Summers in Wisconsin don’t last very long–it’s said we have nine months of winter and three months of bad snowmobiling–but when they do arrive, they’re hot and humid. Today is no exception. Our here on our deck, we’re comfortable under the umbrella, but otherwise it’s 80 degrees with humidity making it feel several degrees hotter.
At church this morning, we were outside for the first time since July 3rd. Our church, Long Lake Lutheran, has a beautiful outdoor chapel that we utilize from Memorial Day through Labor Day. It’s also popular for weddings. Today, with Pastor Mary on vacation, five retired pastors helped out by conducting the service.
We have a lovely country church with an active congregation, reaching out into our nearby community for various ministries, and we also support ministries overseas in Haiti and Malawi. This year we are working with Lutheran Social Services to help relocate Middle Eastern refugee families into southern Wisconsin. Check us out at our church’s Facebook page: Long Lake Lutheran Church.
After that, we came home for our usual round of yard work. Sue keeps several gardens but had tended to those yesterday, while I was attending the Northwest Wisconsin Writers Conference up in Solon Springs. Today, our project was to see if we could cut up a basswood tree that had fallen in our forest during heavy rain a few nights earlier. Ordinarily we would’ve left it, but it was pretty close to the edge of our yard and some of Sue’s flowers. Alas, it was beyond the range of our small Stihl chain saw to handle, so Sue texted the tree service we utilize and they’ll be here in a few days to take care of the problem. There are times when you have to realize it’s time to call in the professionals, and this was one such time.
It’s sometimes hard for us to believe, but when we moved here 22 years ago, there were no gardens, not even a lawn. The house had been built seven years before by a German couple who intended to emigrate here but never did, leaving a shell with virtually nothing done inside other than the most basic wiring and plumbing. Since then, the grounds have been spruced up considerably, and of course the interior has as well. Sue now has nine gardens. This one, on the west side of the house, is our Japanese garden. The lawn here was basically worthless, so we made it into something, thanks to a couple guidebooks and some sweat equity. We put this together over Memorial Day weekend in 2009.
With the sun today, there’s a little too much shade to show you her other gardens in their true glory, but this shot of the lake from our deck should give you an idea of what we see every day. It’s something we try never to take for granted.
We try to spend as much time out here as we can on weekend and holiday afternoons. We have the radio tuned to the Brewers baseball game, and today they’re leading the Cubs, providing some joy for us fans in what is otherwise a rebuilding year that won’t see the lads come close to the playoffs.
At the conference yesterday I picked up some tips to help promote the publication of my next novel, The Red Wolf, which will be available in print and ebook on September 24th. That day I’ll be on Authors Alley in Hayward during Fall Fest, so if you’re in the area that day, stop by. It’s one of northwest Wisconsin’s largest craft fairs, and I’ll be there with several other authors to provide you with reading material.
But all work and no play, or relaxation, isn’t a good thing, so it’s time to wrap this post up with the best reasons these summer days on the deck are enjoyable for yours truly.