September 8, 2010

Extreme Weather

Posted in Holidays, Weather tagged , , , , , , , , , at 7:17 pm by Liliana

Extreme Weather

Extreme Weather

My family and I spent last week at our cottage near Lake Michigan. It was a relaxing, quiet week.

The first few days were hot and humid. The lake water was warm and I spent hours swimming or walking on the beach.  I tried reading but the heat was oppressive and all I wanted to do was nap. I sat or lay in the sun and went in and out of sleep. It was hard to imagine that any other kind of weather had ever enveloped this lake. Summer heat was the only reality we knew.

On Thursday evening there was a large and violent storm. The rain poured out of water-logged skies. Thunder shook our cottage and lightening illuminated the windows. Curtains manically danced in the wind as did papers, books and anything caught in the breeze.

I am not afraid of storms, in fact I love them. But this storm was so powerful and out of control, it made me uneasy. I stayed awake for a long time, keeping vigil over my family.

As we slowly started moving around the cottage the following morning, we seemed to have entered an entirely new season. The house was cold. Not a little cold, not just a bit chilly, but brisk in a way we have not had a chance to get accustomed to. I pulled on a pair of pants, a sweatshirt and a sweater. Nena put on a pair of her softest, warmest socks.

Sam suggested that we turn on the heat. It seemed to me a preposterous idea to turn the heat on when only the day before we were bemoaning the fact that our cottage had no air-conditioning. But finally, I relented. We turned the thermostat to sixty eight and right away, we all felt more comfortable. We spent the day inside, on couches, under blankets, reading and watching movies.

I cannot remember that I have ever witnessed such a sudden transition of extremes. It’s hard to know how to interpret all these changes.

April 14, 2010

Kaya at the Lake

Posted in Friendships, Pets, Weather tagged , , , , , , at 7:02 am by Liliana

Kaya

Kaya as a puppy

My family and I spent a few days at our cottage near Lake Michigan. Kaya, my sister’s dog, came with us.

Kaya is a two year old Siberian Husky, taupe and caramel colored, with bright blue eyes. If Silver was a sensitive soul and Bella more intelligent and aware than many humans, Kaya is the kind of dog who loves everybody and everything and needs constant company. She also likes to be the continual center of attention.

On Friday, I woke up early to a sunny, blue-skied, but windy and chilly morning. I had a cup of coffee and a bowl of oatmeal and hoped to snuggle under a warm blanket and read for hours while the rest of the house slept. But Kaya had other plans. She came over and sat down right in front of me and stared at my face with beseeching eyes. She knew I understood what she wanted.

After a few minutes, I couldn’t take the pressure any longer. I gave her the rest of my coffee and oatmeal and went upstairs to get dressed. I put on two pairs of pants, two sweaters, and a warm fleece jacket. I found my sunglasses and Kaya’s leash. She howled with joy.

We walked out into the sharp wind and the cold sunlight with Kaya leading the way. She knew the direction to the lake and kept lifting her nose and sniffing the wind like a scout. We crossed the bridge, and when she saw the lake in front of us, I had to hold on tightly as she pulled along.

The water was dark green, foaming with waves; the sky above was bright blue with white downy clouds. We had miles of beach on either side of us and no one around. Kaya stuck her nose into the sand like an ostrich, and then kicked the sand high into the air and all over me. Kaya is like that – she has an amazing sense of humor. Another thing that makes her different is her love of water. Unlike most huskies, Kaya runs into the water freely, and has no fear of getting wet.

Kaya and I played on that cold Lake Michigan beach like we had no cares in the world. We ran. We raced. We found an old tennis ball and played fetch, again and again and again. She pulled me through the water and the sand and I held on to her leash for dear life. We were both wet, sandy, cold and sore.

Back at the cottage, I washed the sand off the ball, dried it carefully and gave it to Kaya as she snuggled up for a nap. I took a long, hot bath.