Saturday, July 7
46F at 6am. Clouds in Alaska often mean slightly warmer overnight temperatures, even in summer. These ones also mean rain. Not just a sprinkle or spit, but the real thing today. Chitters is mad at me. He’s pretty sure I’m somehow responsible for the rain. He asks to go out then comes right back in and meows at me. This was a game we played pretty much all day.
I stayed inside sketching and playing solitaire and reading by the fire. A good old-fashioned lazy day at the Cabin. I can remember spending hours sitting across the little table from my Mom as she played solitaire, annoying her by pointing out moves she was missing. Sometimes we would each have a game going. If the rain was serious enough to keep Dad indoors, he and I would play endless games of cribbage. The whole family would get involved if one of the board games came out. We especially loved Scrabble, Yahtzee, and Clue…games that make you use your brain a little bit, but Dad soon refused to play Pictionary because Mom and I were an unbeatable team! We’ve always shared a wavelength for things like that. He would glare at our meaningless lines and wonder aloud how we could have guessed the word so quickly.
Today though, it’s just Solitaire and a Kindle to keep me occupied. I brought my watercolors and I have sketchbooks here, but beyond some half-hearted sketching, I haven’t done anything very creative this whole week – unless you count the really creative attempts at carpentry on my new dock! And I write every day of course for the blog.
The chilly weather was perfect for soup for lunch, and since Fatso was humming along, I just opened the can and set it on the cooktop. In no time I had steaming hot potato soup!
Unfortunately the rain on the roof, the crackle of the fire, and the closed windows meant I didn’t hear if the moose or the loons paid me a visit today. It was a prime recipe for lots of naps though!
Sunday, July 8
43F at 4am. Yes that time is correct! That’s what I get for all those naps yesterday! I lay in bed trying to go back to sleep when I realized I was hearing loon voices. Two voices for sure, but softer and more intimate than I had been hearing. Less a series of loon calls than a quiet loon conversation. I looked but the early hour was a little dark yet to see anything so I went ahead and built a fire. As soon as it was light enough though my suspicions were confirmed. We have a baby!! It must have hatched just a few hours earlier. The parents were both very attentive during its first day on the water. They were also cautious and kept it on the far side of the lily patch alongside the little peninsula. (I think I will rename that area the Loon Lagoon.) Between the low light and the distance I didn’t attempt any pictures today. (stay tuned…)
A low fog rolled up the valley and spilled over the hilltops this morning, looking almost like smoke in the blue light of early morning.
Although the rain mostly quit, it stayed cool and cloudy most of the day. I spent the day on cabin-closing chores so Chitters and I can leave early tomorrow before the camp gets too active. In order to manage a reluctant – and heavy – cat, I have to carry as little as possible when I hike out tomorrow, so today I hauled a load across in the boat: laundry, trash, the cooler, empty water bottles etc… Non-perishable groceries can stay till the end of the summer since I’ll be back as often as I can manage it.
Chitters was safely locked in the cabin for my boat trip, so I took a detour on the way back and wandered down to the end of the lake. The sun actually came out briefly so I enjoyed a chance to just row around and look at the lake from a different perspective. The loons stayed out of sight in Loon Lagoon. Although they are pretty trusting of me when I’m in the boat, the chick is too young yet to manage the windy conditions on the water that I began experiencing. The sun had indeed made an appearance, but the clouds just became thunderheads and soon rolled back over the lake to spit at me as I hustled to row back to my dock. I pulled the boat out and flipped it and tidied up my construction area.
As evening approached the sun dropped below the clouds and brought me a rainbow as a perfect farewell for the last day of my stay.
Monday, July 9
The camp was noisy this morning with kids moving in for their week-long vacations. I medicated Chitters with the other half of that children’s Benadryl before doing the final closing chores; pulling curtains, bringing in the rugs, making the bed, etc. A sudden lull in activity across the lake spurred me to quickly lock up and get a leash on Chitters. As before, after a few hundred yards, he would head off the trail or hunker down and refuse to walk, forcing me to carry him for a short distance before he would resume under his own power and in the right direction.
We made it out to the car with a minimum of fuss in spite of a noisy group of girls that startled him. I carried him past them to my car, earning a few unintended scratches along the way as he squirmed to get free. Once in his carrier he settled down immediately and slept all the way home. Another year’s vacation at the Cabin is behind us, but there are some good weekends yet to come I’m sure…