Dock Visits…

Lean back, and take a load off …gaze into the welcoming blue water, let the gentle wind tickle your nose …the view from the hammock.

It does not disappoint… the gentle swaying back and forth, the occasional chirp of a bird happily flying overhead in the tree, the pause button on your life is pressed.

The ropes that support your frame, and the very ones that can either set you free, or keep you in bondage. The choice is yours.

The paddle dips, and lifts, sending droplets of silky water dribbling off the end of it, and sometimes, across your legs, producing goose bumps in the morning cool.

All is still. No humans are up as yet . This is good. I don’t want to disturb the water… it is too good.. right here right now.

Little bugs are water skiing along the surface, creating pirouettes as they glide back and forth doing their graceful bug dance.

Swim up, paddle up, wade up, motor boat up…or drive up, especially if you have to get across to an island. There are many ways to get to the dock in summer. It’s always worth it. The time is now for a dock visit. There is an experience that walking bare foot across can’t be compared with any other. Some docks creak as you wander forward, especially if they are old, and some sway back and forth if they are free floating.

Impromptu, planned, however it occurs, there is immense satisfaction in visiting on the wooden boards that are erected above the water, and support Adirondack or Muskoka chairs.. either descriptive works, just sit down, and enjoy. Replenish, and refresh your being. Summer tales of childrens’ dreams, and special moments for sharing your adult realities. It’s reflection time, again and again. Lots of good chatter, reminiscing…and pondering whether you will jump, dive or wade in slowly, when the dock sitting becomes too hot.

There will be laughter, memories shared of past summertime escapades, hopefully a refreshing cool drink will be offered, and “dock snacks” will be available to taste. Not always… I might add.. but if you “visit” at the right time…like pre lunch, or dinner, you can indulge in appetizers if you fancy things of this nature. Who doesn’t?

Plan accordingly…

Leaning way back, slight wind blowing your hair, the summers of yesterday fill your head. Sleepovers in boathouses, sometimes even in boats, canoeing to sort of distant shores… making camp with marshmallows, and Kraft dinner, and hot dogs.. still one if the most satisfying meals available.. especially if that’s what is left in the cupboard. Creating a camp fire on what was probably some unknown persons’ land.. Jumping with reckless abandon into the water, screeching with delight as your face went under.

How blessed we were, to share these times growing up. Mothers that stayed up all summer, and Dads that would go back to work in the city, and drive up with their cars laden with purchases from farm stands while enroute. Wait.. that was my Dad for sure. Curious if other Dads did this same thing.

You knew he had arrived on a Friday night because you could hear the rumble of the 1972 cutlass convertible, top down, before it actually pulled in beside the cottage.

Not only was he smiling, with wind blown hair, I think the bright green car was smiling as well. He would say,

“I blew out all the cobwebs on the way.”

Dad would emerge with corn on the cob, peaches, strawberries, and whatever else was in season. The backseat would be filled with local farm goodness. It was like a big fruit basket of juicy things, which come to think of it, may have enjoyed their backseat adventure too.

The Happy Place

Such a privilege to have had this in my life. It is these times that I draw upon , this image of quiet and serenity that is tucked deep, but available to immediately go to, no matter where I am in the world. It’s a virtual picture show that can be pulled into sharp focus and is retrieved at a moments notice.

The trees flutter… and before long..there will be waves..

Waves are an inevitable part of life. The soft peaked crests we don’t mind, but the tsunami ones, that destroy our homes, and wreak havoc on our lives.. not so much.

Grace to accept the things I can’t change… courage to understand what can change, if you set your mind to it, and become intentional about it, and also the wisdom to let go of the things that there is no answer for this side of heaven. The ability and courage to let things go…before you go mad.

“ All things are possible to him who believes.” The faith of a mustard seed is required to move that mountain that stands directly in the path to where you are hitching your fifth wheel. How can I possibly climb over that, dragging this trailer behind me containing my lifes’ possessions. Often the physical burdens are less heavy than the mental ones.

“Melancholy Musings” is the wording that swims among the tangled spaghetti noodles of thoughts that ruminate within my mind.

Wait… I hear a rooster crowing, and realize I’ve left Canada, and am sitting in the back yard in Oregon, where my sons, and nephews live.

I don’t think I’ve ever heard a rooster on Lake Joseph, in the Muskokas’. I’ve heard lots of other noises though from some who would see themselves as roosters.

I’m sleeping on an inflatable mattress that thinks it’s ok to deflate several times throughout the night.. This is highly inappropriate. I wake up, and feel as if the walls are closing in, and in fact.. they are.. I’m now in a makeshift hammock of sorts.

Phillip,(my nephew,) sleeps next door, and I’m hopeful that the sound of a jet engine starting up as I inflate my bed doesn’t wake him from his much needed slumber.

I’m camping.. kind of.. and I love it, because… location.. location..location.

I’m where my grown up boys are, dare I say….men, and this Mamma’s heart cup is spilling all over my bare feet..

We trekked with our tubes and flotation rafts down to the river the other day. The day was sweltering. The River was calling.

All along the river was packed with human life. it was going to be 95 degrees outside, and being out on the water, and swimming in it seemed like the most excellent way to spend a stifling hot day.

For the first time, I floated down the Clackamus River with my sons, Zach and Logan, also Dallas and Yasmine, Jasmine, and James . All of our floatees were strung together with bungie ropes.

Logan brought the tunes of course, and there were libations of several varieties, and of course.. chips.. Gotta have the salty crunch factor.

Floating along, there were some gentle rapids, and unique houses to see along the Rivers’ edge. Big looming pines were strung along both sides, and the scent of wet dirt, pine, and sunshine were intoxicating to the senses.

The river carried us along, the air was sultry , and the water cool and crisp.

Occasionally some in our convoy fell from their floatie, but all was well. It was an incredible day. We were like little kids, just being carried with the current, and laying back, faces to the sunshine without a care. To quote “Donkey” from the movie “Shrek”,

“ Let’s do that again..”

I really hope we will this weekend, if the kids days off align, and the weather is good. Anticipation of fun.. being together, summertime.

There is high satisfaction in spending time with your kids after they have grown up. Being in their space with them, seeing how they greet life, and attack challenges.

There has been lots of hurdles, deep losses, grief with a magnitude I can scarcely comprehend. These guys living together here in this house have been through an experience that has rocked their world, and that of their loved ones. They have endured, and kept mutual respect for one another, and care. I am so humbled to be their Mum, and Auntie.

They have decided to put their house up for sale.

It seemed like the right time, even though times are uncertain. They have done a fantastic job looking after their house, and surviving tragedy and loss in the midst of it. I’m in awe of their tenacious spirits, and ability to work together.. yes.. I’m proud as punch..

The other afternoon I was swaying on their hammock in their quaint oasis of a back yard, and all of a sudden, a Clay house bird feeder came toppling down to the ground. It was so random….or so it seemed. It had been hanging from the pergola in the back yard for 2 and a half years..seemingly unaffected by the elements. It had endured being blown, knocked, rained and snowed upon….

Why now? I find it curious.. A house made of clay, can have its drawbacks.. its fragile, it does not bounce at all.

It shattered.. bits of shards tumbled all over the stone constructed waterfall/plant stand? I was never really sure quite what its’ function was, the haphazard altar of rocks that is. Bits of clay went in every direction.

It made me sad… for lots of reasons.. and I had to delve into why that was.

This home where my sons, and relations live has been traumatized by an event that has changed many lives. A young man was lost by suicide in this house. It was their cousin, and for Phillip, his brother. The effect of this loss resonates in this home. It’s not spoken of too often, but the sorrow can be seen behind sometimes hooded expressions. It cuts deep…and unwinding all of the emotions take time.

I believe that more will float to the surface from the murky depths, of just how much love and care and shared grief have been experienced here.

These guys are brave….Dal, Phillip, Zach and Logan. Remembering KJ with love and missing.

6 thoughts on “Dock Visits…

  1. Oh Jill… powerful….tears in my eyes for the boys…..for the clay house……so sudden……so drastic….praying that God’s healing balm will seep through your souls and that you will be given fierce power to fight the darkness!Sent from my Bell Samsung device over Canada’s largest network.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I also love the description of your dad and all the farm produce – I can just picture it!Sent from my Bell Samsung device over Canada’s largest network.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you Sharon..I know that is so true.. the instant shocking shatter ….still it resonates here. Prayers are always welcome, and sought after. It’s so good to be here with them.. I’m thankful. I’m glad you liked the memories with my Dad too. He usually had flour dust on his person too. His convertible was such a happy 😆 place, especially when it’s was pointed in the northern direction and heading to the lake.


  4. Dear Jill, Love you. This was an excellant blog. Joy & sorrow mixed. I look forward to the perfect day when we will be with and like Him and learn His ways with us down here. Come quickly Lord. Lisette


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