MacDuff has been a very nervous shadow hugging my side as I pack for our annual trip to New England. No way is he planning to be left behind. Every time I haul another box, tote or suitcase out to the car, he sits inside the door worrying. He's a good traveler, though, and all the angst will be worth it when we get to our summer home at the lake in New Hampshire. It sounds grandiose to call it a summer place on an island, and I don't like to give anyone the wrong impression. It is an island and we do own all approximately 1 acre of it, but that's where the fancy leaves off and reality begins. My Dad built a small "temporary" cabin on it back in the 1950s. He had every intention of building a bigger one eventually --- but then he got his first tax bill. New Hampshire has no sales or income tax so it soaks it's landowners. That was the end of any plans to build bigger and we are still the proud owners of a 14'x14' cabin with a small kitchen ell and an 8' porch along the front. Building codes have changed over the years and we'd never get a permit to build bigger now. There's no where on the entire island far enough from the water to meet current day setback requirements. There is electricity, but no running water so we have a hand pump and an outhouse. We treat the cabin like a clubhouse and kitchen while we sleep in tents and have a big dining canopy and two long tables so we can all sit down to dinner at the same time. Access is by rowboat unless my step-son comes up with his nice big power boat, but it's fairly close to shore and the crossing is brief.
But as far as Duff is concerned, the best part of the place is that it is surrounded by water and he can go swimming 24/7. There are ducks to chase and boats to bark at and he loves it. What more could a pooch ask for? It's also a great place to write. Quite, peaceful and beautiful. So, my plan is to get back to writing and get another book started while I'm there. In between visiting with all my kids and grandkids, that is. And picking fresh blueberries that grow wild on the island, and watching spectacular sunsets, and swimming any time I like, or reading in the hammock at the edge of the lake. Have a wonderful summer, everyone!