To Alex -

To Alex...who is far away in person, but never far from my heart. I miss you. Enjoy these snippets of everyday family life here in the states.

Monday, January 3, 2011

How I spent my weekend.

Peacefully, quietly, serenely.

B and I ditched the holiday parties in lieu of doing what we do best...we headed for the woods. B found a wonderful rustic cabin at the tip of the Lower Peninsula and right on the shore of Lake Michigan. We had the woods to ourselves. The cabin was bare except for the beds, a table & chairs and a wonderful wood stove, which we kept blazing all weekend. Our only light was from candles and the fire in the stove. And then there was the quiet...
The beautiful quiet so we could hear the sound of the rain falling on the roof. We spent the evening tucked inside our warm abode, feet propped in front of the fire, glasses of wine in hand and the occasional sip of Absenthe. A delicious, wonderful evening, just perfect for bidding adieu to the old year and welcoming the new. We loved the quiet.
We woke early, dressed and set out to explore the beach, thinking we would eventually make our way down to the point. Oh, it was beautiful on the shore. The weather hadn't yet turned cold so we took our time gingerly picking our way over the ice and frozen rocks. How was it possible that we were so far North and yet the temperature was close to 50? On January 1? A cold front was on it's way, but for now, it was pleasant and peaceful on the shore and the lake was flat. I collected a few clam shells and a heart shaped rock, but mostly, we took pictures. Pictures to capture our moment and to remind us of the beauty around us.
Slowly, we moved down the beach and as we did, the wind picked up and carried with it a definite chill. I bundled deeper into my coat and gloves. I had left my hat at the cabin, lulled by the unseasonably warm temperatures. Silly me. We turned from the shore and moved closer to the tree line, hoping to block the wind. We walked further, then followed a trail away from the water into the trees, now protected by the deep cedar forest. Do you hear how quiet it is? Yes, we hear the wind, but it is far over our heads. Silence surrounds us except for the sound of our footsteps crunching on the ice and the squeak of the trees rubbing against each other.
We didn't make it to the point. We walked for a while in the trees, but eventually our path opened out into a clearing and the wind buffeted us and bore through all layers of clothing. We could see the front coming across the water bringing snow squalls with it. Time to turn back into the woods and head for the safety and warmth of the cabin. We found Wintergreen and picked a few sprigs for tea. Very tasty.
Later, snugged back in the cabin, we listened as the wind picked up and blew the snowstorm into our little haven of woods. The waves crashing onto the beach broke up the frozen ice we were walking on just a few short hours earlier. Really, it was wonderful. Another quiet evening, another restful night of sleep, and we woke to find this little guy frolicking on the ice in front of the cabin.
He half-heartedly tried to catch a couple of crows that were diving at him, but he really had no chance of catching them. I suspect he was out for a stroll to see if anyone had foolishly left food where he might find it. We did not.

Our morning was spent walking in the woods again, exploring a different direction and then slowly packing to leave this tiny little haven. What a wonderful way to start out the new year. Peaceful, quiet, serene.


  1. That was truly wonderful, thank you.
    (And now I think I know who leaves little stone statues on the shores and in the woods we visit for our quiet special times;)Ssh, your secret's safe with me.

  2. oh my, welcoming the new year in the woods sounds (and looks) amazing! Loved your description of the walk you took!

    I grew up in a small apartment in los angeles, ca - no trees, no woods, no quiet and the ocean/beach was always crowded and not-so-clean. Funny thing is we always thought we were better off than those people living in the country far away from fancy shops and restaurants (that we never went to anyway). Now i know better.

    Love the quilted journals you made for your son and grandkiddos! A wonderful way to keep in touch and they are beautiful! I love gifts that are not only hand made but also personalized and the handprints are perfection! Wishing you peace and joy in 2011!