Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Erie But Beautiful

This hubby of mine. He's the very best. With the season coming to its 'official' close, a short time back, I mentioned that another summer had slipped by without a visit to the ocean. In other words, an incomplete summer, sigh. Especially if you grow up in Baltimore, you just have to go, "downey oshun, Hon!" But, the Atlantic is a far stretch from me these days.

Well, Michael surprised me by setting up a few days away. But, not just any place; he decided we'd go to the next closest body of big water in one day's drive. So, he made plans for us to go to Erie, PA and visit the great Erie Lake.

The whole way up to our adventure, I was wondering if it could even measure up to the Atlantic. I mean, I know they call it a Great Lake, but can a lake even come close to an ocean for majesty and the ability to awe? After all, it's only a lake.

We get there, the four of us, yes four because he further delighted me by making a reservation where Fiona and Rory were welcome, and set out to find the big water. A short drive later, we're parked for a stroll along the edge of the 'lake.'

Can I tell you? The warm wind was blowing white caps across the face, and while they weren't the waves I am used to, the spray off the storm jetties was pretty impressive!

The next day we set off for Presque Isle, which is a long sliver of land that is a state park. It's home to the numerous beaches everyone uses to visit with this Lake. This time of year, the season being over, it's returned to the gulls, wild life and the trees to enjoy. Very few people around meant that we could let Rory & Fiona have some freedom and enjoy the smells and the beach. It was their first time seeing water like this. Intrepid Fiona got in and splashed about, but Rory wasn't at all trusting enough to try. He preferred to investigate the shore line.

Unlike the Atlantic Ocean beaches, where shells abound, this is rock and drift wood and really interesting bits of flotsam that washes up and sits undisturbed. The locals look for sea glass along the edge. Lake Erie is the final resting place of more ship wrecks than all of the Great Lakes, and the sea glass is the remains of the hopes of those on board. Odd, when you consider that you're excited to find a bit of history which marks the watery end of Human Beings.

Occasionally, you'll come across a fish out of water. Poor thing. No reason to throw it back, it's already turned an odd color. Trust me, this was the cutest of the dead fish that made me go, "Eww!" While the same dead thing made Rory go, "Ohhh!" as he investigated them too closely making Michael and me shout simultaneously, "Leave it!!!"

We all sat and watched the lake flat and placid, seeming a sheet of glass. We wondered how vast this body of water is even though it is one of the smallest of those Great Lakes. It fills the horizon and my eyes and mind couldn't tell the difference between this wet horizon and the one I've fondly watched along the Atlantic. Except, this water is not salty like the sea and it was so clear.

Our pack enjoyed some bonding time, just the four of us. Closing our eyes, relaxing. Sniffing the air. Being quiet and hearing the gathered gulls call and challenge each other on the storm breaks.

And at the end of our day, the sun set over the water, which is something beautiful you can't see over the Atlantic Ocean where the sun starts each day.

I'm reminded that this world is full of opportunities to learn new things of beauty and new ways of seeing them. And, while they may not compare with your old haunts, your old stomping grounds, you can still be impressed when you encounter them. You can learn to love something new and look forward to your next encounter with it.

You can expand your sense of wonder as you exclaim, "Damn!," the first time you're awed by the glimpse of a new place and way. It is Erie and beautiful. Thank you Michael, for making it possible to slip away with you- my love, and our Scotties. It was exactly what my spirit needed and even better than I hoped! Like my life, you made my summer complete.

Namaste' Till Next Time,


Sara said...

What a wonderful hubby you have there. Love the pictures too. I have never visited the great lakes, but would love to one day. xoxo

Sunny said...

Great pictures, what a nice get away. It's not where you are, it's who you're with that counts.
Sunny :)

Diva Kreszl said...

What a sweet man!

Eileen said...

Holly, just lovely ... and what a wonderful few days to treasure with memory-building moments. I feel quite sure you thanked Mr. Frock again and again!

jan said...

I remember Lake Erie in the 1960s was so polluted fish were hurling themselves out of the water. People can do so much to clean up the earth when they want to.

joyce said...

What a romantic thoughtful hubby you've got yourself! Yes, the great lakes are not "just" lakes.....they're mini-oceans. Glad you had such a great weekend, even if it wasn't salt water!

Kavindra said...

What a great husband you have, yet of course it is no surprise, as you deeply deserve him.

I love not only how he set up this trip for you, but how you were and always are open to the new and finding the beauty in what is.

Beautifully written too as always.

And those darling dogs! Mmmm, dead fish smell, nothin better to a puppy ;)

Ribbon said...

Hi Holly... what a great getaway.

I don't think that I've ever visited a lake of that size. Certainly nothing that has resembled an ocean.

I agree that it can be wonderful to treat your eyes to someting new and the surprise is that there is always something new to be discovered.

Nice to be here again.
best wishes
x Ribbon :)

Ribbon said...

ps... great pics too :)

Helpful Buckeye said...

It was nice you could take Fiona and Rory along with you. I'm sure they enjoyed their romp along the beach, as you mentioned all the interesting "aromas" abounding there. For your sake, I hope they didn't find a rotting fish carcass and wallow on top of it like many dogs love to do. You wouldn't have wanted them on the INSIDE of your vehicle!

Helpful Buckeye

Budrow Wilson Spain said...

What a wonderful outlook you have! I love the pictures and the lesson. We must be grateful for the few little pleasures we encounter.

cinner said...

Holly glad you had such a great time. It looked awesome, I love you laying on the beach. Always good to see new things even if there

Chester said...

How wonderful! A husband who planned a surprise vacation, getting to take the fur-kids along, no crowds to be bothered, rest and relaxation, and to top it all off, a plastic fish! It just doesn't get any better!

Glad you had such a nice getaway!
Chester's mom ;0=)

Alix said...

Oh thank you Holly for sharing such a wonderful adventure with us. I likewise was surprised at the enormous size of Lake Michigan when I was in Chicago! It's very oceany too. Vast and oceany.

I love that your husband planned this and that Fiona and Rory got to enjoy it along with you.

You're a lucky gal.

Nina P. said...

What an enchanting, Erie Vacation get -a-way! What I find is any water, ocean, lake, pond, river, stream, or maybe even a large puddle has medicinal value!! What a Fun, relaxing time you had. I'm so glad you had an Erie good time! Love and Light, Nina P.

Dede said...

You are a lucky lady! It looks like a beautiful place to be for a few days. Wonderful that the Scotties were able to go too!

Dreamwriter said...

Simply Divine! The ocean truly is the most beautiful and peaceful place, isn't it? Why is that?

Joanna Jenkins said...

Michael scored BIG points for that trip. How fabulous!

Oh how I miss Lake Erie, your post made me homesick. But, if you look at your photos you'll be able to pick out my "inspiration colors" for our bathroom and bedroom. I picked all the colors that reminded me of a day on the Lake Erie beach-- the greens of the water, the colors of the stone and drift wood, the "sea" glass greens and blues. Yep-- They are all right there in your pictures. How about that!

What a wonderful end to your summer! Perfection.


beth said...

he's a keeper !

and the fact that your babies got to go along....what a great trip !

The Fragrant Muse said...

That Michael, he is indeed a keeper. I've never been up to Erie, nor have I been drawn to that part of PA, but looking at your photographs makes me change my mind somewhat. Especially because like you, I long for "ocean medicine" and tend to pout if I go a summer without it (like this one).

I knew you must have snuck off to someplace special!

Sarah said...

Oooooh what a wonderful surprise - you lucky girl!!! How fun is that. It was an odd summer for sure!! So glad you all had a delicious time - loved the green fish - LMAO!! Wonderful post!! Love, Sarah

Janet said...

I have missed the ocean this summer too. So glad you got to go for some rejuvenation! love, love, LOVE the sunset pic. glorious!

SCJ Jewelry Design said...

How nice that you were able to experience this with an open mind to discovering and appreciating new beauty. I grew up in MN and my frequent short vacations were to Lake Superior. I know of the power and grandness that you saw this week. Water need not be an ocean to make us see its' beauty. Your husband is a very wise and good man. Lucky you!

Rose said...

That was lovely, thank you.

anne h said...

Not Erie at all...maybe a little moody...but that's why it's so perfect. Glad you had a good time.

sema said...

What a wonderful way to create memories of togetherness!

Rocky Creek Scotties and Java said...

What a loving husband you have. Isn't it wonderful to be married to your soul-mate? And having the Scotties along doesn't hurt either.

Have a fantastic day,

Deldino said...

Thanks for sharing your journey with us, the pictures are wonderful and those pups are so cute. We missed you at Wed Wishcasting.

Toni said...

Michael, you are DA MAN!!! Kudos, Bravo, Clap Clap Clap!

I am so like you, Holly, when it comes to needing those ocean (water) fixes ... you took me along on your day, via this blog, your descriptions, the photos ... I SO needed it. I LOVE the picture of you laying on the beach, your puppeh standing guard, the big luscious red sweatshirt ... mmmmmmmmmmmm

Barbara said...

Yup. He's a keeper, Holly. That was very, very sweet.

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