Tuesday, June 10, 2014

A Week at the Lake House

May 31 (evening) - June 7, 2014
Clearlake, CA
(three of three catching up)

Back at the hotel, Michelle and I load our bags into Marilynn's car for the drive to Clearlake. Girl-time at Marilynn's is the plan. Bill stayed in Santa Clara another night and then returned home with the boys on Sunday.

Renee made the trip with Marilynn, so there are four of us for the little road trip. Two days earlier, a waitress spilled hot water on Marilynn's lap, leaving her with horrible burns and blisters. She powered through the celebration but was pretty miserable on the ride home. For that reason we eat our dinner in the Arby's parking lot - which is really, really good :-) - and make one quick stop for gas.

I have driven I-5 more times than I can remember, in all seasons. I have driven through the Imperial Valley during white-fly season, and through the grasshoppers in the Mohave Desert. Never have I worried that the bugs would get so thick on the windshield that it would impair my vision. Until this night. After scraping off the "paste" in Williams the windshield is nearly covered within a few miles. We  see thousands of them in the headlights and hear the "tick, tick, tick" of them hitting the car. Yuk! Fortunately the swarms stay on the valley floor as we make the hill up Hwy 20 and I can see fine for the remainder of the drive.

Before the bugs got "really" bad
Sunday morning is bright and sunny, and perfect for coffee on the deck. Wayne and Marilynn moved permanently to the lakehouse a few years back and made it a lovely and loving home. The deck is right on the "keys", a series of small canals that extend off the lower end of Clearlake with houses on each side. The view is exceptional with the oak-studded hills in one direction and the volcano, Konocti, in the other. 

Deck at the Lake House

We have spent holiday weekends here with our two families and this more quiet and serene visit is bitter sweet. Nice to have the time that is women just relaxing and sharing, but sad in the reality of such a huge change. Marilynn has done a wonderful job of resetting the space and it feels light and calm. 

Michelle and I make a grocery run in the morning and late in the afternoon Renee and Pam join us for barbequed chicken, pasta salad and fruit salad. Delicious! A few beers and glasses of wine and we are having a fun time. Then it happens -

Pam, Renee and I are on the deck when we hear Michelle yell, and a commotion in the house. The last one in the house, I find Marilynn and Michelle laughing in the living room and the other two heading to the master bedroom. What is going on here? Marilynn describes how she called Michelle in to her room to check out a really large bug up high on her wall. She was nearly knocked over when Michelle turned and ran, yelling "It's a bat!"

Time for another beer. By now there is banging and other noise in the bedroom (the door is shut to contain the beast), and I'm convinced Dracula has returned to full form and is locked in battle with the two women, neither of whom are very big. Of course the three of us wait patiently in the other room, maintaining a strong second line of defense.

The door opens and Pam has caught the bat. In a dish towel. In one hand. It's like the size of a large moth........ Humans are once again safe. Unfortunately the same cannot be said of the small terrorist who Pam accidently "broke" during the skirmish :-(.

Following a quick burial at sea (lake) we return to our visiting. We continue to find great humor in the incident, holding our sides, and laughing until there are tears. These are silly tears and so very cleansing. Laughter really is great medicine.

I read out loud about "bat medicine" from my Medicine Wheel book, and we all agree that the message of rebirth and new beginnings is spot-on for Marilynn. Cleansing laughter and good medicine - our little bat did great work in it's short life.

Bat Medicine
Monday we sleep in and Michelle works for a few hours. We take the pontoon boat out and enjoy the beauty of the water. Another good home-cooked meal, and we call it a day.

Tuesday is Michelle's last day so we take a drive around the whole lake to show her the area. Lunch in Lakeport at the same restaurant where the hot water burned Marilynn, because it's still the best food in town. She says she'll introduce us as her attorneys. Of course she doesn't, as she has forgiven what was an unfortunate and painful accident, but an accident just the same. We sit outside and enjoy the little town and our yummy meal.

Lakeport is the County Seat

The drive to the Sacramento airport seems quick, and soon Marilynn and I are headed back to the lake. We miss Michelle.  Still full from our lunch, we opt for leftovers at the house. We're both sleepy from all the driving and say goodnight early.

I know this is already a long post so thanks for hanging in here with me. I have another couple days with Marilynn.

Appointments on Wednesday take us to St Helena and Santa Rosa. There are very few services in Lake County so most medical appointments and shopping for anything other than groceries are a couple hours drive. Fortunately the drive west is beautiful and we enjoy the scenery of the countryside. 

Napa County
The little courtyard outside the office in St Helena is lovely and I play with the camera while I wait for Marilynn. 

Beautiful courtyard St Helena
Her next appointment gives us just enough time to make it over the mountain to Santa Rosa. More lovely scenery here with sections of the road deep in the forest. It is still a very warm day, but it "looks" cooler in the shade of all those trees :-). 

The waiting room has lots of magazines to keep me busy. I learn there is another Kardasian baby on the way and wonder again why this family is newsworthy in any format. Marilynn's visit is a short one and I am spared further exposure to the silliness of the current pop culture. Harmless, but silly.

It's after 2:00 and we are famished. The sushi restaurant we saw earlier is closed until 5 so we choose the sandwich shop next door. If you're in Santa Rosa give Mr Pickle a try for great sandwiches. It even smells like the great sandwich shops I remember from college. We both take half home and have them later for our dinner.

We return to the house and after a little television we are once again nodding off early.

One reason for my visit was to help Marilynn sort and move "stuff". She wanted to make the Lego Room into the Quilting Room. However, with her burns she didn't feel up to tackling the project until Thursday so I got off really light!

In just a few hours we get as far as she needs to get the sewing machine set up (Jessica and Melissa had already sorted and moved the majority of the Legos), with several items moved to her garage sale area. She has a lot to purge, and plenty of time to get it done. I'm sure I'll make at least one more trip to help her tackle it before we head out.

The BFF, Janis, lives in Sacramento so Friday we meet for an early lunch at Chevys on the river. It is wonderful to see her (she and Marilynn met last year at our house) but the visit is way too short. The three of us enjoy each other's company a lot, and we talk about getting together at the end of summer. I hope we can make that happen!

I loved this time with Marilynn. She is a strong woman and I know she will be just fine through this difficult transition. I wish she didn't live so far away though!!

This is the longest time Bill and I have spent apart and we are very happy to see each other at the airport. Yes, I missed Tessa too, and she is a crazy mass of jumps and wags and doggy kisses as soon as I walk in the door. Bill shows more restraint but he is just as excited :-).

It was an emotional week and a busy week. It was a good week. 


1 comment:

  1. Sounds like an amazing place to visit and a nice time away from it all.