And….we’re back. We rolled in at midnight, after deciding over plates of fried seafood at Dale’s that we’d really be happier at home this weekend. Sandy was bored, the weather was rather hot and muggy, and I reached the point where I was thinking more about Sandy being unhappy than my pleasure. I was ready, too, though. Somewhere between wading in the lake yesterday morning, thinking that it was the most perfect place on earth for me, and last night, I was suddenly hit hard with a desire to come home and a feeling that I didn’t, in fact, belong there. I asked Sandy if he’d like to come home today, and he hardly let me finish the question before he said yes. Then he asked what day it was! I called the petsitter, and then we decided to move our departure up to 9 p.m. last night.

If we had had some company, or if we had had the kayak we expected (which my sister took back home with her), we would have had more fun. But, the details are for another post.

So here I am. I’ve got time to do laundry, do some gardening, and do some more artwork before I go back to work. It’s all good. I’m even considering making watermelon rind pickles. We bought a big watermelon down there that we have not cut yet.

I’m not hitting the farmer’s market this morning though. I don’t feel like getting dressed yet. Still spoiled from the lake.

The cats seem happy and Miss Peanut meowed at us from the time we drove up until we closed the front door for the last time. Sandy said that he’d never seen her so conversational. I guess that she does love us.

It did sadden me as we entered the last leg of the journey that usually my ache of missing Squirt at the end of a week’s vacation is relieved when I get home, and this time it wouldn’t be. It was out of pure habit that my mind turned to Squirt, how he would wander out, sleepy and confused, me calling him, having to chase him for a few seconds, and then him purring and relaxing into my shoulder. He wasn’t the brightest cat, but he was the most loving cat I ever had.

I really think that it is time for me to start putting a little money aside for a screened back porch. It will probably be several years before I can save enough money, but it would improve the quality of living here during the summer so much! I’m not sure how much more we’ll go to the lake, quite honestly. Sister Lisa was shook up badly about her encounter with the big alligator, and Sandy is not happy without the jet ski or company. I will probably go by myself or with friends who appreciate the wildlife and quiet, but I have to admit that the wildlife got a little too close for comfort this year. If I had a screened porch with a ceiling fan where I could work on my art overlooking the garden, that would be nearly as good. Except that I’d keep getting lured away by laundry and weeding and cooking, but that is where the lake art trips will continue to keep their attraction. I also will have to weigh the cost of gas from now on.

I kept a journal at the lake – the art journal that I began in May. I had stopped writing in it for a week or so before the lake, and it was nice to sit on the porch and write first thing each morning. It’s hard to do that here – the cats are all over me from thirty minutes before I get up until I leave the house. I guess that I could set aside 15-20 minutes in the studio to journal before I walk to work.

I guess that I feel a little sad today, like an era is over or something. But I still feel happier and more content than I felt last year at this time.

I’ll upload photos and write about the trip later this weekend.