The Calling

Cape Cod was calling me one sub-zero morning last winter.

Or so I thought.

I’ve always loved the peaceful, beautiful beaches of Truro located on the tip of the Cape, but it’s been years since I’ve made a trip out to the coast.

I busily researched cozy cottages to rent and considered the logistics of getting there from the midwest for a short spring visit. It would make for a complicated itinerary, yet a Cape visit was still pretty tempting.

Yet something else was calling me as well.

It was the sweet simplicity and low cost of a trip to a lovely lake just an hour away. I’d been there as a child and years later with my late husband.

I found some photos of a charming little lake cottage on line and immediately booked it.

As I first walked through the door of the cottage last weekend, I knew I’d made the right decision.

It was built of stone, well over a hundred years ago, and was filled with personality and old world charm.

I saw well worn canoe paddles repurposed as book shelves next to the pictures of sail boats on the wall.

I felt the sea foam green soft throws ready to use for naps on the porch, and as lap blankets on the porch swing by the water.

And I tasted salt water taffy in the big candy jar.

Taking the steps down to the dock that evening with my camera, I smelled the promise of fresh walleye dinners also in that lake water.

I decided to sit for a while waiting for the sunset. I was hopeful the day’s heavy cloud cover would melt into a pool of warm colors just in time for sundown.

I watched what looked to be a loon swimming, then circling in the distance.

He appeared to be watching me.

About twenty minutes later, I bid adieu to the lone loon and started to climb the steps back up to the cottage.

But suddenly the loon abruptly called out to me.

I turned and finally took a picture of my sunset.

Nodding to the loon, I realized I’d found my calling after all.

Rising above again

I confess that I have trouble taking myself seriously as a photographer.

My body quakes whenever I venture from an automatic setting to manual.

Could it be all that camera terminology? I can’t help but wonder every time I pull out my instruction book.

Though more likely it’s my fear of technology.

Heck, I don’t even have a Smart Phone as I doubt I’ll ever figure out how to use it.

It seems I’ve missed ten tech upgrades during the last ten years while I was busy caregiving.

But I’m tenacious in my quest to keep trying, and to overcome those fears.

So Friday morning I was very anxious to capture the gulls flying overhead as I stood on a sandy beach.

It’s a special spot.

My mother-in-law and husband’s remains lie just beyond.

Moving in for the shot, I was ready to change my setting to manual until I suddenly found myself moving.

Sinking actually.

In what seemed like an instant, I was standing in a thick mix of sand and cool water rising above my ankles.

I quickly made my retreat.

Still I was able to snap one quick picture in transit.

I wasn’t leaving without it.

Maybe I’m a budding photographer after all.

Or more importantly, one now even more determined to rise above her photo fears.

Oh, and definitely any soggy sand bars.

Views for free

It’s not Italy’s Amalfi Coast, or California’s Pacific Coast Highway.

The flyover state of Minnesota is my home.

I rarely travel anymore.

And I’m not a wealthy woman.

Yet maybe I am.

My rusty Subaru and I hit the roads early yesterday at 5:30 a.m.

We had a 7:00 appointment with the morning sunrise just across the border in Wisconsin.

And we made it just in time.

My just reward was a warm slice of spinach quiche from a nearby bakery, with sugary Swedish donuts laced with cardamon for dessert.

As to the Subaru, it was treated to a fresh quart of oil at the gas station.

Opening the car door, I noticed I still had plenty of coins left in my pocket for the drive back.

It seems the best things in life are still free.

Well, almost anyway.