High: 80° FThe fall semester began this week, which means the two bipeds in our house are spending a lot more time at school and a lot less time at home. When we are at the house, our noses are almost always buried in a dusty book. That’s mostly fine with Mouse and Leila Tov, who are content to curl up on our laps, whether or not we’re paying them any real attention. But a certain caninaturalist objects strenuously to the new arrangement and our renewed love affair with literary tomes.
Low: 55° F
Conditions: Sunny and breezy
Said caninaturalist likes to find interesting ways to express her disapproval, like shredding a bag of bread left on the kitchen counter or eating a leather-bound book, especially if the latter was published in 1867. And was on special loan from the library. Because it was so valuable. (Hey, look! Somebody glued rawhide to this set of old papers. Neat!).
Greg and I both hold all texts as sacred, so there isn't much else that evokes quite the heartache as a destroyed book. I would like to suggest that Ari knew this was not an appropriate demonstration of her feelings, but the gleeful way she brought me the remaining tattered pages suggests otherwise.
To make matters worse, replacing extremely rare books is not something that the salaries of two professors at scruffy little colleges can support. So, after a family meeting, we all decided that we need a new approach to the craziness of the academic year. Our solution? The State Park Sabbath.
We humans have sworn a pledge to take one day off a week. That means no work for which we get paid, no talk of jobs, no reading for anything other than pleasure, and no time spent on the computer for any purpose whatsoever. Admittedly, this project has been tried before and didn’t meet with great success. But this year is different.
In the spirit of substance recovery programs, we have finally admitted we have an addiction problem. We’ve also decided we can’t be in the vicinity of our addiction triggers (e.g., books and computers) if our resolve is going to stick. So we’ve decided to take each Saturday and visit a different park or hiking trail in the state. There, we can't be taken in by the allure of grading student responses to Thoreau. Or the siren-song of answering emails about committees and exciting new policies regarding the transfer of credit hours.
First up? Our very favorite swimming hole in the whole wide world: Lake St. George.
This fantastic park has plenty of hiking trails and beaches, along with a great old homestead seen in the title shot of this post. We really like to stroll and sit and read here. But what we really, really love is a secret swimming spot just past the state park at the southern end of the lake.
There, a series of granite outcroppings form the perfect ledges for lounging. And the water is so perfectly clear and cold in the lake that you feel like you’ve taken a very expensive mineral bath after you've gone swimming in it (we actually know people who drink from this pond). It’s the perfect place for a destructive dog and two work-addicted humans to spend a day.
It also doesn’t hurt that Lake St. George is right next to what could arguably be the best ice cream stand in the entire world.
John’s Ice Cream uses all local cream and fruit. And they have groovy flavors, too, like chocolate with candied orange peel, peach-ginger, Grapenuts, and two of our favorites: pumpkin and apple pie.
We may disagree with Ari about the sanctity of books and the allotment of weekday time, but the three of us are in perfect agreement: there isn’t a better way to spend a late summer day in all the world.