Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.


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Ever wonder what there is to do at the lake?

Yes it’s peaceful here on the lake. You might even say it’s tranquil. Nothing to do but watch the weather move overhead.

A summer storm blows through almost every afternoon.

Perhaps take a morning paddle.

Headed out to the mountains.

Maybe toward evening take the ski boat out to the big waters to see the sunset.

This particular evening there were many facets of a single setting sun.

If you go way out there you need to sit awhile and soak it all in.

The other side of the lake had less color but just as much drama.

But mostly you putter around close to the house, perhaps exploring just up the creek in the canoe.

Let’s go see what’s over there.

And sometimes, if all your siblings and their significant others show up at the same time…well…you just need to goof off.

Having fun on the lake one warm evening.

No matter what advanced age you achieve…when you’re all together you can still be kids.

One…two…three…JUMP!

And that’s what I’ve been up to this week after the 4th of July. Katie and I will be heading north soon. She says she likes the lake house and wouldn’t mind staying here the rest of the summer. But I remind her that we have camping (and weeding) to do and so she says she’s OK with going home too. As long as the northern house has an air conditioning vent for her to sleep on she’s not so particular.

Stay tuned as our adventure continues.

One of my favorite spots.


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Happy Birthday United States!

Shaping up to be a pretty night on the lake.

Last night I got to enjoy a wonderful show of colorful fireworks from a boat floating on the warm waters of a beautiful lake. We left the house about an hour before sundown, but the sky was already turning the thunderclouds pink.

Pink clouds herald what’s to come.

And as we motored out to join hundreds of other boats the pink just kept getting deeper…

Lots of boats already out there.

…and deeper…until this was the sky we floated under as we waited for the man-made show to start.

Nature’s fireworks competed with anything man could shoot into the sky.

Soon enough the sun slid below the horizon, turning the sky midnight blue. Hundreds of people sitting in softly rocking boats settled in to wait for the show.

Blue hour on the lake.

I don’t have a lot of fireworks images. I was in moving boat with little light. Plus it was just so much fun to watch without trying to capture it all.

This was the clearest image of the few I took.

You can use your imagination to fill in the big booms and the bright lights.

A windy rainstorm was blowing in and above the bursting fireworks pinkish heat lightening was showcasing the clouds in huge arcs. In the middle of the show, over the boat’s radio, came a severe weather alert warning of strong winds and possibly hail. We began to consider heading for home.

Abstract photo of boats heading home after the show. Taken from our rocking boat.

We were lucky, though, the storm held off for a couple of hours. The fireworks were able to finish with a grand finale, and we made it back to the house with time to eat pie on the back deck before the rains poured down.

Heat lightening filled the sky after the last of the fireworks faded, and boats began scuttling for home.

It was a lovely evening and I thank Captain Carl for taking us out to see man and God’s lights fill the sky.

Happy birthday America!


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Lake living – the view from here

Sometimes the clouds just glow.


I am sitting in the living room, keeping one eye on the big picture window that overlooks the lake and the other on my computer screen. With any sign of movement out there the window gets my entire attention.

The doggy jet ski just went by!

I mean, what’s the point of living on the lake if you’re not watching it? Early in the morning the first thing I do every day is check the lake and the sky above it to see whether there’s anything interesting yet.

Morning earlier this week when the moon was full.

There almost always is.

Woman and her dog take a paddleboat ride while fish jumps in joy.

In fact, my Facebook friends are probably tired of getting that early (and sometimes not so early) morning image of the lake outside my window. But I never tire of it.

Summer slide waits for storm clouds to dissipate.

Oh sometimes, perhaps once every couple of days, I leave my picture window and get out on the water. Sometimes we fly out to the ‘big water’ in the ski boat to see what’s new. Perhaps to bob in the warm water and watch the sunset unrestrained by landscape.

Sunset on the ‘big water.’ Picture taken by my sister from our boat.

More often it’s just me and my little kayak that venture out, either in early morning or late afternoon. Sometimes even as the sun is going down, always in search of something beautiful.

An evening paddle.

The lake never disappoints me.

Early night boat wake as the last of the sunset disappears.

So I’m sharing random photos of life on the lake. Just things I’ve seen and captured, moments in time all revolving around sky and water and weather.

Crazy skies over a lake playground.

Sometimes I’m sitting at the house, watching the world go by.

Two guys in their kayaks enjoy a summer day.

Sometimes I’m out in the water letting the sky point the way.

Late evening light as we head home in the boat.

I don’t think there’s a better way to live than on water, any kind of water. A river, a pond, a lake, an ocean. Water changes all the time. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve gone to get the camera (which is rarely far from me) and by the time I get the lens cap off the light has changed, the boat has moved, the sun or moon has ducked behind a cloud.

Just as I’m typing this the sky changed from bright blue with white clouds piling up to pouring down rain. Honest…it was sunny as I was typing the previous sentence and now I can’t see across the lake. Good thing I went down to the dock and got the last image down at the bottom of the post when I did.

An afternoon swim is always good too.

The moment is lost.

A little rain cools things off and never sticks around for long.

I’m always sad for an instant, but then remember that I was thrilled to have seen it at all. Sometimes I even go for a walk or a paddle without a camera, just to prove to myself that I am capable of enjoying the sights without recording them all.

Clouds and water make for a perfect evening.

But that’s very hard for me. I seem to see almost everything as a series of images. Sometimes I can’t help myself but to point out something to the people I’m with. The angle of a tree, the light behind a building, the shape of a cloud.

Trees frame a visitor to our dock.

My family usually just nods and smiles as they indulge me. So here I am, sharing with you, these random water and sky images. Because I can’t help myself.

I hope you’ll indulge me too.

Clouds gather every afternoon before our daily rain.


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When truck safety visits the lake

Heading out before the sun sets.

As most of you know I volunteer for a nonprofit that works on truck safety issues. It’s made up of volunteers, most of which have either survived a crash with a large commercial truck or have had family or friends killed in a crash with a truck.

We get together in Washington D.C., usually to fight some piece of legislation that we feel will make our roads less safe than they are now. And every other year we meet there for a conference called Sorrow to Strength where we learn how to make change and where we spend days in meetings with our Members of Congress and the DOT and other agencies that make or enforce rules surrounding trucks.

It’s pretty stressful.

We’ve often talked about wanting to spend time with each other when we’re not working, not talking endlessly about our losses, not overcome with grief, not walking up and down Capitol Hill until our feet ache to match our hearts.

Lots of big puffy white clouds began to turn pink.

Three years ago some of us were able to meet in Maine. We had a wonderful time sitting around eating lobster and talking around a campfire until late into the evening.

Huge mounds of cloud build up to the South.

And this past weekend a few of the volunteers came here to Lake Martin. It felt good to be together in a less stressful place. It felt good to host them in Dad’s home. It was like having a big family reunion. In fact it was a family reunion, because these people are my truck safety family. They are people who know better than anyone what it’s like to get that call. What it’s like to be in the car.

What it’s like.

We ate too much and lazed around in the sun. We hung out together, thankful that we have each other while wishing we didn’t belong to the family at all.

And then they all turned pink.

Swimming, water skiing, just floating in the warm waters of the lake was so much fun. Even climbing the mountain and then the fire tower in the Alabama heat was fun. There were hugs and lots of laughter, and even a few tears when my sister played Amazing Grace on her bagpipes at sunset.

Headed back North the sky was entirely different.

We took pictures, of course, of us goofing off in the water, climbing the mountain and the fire tower, eating and laughing. But I need to maintain everyone’s privacy, so rather than show you those photos I’ve used last night’s sunset images throughout this post.

Floating in pink and gold.

I was out in my kayak and the sky was amazing. Sort of like spending the weekend with my truck safety family.

Simply amazing.

And then the moon came up.


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Sensory overload

The plan was to write about an event my husband and I hosted over the weekend. Since Saturday I’ve been thinking about what I’d write come Monday evening.

It all started out like this.

But as usual I got distracted by the view outside my window. It was hard not to watch as over the course of a few hours we went from blue skies and puffy white clouds to an amazing pink and purple finish.

And then we got our typical afternoon storm.

I can’t help but share with you just a few of the images I’ll never forget.

The afternoon thunderstorm lasted longer than the thirty minutes we’ve become accustomed to. And to the north of us the sun continued to shine, making the rain glisten as it streamed into the lake.

The lake turned green with silver beads of rain.

And then, after an hour or so the rain stopped and the sky lightened and the lake went glassy in preparation for donning her evening wear.

Anticipation builds.

Things started to turn pink and gold.

Now it’s getting interesting.

Katie and I headed to the dock at a brisk pace as the sky began to change. For once she didn’t have to stop and sniff every blade of grass. She seemed to sense my urgency.

We started out gold.

And as we stood on the dock in amazement this happened.

Unbelievable.

Katie was so overwhelmed she didn’t even ask for a treat as payment to pose.

Hey mama! I’m pink!

The color just kept intensifying. It was hard to know where to shoot. So I just shot everywhere.

Simply beyond words.

And then, as we stood there, trying to remember to breath, the color faded to purple and the light slowly died.

The closing act.

Mother Nature gave quite a show. She presented her best finery tonight, and I hope wherever you are you were given a similar gift. But if you happened to have rain, or boring empty skies, I’m sharing Katie’s and my sunset.

Because it was just too big not to.

Good night everyone!