dancing Raindrops
Oh, and played with my then new macro lens.

My brother T and nephew N joined us for a few days of fun in the mountains.

N in Kayak
N enjoying a kayak ride.
T gave kayaking a try and loved it. I'm guessing I'll have a partner for some longer paddles next summer.
Helping Amy with a crossword puzzle.
Working on the project I brought for us to do.
(I did not make the parts for this.)
Race Car
The finished project.

Other highlights of the trip
loon sightings
fresh blueberries from the bushes surrounding the cabin
cloud reflections
the beautiful lake - the sun did finally come out
purple and green
our hosts bountiful flower garden
The path to the morning beach.
(This is my entry in the current Thursday Challenge.)

The morning that T and N left, N and I headed down the path above with a bucket of Legos which we were returning to Loon cabin. N was carrying the bucket and we were chatting when a tree root jumped up and tripped him. He was devastated, but I quickly let him know it wasn't a problem, and we spent several minutes searching under bushes and leaves for Legos, some of which are quite tiny. There are probably a few still along the path.

We finished up our vacation with an overnight visit from my parents. It was great to be able to share our favorite spot in the woods with them again. Then it was time to load up the car again and head home.

Only 6 1/2 months till we return.

Editted: Click here to see more pictures from our Adirondack vacation.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Thursday Challenge: Light

One of the string of 5 snowflake lights that are hanging in our living room window.

See more Thursday Challenge here.

Thin Ice

Toward the Pond
This picture was taken nearly a year ago but it's fairly close to the view outside our windows now, though instead of sun we've got light snow falling. Through those trees, if you know what to look for, you can see the pond. There is only one house between us and it. It's a small pond and with the exception of the access path that runs down the hill on the other side of our next door neighbor is fairly inaccessible. It's set down from the few surrounding houses and ours is the only nearby road.

It's a small pond and doesn't get a lot of use - an occasional fisherman, teenagers looking for a spot to be alone, and in the depths of winter ice skaters. Yesterday our little pond was the focus of a lot of activity. Early in the afternoon Amy noticed fire trucks and police cars parked, lights flashing near the access path.

My first reaction was that someone had fallen through the ice, but the lack of an ambulance and the quick departure of the police car - sirens blaring - had us thinking that maybe we were wrong and they were just checking the barrier on the access path. But the fire truck didn't leave and we heard shouting. The only words I could make out were "talk to us". The fire trucks were there a long time.

Amy was out shoveling when a neighbor walked by headed back to his house. He'd been more curious than we were about the activity and had gone to see what was happening. As it turned out my first instincts were correct - someone, or rather two someones had fallen through the ice. Apparently two teenage boys, 15ish according to the tv reports, had decided to walk across the pond. They almost made it falling through the ice just before reaching the far side of the pond. The very good news is that the fire department was able to rescue them and they are going to be okay.

It was not been cold here for very long, in fact until the last three days it has mostly been in the mid-30s. There's been frost but we have not had the kind of sustained cold to form reasonable ice on any pond. Given the lack of cold I'm amazed that these boys didn't fall through within feet of the shore on this side.

The boys, despite their really bad decision to walk across the thin ice on the pond, did a couple of things right once they ended up in the water. They removed their shoes and pants - which worsened their hypothermia. They were able to pull themselves out of the water. When the firefighters finally got to them, after what the news reported as a mile long trek through the pathless woods, two of them removed their cold water protection suits and wrestled the boys into them.

The fire trucks and the news vans that arrived in their wake are now gone. The memories of this will stay with me. My heart goes out to the families that came way too close to losing their children. The outcome of this incident could have been much, much worse.

Please remind all those close to you - stay off the ice!