Saturday, August 16, 2008

Closing Up

August full moon over Wilderness Bay.

My first published piece of writing, other than naive youthful letters to the editor of the Ithaca Journal and an obscure scholarly article on Vergil's Ninth Eclogue, was a short story in Lake Superior Magazine called "Closing Up." It was about closing up a summer cabin up north. Our family just returned from our second trip up north this summer: two days in the car (approximately a thousand miles total), one day of summer fun, and a day of intensive closing up. Hoisting up the motorboat, "taking out the water" (i.e., draining and winterizing the plumbing), nailing up shutters, scrubbing down the kitchen, putting away the canoes and sailboats, etc. Things went fairly smoothly, with only a few glitches. We didn't have enough crank case oil for the outboard motor. A box (containing, among other things, my prescription allergy medication) got put into my mother-in-law's car (heading for Ohio) instead of our car. Other than that, it was great to have one more up north experience in 2008. Last night, we grilled over an open fire on the south shore, looking out toward Mackinac Island. This morning, we were up at 6:00 (eastern time) to finish the closing. Now the summer is over.

omnia fert aetas, animum quoque. saepe ego longos
cantando puerum memini me condere soles...

Time takes all we have away from us;
I remember when I was a boy I used to sing
Every long day of summer down to darkness...

Vergil, Eclogue IX (translated by David Ferry)

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