Days 325-327: Fun at the Lake

Andrew, Alex and Bennett (Clare’s friend from high school) arrived Monday night. I stayed up just long enough to welcome them and show them their rooms.

Because each day was similar, I’m grouping the delights together.

The pontoon boat was possibly the highlight of the trip. I think Dean took the crew out twice a day most days (Rupert, Chum, and I went out with them on Thursday). The kayaks were also a big hit; he Airbnb had two and Dean brought his two. We also used the fire pit. It was delightful watching everyone have so much fun.

Fire Pit Night

Things that Float

Rupert and Chum go boating

Day 324: The Pontoon and No Internet

After a rough start, today became delightful. Dean figured out how to get the pontoon he rented to the dock of our property (not an easy task with no Internet or GPS). I drove him to the gas-station-convenience-store-boat-rental-place-that-had-internet (hereafter called the marina) and watched while he learned to drive the pontoon. Then I drove back to the cabin and waited for him to show up at the dock. It took a while but he eventually arrived.

Once I knew for sure that I would not have access to the Internet for the whole week, I took it in stride and decided to devote my free time to reading. I’d loaded a few books on my Kindle and brought a few physical books. I chose to read Hoover the Talking Seal by Jeremy Burgoyne first because I’d bought it during the first part of the pandemic and knew Jeremy was wondering why I had not let him know I’d finished it.

Later that afternoon I went on a pontoon ride with Dean. It was relaxing. This was shaping up to be a relaxing, Internetless week full of reading!

I also explored the yard of our Airbnb and disturbed a snake that I found out later was probably a copperhead.

Days 323: Driving to the Lake

Back in March or so Clare told us that Pete’s family was renting a house on Lake Gaston in Virginia (or North Carolina) and Pete was going to fly out East for the first time in several years to spend time with his family. Clare would also come out at that time. She thought it would be fun to have us also rent a house on the lake and we could meet Pete and have a family vacation. We rented a property about half an hour from Pete’s family’s house and today we drove to the lake! Andrew and Alex (and Bennett) will join us tomorrow evening.

Dean drove the whole way which is very delightful. I’d had enough driving over the past couple of days. I sat in the back seat because Clare usually chooses to sit in front when she can. That was fine, I brought books and wanted to finish listening to Less anyway.

I think Rupert and Chum had the most fun on the ride.

Day 322: Hanging with Clare

I spent the day with Clare, some of which was delightful. Being with her is always delightful, but being with anyone while driving in Bethesda on a Saturday, then going to the mall (to go to an Apple store) on a Saturday is definitely not delightful. I know I was not a delightful companion for some of the day.

Dean, Clare and I had a mostly delightful dinner at Pines of Rome.

Breakfast was delightful (photo above).

Day 321: Pete

Clare has been with Pete since just before Covid hit Washington State. They seem like a good match and Pete seems like a good person. He makes Clare happy, and that’s delightful for me.

I’d communicated with Pete through emails and text messages over the course of the past year or so, mostly regarding surprises for Clare, but we also talked about gardens and he even helped me with altering a logo for our film group.

I met him for the first time yesterday when we picked Clare and him up at Dulles. Among other things, he’s kind, smart, soft-spoken, articulate, and appreciative.

Today I drove Pete to Richmond where he was to meet up with his sister who lives there. He’ll spend the night then drive with his sister and her children to Lake Gaston. We’ll all meet up later at the lake.

Day 320: Seasons of Absence

We picked Clare and Pete up at Dulles this afternoon. All is well with the world.

I calculated that it had been 745, 920 minutes since we last saw Clare and Seasons of Love became an earworm.

Apologies to Jonathan D Larson for the way I mangled his lyrics below.


Seven hundred forty Five thousand nine hundred twenty minutes
Seven hundred forty Five thousand nine hundred twenty so distant
Seven hundred forty Five thousand nine hundred twenty minutes
How do you measure? Measure a year and a half?

In messages,
In phone calls,
In Insta-pics,
In cups of  black tea,
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in tears.

Seven hundred forty Five thousand nine hundred twenty minutes
How do you measure? A year and a half without her?

How about love?
How about love?
How about love?
Measure in love...
Seasons of absence...
Seasons of love...

Seven hundred forty Five thousand nine hundred twenty minutes
Seven hundred forty Five thousand nine hundred twenty opportunities to reminisce
Seven hundred forty Five thousand nine hundred twenty minutes
How do you measure a life of a daughter you miss?

In truths that she learned
Or in times that I cried
In bridges she burned
Or how she took life in stride

Its time now to sing out though
The separation is about to suspend
Let's forget these eighteen months
The plane is soon to descend.

Remember the love...
(Oh you gotta remember the love)
Forget the distance...
(Oh yeah, its time for coexistence)
Remember the love...
(Sing out, give out, measure your life
In looooooove...!)
Seasons of absence...
Seasons of love...

Also Clare made a hollyhock (rose of Sharon) doll.

Day 319: Anticipation

Clare’s arriving tomorrow with Pete. I couldn’t be more excited. I have not seen her in over a year and a half.

The photo at the top is from the the last time she was here, Christmastime 2019/2020.


We can never know about the days to come
But we think about them anyway

Carly Simon