It's Saturday morning, and I am at home. And it's wonderful! I realized last night that this was the first weekend we have been home in about eight weeks, and I was amazed that it has been so long.
Don't get me wrong--I love our lake place, and I treasure being there. On this beautiful, crisp morning, I can picture the beauty of the lake reflecting the sun and the smell of the woods. And it's 9:30, which means I'm missing breakfast fixed by my dad, a Saturday morning ritual. And I'm wondering what Lester, the 18-inch catfish I caught and accidentally released last Saturday, is doing with his day. (Lester, I am coming for you. Don't you worry.)
But on the flip side, I had the inspiration to write this morning, and I can. Life at the lake is practically electronics-free and somewhat isolated. Andrew watches a little t.v., but it's mostly shows that we've recorded at home and taken down with his portable player. We don't watch news, I barely use my phone because everyone I would talk to is there, and I certainly don't have a computer or internet connection to distract me from the lake, even when I want it. I keep talking about purchasing a netbook or laptop to take with us--I am inspired to write almost constantly at the lake, but short of scratching down notes on paper (perish the thought), I have no way to put it into print. And as many times as I write myself notes about ideas, they get lost in translation. The moment passes, I can't remember what I was trying to remind myself of, or I just get plain distracted and move on. And while I would LOVE to be able to sit on the dock and write, or get up early and sit outside with my cup of hazelnut coffee in my pajamas, I also don't want the distraction to intrude on our idyllic and serene (unless someone is yelling at me, but that's a story for another day) escape-from-reality lifestyle.
I am also amazingly impressed with the amenities of home that we don't yet enjoy at the lake--like a toilet in the house. I was able to get up in the middle of night and traipse to the bathroom without worrying about a flashlight or the boogeyman or where the golf cart key is. And first thing this morning, I was able get out of bed without climbing delicately over James (the lake bed only has one way out) and walk calmly down the hall to the bathroom instead of the morning RACE to the bathhouse which is inevitable after drinking the requisite four-to-six Stella Artoises (I have no idea if that was the right way to make that plural? My six years of French is failing me.) or Hoegartens from a "mixy-matchy six packy" the night before.
The house will get some attention today as well. Rooms that have been picked up and put away, but not cleaned, in months, just might get vacuumed and dusted. And while I love my house unconditionally, in a few hours, I will be bemoaning the fact that we live quite comfortably in four tiny rooms at the lake--in a house that takes all of fifteen minutes to clean from top to bottom. That's as opposed to the ten rooms and three bathrooms that we don't needhave filled with crap currently occupy when we're home. (My grand plan, if we're having no more kids, is to move us all into the downstairs of this rambling old farmhouse and turn the upstairs into another apartment--also a "story" for another day.) It will take me all day to accomplish anything, because I'll spend most of my time running up and down stairs or walking fifty feet to get from one room to the other. And then the house still won't be clean. There are outside chores awaiting as well---hedges that threaten to take over the yard, bushes hanging over the sidewalk, a sandbox that needs to be de-leafed, and a porch that desperately needs to be swept and hosed.
All that being said, as I prepare for my second cup of coffee and venturing downstairs to make blackberry waffles for my guys, while I will relish every second of the day and all that it brings, my mind will inevitably be divided into A Tale of Two Towns, each with their own appeal (and drawbacks). And I stop to remind myself that we are so very lucky to have both options (for I so often look only at the negatives) and to live for this minute in this place. And just as "parting is such sweet sorrow," and being away from the lake makes me miss it, "absence makes the heart grow fonder." It will make it that much sweeter to return to the lake in two weeks, just as being away has made it sweet to be home.