Monday, September 03, 2007

The Last Lazy Days of Summer

Tuesday the kids go back to school. The freeways will be extra busy as the new college term begins at the U. While the temperature outside will be pushing 90 degrees rest assured a touch of fall will be in the air. Summer's last hurrah comes and goes with Labor Day.

My son, his buddy and I made a holiday trip to Vacationland in northern Wisconsin for the weekend. The plan was to fish and stay up late. Well the boys were successful at both - I fished. A good friend is in the process of building a lake home and is kind enough to let us use it once in a while. Even in its unfinished state this beautiful house is more than adequate for guys going fishing. It has running water, a full bathroom and electricity. There is a stereo and a TV for the boys to hook up the Playstation 2. There's a Mr. Coffee maker in the kitchen and a Weber grill on the deck. What more could you need?

When the boys are sleeping in (until noon) I take the opportunity to make a pot of coffee and take out my paintbrushes and pallet. Last year when we were there I painted a pair of bald eagles and left the painting as a gift for my wonderful hosts [you can see it here]. This time I brought up a painting I had started at home. It is a very ambitious work and is so detailed it will be another month before I finish it. But I can show you the progress I made in three lovely, peaceful mornings. It is a scene from a Greek fishing town...

My son has recently taken up archery so we set up a little target in a safe place and took some shots from about 12 yards. We had a blast.

Some of us had to look for our arrows other than at the target...

During the hot afternoons (right after breakfast for some of us) when the fish don't bite anyway the boys went swimming. The water was actually very, very nice but the initial plunge is always a bit of a shock.
The key is to just take the plunge, go in head first, you know 1, 2, 3 NOW!

You didn't go!

Take That!

Now this is truly enjoying the last lazy days of summer.

Eventually we did go fishing. We found a small island last year that has a few nice holes where the smallmouth bass like to hang out. They were a little more elusive this year but we did catch several nice 1/2 pounders. Nothing to get too excited about, but fun nonetheless. We did well with the sunnies and there were some perch as well.

The kids will have some fine memories of these days in the years to come. I will too.