Thursday, July 05, 2012

Charlevoix--my summer place

The singing of a bird, the tick-tock of a clock, those are the only sounds I hear this Monday morning on Pine Point. Slept a heavy sleep eventhough I went to bed early last night. Instead of trying to get up at 6 a.m., the time set on my alarm clock, I shut it off and continued in my deep sleep until almost 9. Somehow after the weekend at a funeral for my aunt and quality time with my family, I just needed to sleep. Even Lulu my cat was out cold for all that time. Usually she is up early meowing in my face to be fed, but today, I had to wake her up for breakfast. I came up here to write my book, and I need to get on a routine. So far, one week into it, and I am not in my routine. It’s OK, family comes first and the death of a much beloved aunt must be marked with all the ceremony and pomp she deserved. My uncle and cousins lost a wonderful person in their lives and little by little they will come out of this, but for now we, their family, are here to provide them comfort and support through this difficult time.
Family is important to me, and Charlevoix is a magnet for my family. It is where my aunts, uncles, and cousins all became family, where we learned what it means to be family—something we will never lose and something that keeps us bonded through life. There is something comforting about this summer place, where for generations we have come to spend time together and find refuge from the realities of the world for a bit of time. It’s a place to reenergize our batteries so to speak and reconnect, laugh, play Scrabble, swim, watch sunsets over Lake Michigan and just enjoy each other’s company.
I am here on Pine Point, a quiet enclave a bit out of town to write a book about my Afghans for the entire month. Trying to write a book at my home in Brooklyn seemed implausible and I really needed a quiet place to focus on getting this book done. Initially I was going to go to Croatia, since I had a free place to write there, but that fell through. Charlevoix seemed a great second option. I always found Pine Point to be a perfect place to write and I hope to delve into a lot of writing while I am here. I’ve printed out the 80 pages I’ve written so far and now just need to sort through everything and make it into a book. It’s a process I know and I worry that I’ll get too distracted by family and other things to stay focused. I think though that I will accomplish a lot while I’m here.
The squirrel in the tree off the deck is making his angry noise again. He does this when Luu is out by the tree and he feels threatened. He makes a chucking sound and flaps his tail, glaring down at her as she peacefully chews on the grass below. A white cat came up to the door to check things out, Lulu was asleep in the other room and missed out on hissing at her and chasing her away. The birds continue to sing and the clock goes “Tick, tock, Tick, tock.” Soon the loud siren will blow from downtown to denote the noon hour, a boat horn will blow and the ding ding ding will be heard as the drawbridge in town brings down its guards while the bridge opens to let boats out from Round Lake to Lake Michigan. The red lighthouse stands guard at the end of the channel on the Lake Michigan side. At night people will gather there or on the beaches to watch the sunset over this Great Lake. We will look for the green flash as the sun says “Good Night” to us and “Good Morning” to someone on the other side of the world.

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