Time To Give Thanks

cranberry cove

by Brenda Looney

I had rented a house on a private lake in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. After packing for days, my husband and I, along with our dog Miss Buffy, were on the road. It was a beautiful day. The temperature hovered at 70 degrees and there wasn't a cloud in the sky. I was a little nervous at the thought of being alone with Vern for a whole week in the woods with no TV or Internet computer service. What would we do or talk about? After almost 30 years of marriage, we seemed to have a comfortable relationship of each doing our own thing. Usually, Vern watches football or we get lost on the Internet surfing our own interests on separate computers. Other than the day to day conversations about work or the weather, I couldn't recall the last in depth communication we had really had with no interruptions. This would be a new experience for us. We had lost touch with each other I think and I'm sure took each other for granted far too much. This would be a new experience for us to be locked away from everyone without any of the modern conveniences we liked so much.

While driving along Vern suddenly said, “I just can't wait for sky cars to come out. I'm going to be the first to buy one.” I thought to myself, “I hope I'm not around for the Jetson age where cars are in the sky instead of on the highway. I have enough trouble maneuvering at 70 M.P.H. on the expressways.” The radio station was set to Oldies and we sang along and chatted for the many hours it took to get to our destination.

When we finally arrived at our home for the week, I was relieved to see a big, beautiful home on an absolutely breath taking private lake. It was so remote and untouched by humans except for the home that was carved out of the woods. All around the lake was deep woods. There was not another soul around or any other cottages. We talked for a short time to the caretaker about the house and she showed us how to operate the generator by pushing the big button on the wall and counting to ten. I asked her to please tell Vern about the bear situation, hoping to calm Vern's fears some. She hesitated for a moment and then proceeded to tell us that on the next lake over a bear had broke into someone's home after they had left their food in a cooler outside. This is not what I wanted to hear! She handed the keys over to us and drove away leaving us alone.

We were alone… really alone.

Dark fell soon, and when dark falls in the deep woods there is a blackness that envelops you that is intimidating and scary. The only sound to be heard was the droning hum of the large propane generator housed in the pole barn about 100 yards from the house. I admit to being somewhat afraid of the dark here..OK, I was a lot afraid of the dark. I knew there were many wild animals out there in the thick woods and I was not eager to meet up with any of them. The next morning we drove all the way through the Lake Superior National Forest stopping along the way to take pictures or to go for a walk. The leaf color is past peak, but there was still a lot of color in the Maples and the fallen leaves were so beautiful blanketing the ground. The sun was shining brightly as we walked through the forest. I gave Miss Buffy the whole 26’ lead on her retractable leash. Vern's hand locked with mine as we slowly walked through the trees. I tried to remember the last time we had held hands like this. I knew it had been far too long if I had to try to remember. The chipmunks were zipping around entertaining us and driving Buffy crazy as she tugged on her lead trying to get at them. A warm feeling swept over me and I thought to myself that life doesn't get much better than this. We snapped pictures often and I wanted to hold onto this memory forever.

The days that followed were filled with canoeing, fishing, picking cranberries around the lake, sight seeing and lazy times of kicking back reading and talking. We took daily walks through the woods and were in awe of the beauty surrounding us. Winter is not far away here in the UP and the woods seemed eerily silent as though most of the wildlife had already hunkered down and were awaiting the first snows to arrive. In the evening we had a campfire down on the beach and toasted marshmallows that we ate off of sticks. We even found some horseshoes under the house and set them up to play with. In the late evening we'd huddle with mugs of hot chocolate around the fireplace and talk.

Our vacation was coming to an end. I had washed up the dishes and poured myself a hot cup of coffee and stepped out onto the deck, which overlooked the lake. I took a seat at the picnic table. I looked out and saw Vern on the dock casting his pole out onto the water. The sun was starting to go down and his silhouette against the breathtaking beauty of the lake was such an awesome sight. Life is so short with no guarantee of tomorrow. Often I get caught up in the day to day living that I forget to appreciate the things and people in my life that are so important to me and to make the most of each and every day. My eyes filled with tears and a lump caught in my throat. I said a prayer of thanksgiving that I still have my husband here with me and that I have time to enjoy all of the beauty of this world with him.

Memories of an Abundant Life  * Family Ties  *  Flowers & Friends
Grandpas' Picture   * In Rememberance   *  Letter to My Father
The Time of My Life   *  My Father   *   To My Husband
Sweetheart Overseas   * My Dove   *   My Favorite Places
My Garden in Bloom   * My Animal Children   *  No More
New Pages !!!
Christmas Gift  * Pumpkin  * Empty Nest  * Beyond Tears  * The Red Rose  * Annie's Story of Great Depression  *
Garden Pictures  * Coming Into Manhood  * I Love How You Love Me  *
Time To Give Thanks  * Autumn Memories  *  Sunset  *My First Mothers' Day  *
The Gift   *  Neighbors  *   Seasons of Life

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