Sailing through August

From sailing into August, to the fall winds now blowing, it has been quite a month. This is a favorite time of the summer for many people, so my first question is, Why does it have to go by so quickly? Just when we were warming up and having a really good time, the wind changes and everyone heads home to go back to school and work. I love all four of the seasons, but it would be really nice if time slowed down just a bit. I am, however, still taking time to smell the roses on our rosebush whenever I walk by.

The Cavity Lake fire ceased to be an issue in early August, when the crews were able to declare it 95% contained. The whole operation was a marvel, and we so appreciate all the hard work put in by the crews. We got to meet some wonderful people, from the personnel who came each day with updates, to the folks who stopped in just to see us at the end of the road. They all were very dedicated to their job of keeping us all safe and managing the fire in the forest. Our hats are off to them!

Once the fire was no longer a constant presence, we went back to summer as usual. The weather this month has been just like it should be in August---warm days and cool nights. The mosquitoes cooperated on schedule, and have mostly disappeared, with a few strays ones in the evenings. Now that our nights are routinely getting in to the fifties, those stragglers won't be here for long. The stars have been bright in the sky, and I even heard some reports of Northern Lights. Unfortunately, I missed seeing them, as I was already asleep. That means that I also missed any campfire activities that were happening.....Guess I'm just getting a little too old!

Our pizza gatherings this month have been pretty amazing. Thursday is our usual day for making bread and pizza in the outdoor oven, and we invite guests and friends to join in. I like to joke that each week I get to roll in dough, as I am out at our big table, rolling the crusts to throw in the oven. Then everyone else steps up and puts the toppings on, Greg bakes them again, and out comes the most delicious pizza this side of Lake Superior. Twice this month, we fed over fifty people! We didn't even begin to count how many pizzas went through the oven. We just kept rolling dough and tossing them in. It has become a great tradition for all of us here at Heston's.

The birds are quieter, as usually happens this late in the summer. I have been hearing more chickadees, and they seem to be singing those songs that I hear in winter. We had opportunity to watch some young ones, earlier in the month, that seemed to be new at flying. They were perched atop the hop trellises, and would do short flights and little hops from the pole to the wire. They looked to be full-size, but were still fuzzy. Since they don’t fly south, I think that they will be fine, as young as they are. We still have a few hummingbirds coming to the feeder, getting ready for that big flight south.

While the birds get ready to fly south, our son Robert is preparing to go north. He is headed out today, bound for Alaska. He finished his high school work recently, and though his diploma isn’t quite “in hand” yet, he is ready to strike out on his own. Last year, when he was visiting Alaska with Greg and Paul, Greg told me that Robert might not come back home then. One of our early rules, however, was that you can’t leave home without your diploma. So he returned, stuck it out to the finish line, and has another year under his belt. It is a bittersweet day for me, as this is what I have wanted for him, and yet, it is hard to let him go. But as I’ve been saying for most of the summer, “It’s time for that boy to go!” He is so ready to travel, work in new places and meet new people. Greg is taking the first part of the journey with him, with plans to drive across Canada and into Alaska together, and then Greg will fly back from Fairbanks in mid-September. Not long after that, winter will be setting in up there, so Robert has packed plenty of warm clothes and blankets.

Addie and I will hold down the fort again, this time assisted by Paul, while Greg is gone. Once again, I don’t have a lock on the garbage shed. We haven’t had any bears in there yet, but as soon as they know that Greg is gone, they’ll probably come running! Fortunately, I know a solution if that is the case---I’ll call Tim to come and help me set up another steel cable/come-along barrier, and that will keep me one step ahead of the bear. Stay tuned…..