Grab my walking sticks from the corner behind the back door, go round the edge of the cottage (# 9) past the windsock onto the rutted grass track to the gravel driveway, glance at my watch so I’ll know how long it takes this time to reach halfway up the hill that leads to the main road on this warm (but not too warm for walking) day, through the first tunnel of trees, wildflowers on either side—daisies and cornflowers over, Queen Anne’s Lace beginning, waving grasses, escapees from wheat and barley fields—to the mown meadow flashing patches of “butter and eggs,” the naked new septic tank mound for cottage #1, the rough barely used path to the public beach, # 2 abuts the lake, laundry flapping on the line, last year’s renovated #3 is hidden farther in the woods and I plunge into ferns waving on either side, past the old storage shack, early golden rod beckoning through a slant of sun, where the mosquitoes blown away from the point are waiting for the first scent of human flesh, long sleeves and pants and a hoodie pulled up to protect me, arms and hands wield the poles that propel me onwards, round the bend, and now upwards—I am almost there, can see the road and the sign to Oake’s camp; perhaps I will get a little further before I begin to puff and my legs feel weak, before hearing “remember that you have to go back.”

Shadow_1672 Start of road_1670 Queen Anne's Lace_1680  Windy Laundry Ferns Shack Golden Rod Bend in the road Almost there

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