Tag Archives: Long Pond

It’s been a while….

Cruising Alaska

Cruising Alaska

You may have thought that I never made it home from Alaska but I’m back!! Since late June, that is. When summer in NH was just making its appearance, we returned from the trip of a lifetime. Or not. It seems as though we say that about every trip that we take–Hawaii, Alaska, and, next summer, a 17-day river cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest!!

Glaciers, whales, panning for gold (our $17 worth is locked away in our safe), a train trip to the Yukon, Denali Mountain (we were sad to be among the 70% who don’t see it), the Red Onion Saloon (unable to elaborate as this is a G-rated

Mendenhall Glacier

Mendenhall Glacier

blog), wildlife (a dead porcupine strapped to the top of a car), forest fires (smoke was overwhelming in Fairbanks), an earthquake–we experienced it all on our cruise/land tour of Alaska! Despite all of this–or maybe because of it–we loved our time in Alaska. We have 1,000+ pictures to prove it.

We met interesting people from around the world, mainly by asking if we could take the two empty chairs at their lunch table. Our dinner mates were two brothers and their spouses from Michigan. Last week we returned from an Adrenal Cancer Symposium in Ann Arbor, Michigan, spent a night with one of the couples, and went out to dinner with all four of them. It was as though we had just left Fairbanks a few days ago.

The Adrenal Cancer Symposium was amazing. Over 200 doctors, researchers, and patients came together to learn about the latest developments in diagnosing and treating this rare, orphan disease. We became acquainted with many of the patients and advocates attending, all of us with unique stories about the disease we share. Dr. Gary Hammer, the amazing head of the University of Michigan’s Hammer Laboratory, managed to be everywhere during the symposium. I hope he is on vacation this week, somewhere with sunshine, waves, and an “all inclusive” band around his wrist!

We did enjoy the hot summer here with trips to Cape Cod, Ogunquit, and Rye Beach. Only managed to get our kayaks on Long Pond once. Didn’t make it to Bar Harbor/Acadia National Park, Nova Scotia/Prince Edward Island, or Martha’s Vineyard, but you have to stay home once in a while. Don’t you? Steve has given up on his motorcycle (anyone interested in buying a great Harley Davidson??) and is now obsessed with his 2004 soft-top Jeep Wrangler. And so am I.

Sad to report that I took the screens off the windows today. We’ve had a few killing frosts (19 degrees one morning) and the foliage has either turned a dull brown or has been blown to the ground. What I consider to be the best season in NH–summer–is over. My husband claims the best is fall. Neither one of us is a fan of winter (anymore? were we ever?) so we have decided to head out early this year and spend our first Christmas in Williamsburg (Colonial Williamsburg should be beautiful) then it’s off to Arizona for sunshine, blue skies, and dry heat.

If you’ve been following my writing group’s blog, Thursday Night Writes, you’ll know that I’ve kept up my writing but still struggle to complete any of my projects. NaNoWriMo starts up again November 1 (I was unsuccessful in reaching my goal in Camp NaNoWriMo in July) and I plan to participate. The gray days of November and a TV diet just might help me achieve my 50,000 words.

Guess you’re caught up….funny how you can condense an entire summer into fewer than 600 words!

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Paddle harder

No wind and we had the pond to ourselves. Serenity....only spoiled by the dead loon and its lonely mate.

No wind and we had the pond to ourselves. Serenity….only spoiled by the dead loon and its lonely mate.

Last week we had a gorgeous evening, especially by late summer standards. The air was still and warm. Blue sky. No humidity. (Why can’t we have this weather year round? Then we wouldn’t need to winter in Arizona I suppose. And some pathetic souls actually like it cold….)

Perfect for kayaking on Long Pond. As soon as Steve walked through the door from work, I was ready for him to load the kayaks while I filled the cooler.

Saw some ducks and what we believe was an immature bald eagle (we determined after we looked it up in the bird book when we returned home). In the middle of the pond we watched a lone loon dive and surface, careful to keep his distance from us. The week before we had seen his (or her) partner floating dead trapped in the tall grass along the edge. This week it was gone. We missed their haunting soulful cry.

No moose. It’s always the moose we hope to encounter and rarely do. And no sign of the heron we usually see. Could it possibly have migrated south already?

As we neared the launch on our return, I didn’t want the glorious evening to end. I just stopped paddling, drifted, prolonging my enjoyment. I could have stayed there until the sun set.

You can’t do that with life. Even if you don’t want it to end, it will. Paddle or drift, your life will end. It doesn’t take a genius to know that. When you have an illness as I do, you know it–you just don’t want to accept it.

As for my book—that I do want to end. I need to paddle harder. And faster. Give it my all. But it’s so hard. Like kayaking on Long Pond when there’s a head wind off Mount Moosilauke.

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