My summer hiatus truly worth more than gold

“This is life, not a funeral service,” Melody Beattie writes. That’s the truth.
Beginning in July I heeded a wise friend’s advice. I put down my pen, closed the lid on my laptop and took a break from writing my column.
Save the one column that showed up for the Irish clan who came a’ calling, I managed to give myself permission to lay low from writing for about seven weeks. Wow.
And lo and behold I turned around once in my summer swirl and “looky looky”—September is just over there.
However it was becoming easier and easier to let one more week go without writing. I think I could have been lost indefinitely had not Frances Einarson and Louella Keller—to name just two candles in the window—guided me back to my lighthouse.
Without question though, my word vacation has been liberating and dare I say, deserved? I squeezed the orange juice out of my orange this summer, and no matter her short season I am thankful for every day of it.
I remain in mysterious awe of how life can pour me a glass of good times with a sprig of happiness if I make a conscious choice to loosen up a bit, be spontaneous, participate, and have some fun.
And even when she wipes my garden clean of its fruit and changes the plans I had for tomorrow, that’s okay too.
Where do I begin?
It all started on a sunny day in early July (after re-planting my garden) when visions of raccoons living in the hayloft—dancing around up there and pooping out parasites all over my would-be dance hall floor did indeed come to fruition.
I was working in the barn, readying it for my fellow reunionites when I looked up to see a big mother—a really big mother—raccoon staring at me from her prone perch in a cubby at the top of the wall.
The sighting of my nemesis occurred a few days after I had waved my golf club in the hayloft and shouted in a threatening voice for any and all rodents to “be very afraid.”
Obviously she didn’t get that memo.
Come to think of it, the raccoon date was July 4th and Independence Day for my American friends.
I admit it felt a bit like Independence Day in my neck of the woods, too, after I showed that bandit who wore the pants around here.
My barn. My rules.
Yet I still do not rule my grasslands. The geese have it covered.
There now are 18 such feathered friends, most of which are this years’ goslings, and regular daily attenders to the lawn in front of the barn.
They move about in long waddling lines, leaving behind their trademark green poo and enough goose down to start a pillow factory—all the while shaking their long necks in scold of me when I try to get to “my” barn or to “my” garden.
Nevertheless, I have watched the goslings grow from little golden fluff into tall, lanky creatures of flight and despite the chaos, I’m grateful they grew up here on the banks of Frog Creek.
All foe and fowl aside, the best of my summer holidays was set simply against the beautiful scenery of Rainy Lake from aboard a sailboat in the company of the man who remains my captain.
And against the bluest of skies I swam countless times in the lake and floated freely on my back, listening to my heartbeat under water. It was the only sound . . .
The world falls away during these times and releases me into a wonderful place of freedom that no amount of money in the world could replace.
I am the luckiest girl I know.

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