There is no doubt that July is here. Our last few days have been calm, hot, and humid. The dock has been a busy place as many find playing in the water just wonderful. The kayaks have been out everyday with both kids and adults in them.
Grandson Zach is here now so we have been busy with him. That means horseback riding, berry picking and fishing. It also means that he gets to visit all his friends on the Trail. He and the Baker Boys have spent lots of time playing. Today he goes up to play with the Prom children. When night time comes, Zach is ready for bed. In fact last night he and Grandpa each caught a few winks before dinner.
With the hot weather, the air management in our home keeps things about 10-15 degrees cooler that outside. Every night we open all the windows. By 7:00 a.m. they are closed again and the fans are turned on. Even though we have no air conditioning, we do have lots and lots of insulation (for winter) and that helps keep things cool in the summer. Going outside, however, is still hot.
Eva and I like to go down to the lake right in front of our house. It is nicely shaded. We drag our feet in the water. Tucker is along and we throw a tennis ball in the water for him to retrieve. Yesterday Rudy was along and the two of them swam out after the ball. Then Zach came down. We pushed out a small kayak. Pretty soon we had Zach, kayak, dogs, and ball all playing in the water. Meanwhile Eva and I sat in the shade. All we needs was some cold beer or frozen Margaritas.
Berry picking is in full swing. Yesterday I made 19 jars of raspberry jam. One day I made 46 jars of jam. Bruce is out picking as I type this. I’ll be busy this afternoon making jam again. It seems like lots of work now but in January the jam is wonderful. I also give it away for Christmas presents or when we stay at someone’s home.
With all this hot weather, the fishing has held up amazingly well. This morning Bruce was down at the lodge talking to one of the guides. He and his party caught 80 lake trout yesterday. I think we need to go out. While in the Cities recently, I visited the Penzey’s Spice store on Grand Avenue in St. Paul. They have a blend of spices called Fox Point that I want to try on lake trout. The blend is wonderful on baked salmon and should be equally good on baked lake trout. Of course, the fish has to be fresh. We are such snobs about our fish.
The canoe races last week were a great success. I know that a new record was set for the amount of money raised but don’t have the exact figure. In spite of three showers, everyone had a good time. We sold out every one of the general raffle tickets and almost all of the canoe raffle tickets. There was also a silent auction that raised money. Food was sold down to the last hot dog and sloppy Joe. Lots of people contribute to making this a very successful event.
My garden is in full swing. Each day I bring the lodge a 2.5 gal bag of fresh lettuce for their salads. This is mixed with greens that we buy. In addition we are regularly harvesting fresh herbs for the lodge. Bruce picked our first bunch of garlic. I can smell garlic throughout the kitchen just from that one bunch.
Tonight we go over to a neighbor’s on Tucker Lake. Throughout the year several couples from Gunflint, Loon, and Tucker Lakes get together on Wednesday nights for dinner. Sometimes it’s at Trail Center, sometimes at Gunflint, and sometimes at one of our homes. During the warm summer months we like to go to Tom and Melissa’s. They have a very large screened in porch that can seat about 20 people for dinner. Of course, it’s a potluck and the food is wonderful. Tonight Bruce is doing BBQ’ed ribs and Fred is doing a brisket. I can smell the hickory smoke from the smoker whenever I walk outside. With all the good cooks in our group, forget your diet when you go to our potlucks.
One day last winter we decided to do just appetizers and desserts. The problem was that everyone brought one of each. You cannot imagine how much food we had. Bruce and I were so full driving home that we just groaned all the way.
If we have dinner at someone’s home, we often play card games or dominos. The women always are against the men. No one is too intent on the rules. In fact usually Fred or Melissa will have to remind us of a “little known rule” when they want to try something. Recently Zach taught me a “little known rule” that says that the first person a play in any game is the youngest. This rule works pretty well for him in our house.
So that is the social scene around Gunflint Lake right now. Hope your life is a pleasurable as ours is.