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Thursday, July 14, 2016

July in its infinite variety

Summer days. They can be good days from morning ‘til night, somewhat uncomfortable (we don’t often say “hot” in northern Michigan), or bring crop-damaging storms. “What’s it like here in the winter?” visitors ask. Well, what’s it like now, in the summer? It varies – enormously!

Do you tell yourself you’ll do such-and-such when you “have more time”? You never will. Each day that slips away is forever gone. That why those of us who work all summer don’t want to waste a moment of precious days off.

Bruce worked in the bookshop for me on Wednesday, giving me a chance to drive down past the Glen Lake Narrows to pick up books from Leelanau Press. The dunes were lovely, the water sparkling. It could have been a good beach day. Instead, my patient canine companion and I went home to her once-a-month bath, after which we lolled around outdoors in the shade, enjoying the breeze. Well, she lolled. I hung laundry on the line, clothes and towels that dried so fast in the hot wind that I was able to run through the routine more than once.

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Here I want to backtrack for a minute to the “different roads” theme of the other day, with a few more images of Leelanau's summer variety, today showing you small, hidden-away waters, because sometimes I think I love these as much if not more than the magnificent lakes. They are modest secrets, but you can find them if you look. 

Along one of our favorite back roads this month I also discovered a wildflower I haven’t seen for years, on this road or anywhere else. The stalk is slender and tall, standing at the height of my hip; the flower is bright but very small. Because it is neither large nor massive, the plant is easily overlooked (so perhaps it’s been there for years, and I was simply missing it), even when one is on foot.

I remembered seeing it once before, and I can even conjure up the immediate surroundings but cannot put that mental picture on a larger map. The name of the plant eluded me until the end of the day, when suddenly I exclaimed, “Deptford pink! That’s what it was!” Much to David’s bemusement. Another flower....

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Another change of topic – Thursday’s guest author:

Kelly Fordon was charming, relaxed, and personable. We were a small group but entirely caught up in her reading, though I had already read and so knew what was going to happen at the end of that first surprising story. It is always a pleasure to meet an author whose writing I have admired, and I was very grateful to the weather gods for backing that heat off and giving us more comfortable temperatures for a bookstore event.

Kelly signed a few extra copies of Garden For the Blind, and Karen Trolenberg stopped by near the end of the day with a couple more copies of Flight of Megizzewas, which she kindly signed.

July light is heart-breakingly lovely. July is generous in giving us long days, each  unique and never to come again. I hope all of you are able to make the most of your July 2016, wherever you are.


Anonymous said...

Kelly Fordon's story, "Garden for the Blind" in her book by the same name is surprising, powerful, not-to-be-missed reading. When you get off the beach, you may want some food for thought. This is it.

Deb Whitney

P. J. Grath said...

Thanks, Deb. I'm glad you could be with us to meet her. And I agree with you about her book. Her stories made me think.