We’re in full swing here, happily settled in at our favorite blue house. Flip flops, ponytail, no makeup. Messy house, towels on the porch railing. The floors in the house are sandy and our cheeks are pink, and we need to get to the grocery store just desperately, out of everything but Cheerios, but who cares?
We’re at the lake, and tomorrow we can get berries and morning cake from the farmers market. We’re at the lake, where even our fancy outfits involve sandy feet, absolutely all of our plans are subject to change according to weather or whim, and everywhere you turn you run into an old friend or a familiar face.
Our friends who come visit tease us about all of this–Do you work for the tourism board? Are you related to every single person in this tiny town? Do you ever go anywhere that requires driving in a car? Do you ever shower?
We’ve hosted Chicago friends and Grand Rapids friends and Kalamazoo friends. We’ve gone for bike rides and boat rides and last minute trips to the beach. We’ve picked the last strawberries, tiny and sweet, and the first blueberries, purple and tart. We’ve eaten what seems like a thousand popsicles on the porch, and Mac’s official summer outfit is nothing but a diaper. (Is there anything cuter than a toddler is nothing but a diaper? There is not.)
We celebrated my grandparents’ 83rd birthdays with a big family dinner at my parents’ cottage. We went to dear family friends’ annual pig roast and watched South Haven’s 4th of July parade. Last night we took the boat up to Saugatuck to see the fireworks there, the boys in jammies, fresh from the bath, so wiggly and excited to be up late and going to sleep on the boat instead of in their beds.
You know that I’m very intentionally limiting my work time in this season, and I think it’s safe to say I’ve transitioned from work mode to lake living pretty comprehensively.
Exhibit A: My editor came to town on a cool Monday morning. Instead of having breakfast at a restaurant like normal professional people do, we met at my favorite coffee shop for dark, almost bitter almond milk lattes (my favorite!) and pastries, and we spread towels on the empty beach.
And Exhibit B: I had a work conference call, kind of an important one, and so I brought my boys down to my parents’ cottage—they have a landline, and my parents were happy for a little kid time. I tried to sound serious and attentive on the call while my dad and my brother circled the cottage a thousand times on a dirtbike and Vespa, one kid riding happily with each of them, squealing with delight. That’s exactly how professional my life is these days, and that’s okay by me.
I have a long-standing love affair with reading on the porch after the kids are in bed, light fading, but lately we’ve been falling into bed, too tired for the porch and the book. I’m hoping to spend some quality time with that porch in coming weeks, so I’d love your best summer reading recommendations. Anything you’ve loved?
I did read one book so far: Elin Hilderbrand’s newest, Beautiful Day, and it’s a summer-perfect book. I love her beach-y Nantucket-y books, and this one is no exception. My editor just recommended Where’d You Go, Bernadette, so that’s next on my list, but I’d love your recommendations—any favorite summer books? Any must-reads?