The August List – 2021

SPOILER ALERT – I did not proofread this before publishing. Zero thinking capacity left. I’d apologize, but I’m not sorry.

August was honestly mostly a blur, except for our annual trip to upstate New York, as I was mostly still recovering from surgery during the month. Although I felt great mentally and physically (nothing hurt too much and I was in a good head space), I did get tired a lot and felt like I didn’t have the brain power to do too very much at all.

1) I read a lot this month. One of the books I finished was “The Hour of the Witch” by Chris Bohjalian. It was a riveting read, but a tad stressful, as you can infer from the title and book cover. It makes me so grateful to have been born at the second half of the 20th century, though women still have a ways to go.

2) Another book I read was “Summer Wives” by Beatriz Williams, recommended to me ages ago by my friend Tami. I don’t usually read books centered on romance, but this one had lots going on outside of the central characters – the setting of an exclusive island, a storyline that span generations, a plot weaving in an out of the past and future – that it did not feel like a typical boy-meets-girl type of story. It was a quick read!

3) I’ll share a more detailed review on a future Instagram post, but I loved this book. Great writing, storyline and characters.

4) After a family meeting (the 9-year-old wrote down our pros and cons), we decided not to take Obi on our 10-hour road trip. Given my inability to walk or chase after him, the unknown of how he’d do in the car for that long, and the unknown of how he’d do with the cat and the lake and all of that, we felt it best he stayed behind.

He boarded with a gal who has two other dogs and he did not miss us at all. Here he is with his friend Bentley, a Great Dane.

5) My Dad’s place in New York was wonderful, per usual. We lucked out with beautiful weather almost every day (the week before it had poured). It was the first time in probably five or six years that I didn’t have to work during vacation and being able to actually take a vacation as intended was amazing.

6) I basically read and sat on the dock and ate fresh-baked donuts from Millers, the Menonnite market down the road (about 15 minutes drive, the closest market) and corn on the cob and drank margaritas and red wine. I’d planned to get back on the health train (less sugar, less alcohol) as soon as we returned home, but my Dad and his wife sent us home with a bag of donuts so that clearly didn’t happen because I don’t have that kind of will power.

7) I took a few solo morning walks in the woods for exercise. It’s so peaceful, unless you are listening to a missing persons or serial killer podcast like I usually do. I ended up switching to “American Rehab,” a podcast about a drug treatment center, because I was getting too freaked out. Super dumb. I’m a huge scaredy cat.

8) I did eventually finish this podcast, which isn’t all that scary. I’ve pretty much liked every Podcast I’ve listened to from The Australian. I appreciate their investigative reporting and all of the background they provide to give listeners a complete story. This one is about a missing person unsolved case with multiple suspects and lots that went wrong (missing evidence, leads not followed up on) during the initial investigation.

9) The girls and I met up with one of the neighbors one day for a walk to what the locals call the beaver pond, for obvious reasons (although we only saw evidence of otters/beavers, but no actual sightings). She and her husband have two Burmese Mountain dogs, who came with us on our walk. We found mushrooms and ate wintergreen leaves and collected leaves and feathers.

We also met their cat Obi (!!!!) and parrot, Mango. I’d known forever that her husband was the actor who played Charlie Bucket in the original “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” a movie/story/book I was obsessed with as a kid, so I tried not to geek out and didn’t one time mention the movie or say the word “Charlie” even thought I was DYING to.

10) My Dad showed me this photo that I’ve never seen before of my grandma Lucy and her brother Asa. LOVE this photo, wish I could go back in time and talk to her. The second photo is of my great grandmother, Lucy’s mom. They look alike.

11) Evenings are so lovely at the cabin. If you’re willing to brave the mosquitos and lather on bug spray, sitting on the dock watching the sun go down and the stars and bats come out is perfect. One night we roasted marshmallows and were startled by a strange sound that we finally figured out was an owl. It didn’t sound like the usual “hooting” sound you’d expect.

12) I forced myself to take photos enough to where got genuinely inspired a few times. Usually vacation photos are the best kind for me, because there’s no pressure.

As soon as we got back home, it felt like we were never gone. Doctor appointments and conference calls and back-to-school shopping slapped us in the face. Such is life. And I’m okay with that.

Wishes for a wonderful September. How is it almost fall already!?!? I never want summer to end.

3 thoughts on “The August List – 2021

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