A Last Day of Summer

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

As you know our summer was beyond terrible. Such rainy weather was never before seen during August and July! That made it all the more amazing when it dawned bright and warm last Tuesday morning. We simply couldn't believe it! It wasn't long before we found ourselves saying (while still being at work, mind you) "I think we need to go out and enjoy this weather!"

It took very little convincing for dad to pack everything up, and soon we were leaving the tramway - where we play shows eight times a day as the Alaska String Band - to go get the boat ready for a day at the beach. Lupin was the only one who seemed unhappy by this prospect, and it took quite a bit of pulling and lifting to get her into the boat.

Silly Lupin! We won't be in the boat for that long, we promise! Greta on the other hand was much more excited to get in the boat. She knew that it meant a sunny shore where she could run around unsupervised!
Soon we were off! Our friend Rebecca came along and she remarked "Wow, I think this is the first time your boat has started up without any problems!" Dad answered "Well...we aren't there yet. Don't hold your breath!" Oh dear! It's true that the boat has a rather bumpy reputation, but I am happy to report that we made it safely there and back again.

Abigail sits on the front of the boat as we cruise along. 
There's simply not a better view!

As I said, Greta was having a grand time until we reminded her that she needed to wear a life vest. We were blessed to be given a life vest in just the right size for her, though she doesn't really like it as you will see.

The best part about it is that it has a handle on the back so we can easily pick her up out of the water. She particularly dislikes this fact. She was wallowing in the back of the boat when Laura started to feel sorry for her. So of course she picked Greta up - by the handle on her vest - Greta was not amused.

Laura then got the idea to put Lupin in a life vest, though we didn't have any doggy vests for her, so she improvised. A PFD that no one ever wanted to wear was put around Lupin and she was all strapped in. She wallowed even more than Greta! Poor puppies, they simply can't take a joke.

As I was taking this picture of Lupin in her life jacket, Rebecca called "Emily! Over here is what you should really be taking a picture of!" Quinn had Greta in his arms and they were both leaning over the side of the boat, their heads in the wind. Greta wasn't too happy at first, but I think she warmed up to the idea.

When we got to Portland Island, Quinn lowered Greta down into the water so that she could swim to shore. Laura threw Lupin over the side of the boat, rather unceremoniously, and laughed as she paddle to the sandy beach (very unhappily I might add).

We went ashore with our arms laden with food and blankets for the evening - though Rebecca's arms were overflowing with costumes and camera equipment (for she had some filming she needed to finish).

We had the whole beach to ourselves! 

We started the evening off with gathering firewood, most of it wet from the constant rain that has befallen us these last weeks. Abigail found a swing in the woods while collecting wood, and Rebecca found a few thimble berry bushes with a few berries still ripe.

Before starting our fire we decided to get Rebecca's filming over and done with. We weren't sure yet what exactly she was having us do, but we knew for a fact we would be standing in the water (for she always seems to have us in the water for her film shoots!). So we started getting dressed in the many layers of costumes she brought with her.

Rebecca, who told us then that we would be Irish peasants during the Dark Ages, gave us shells full of dirt and water to rub on our faces. in her exact words "Yes, here are your makeup pallets." and I added "Make sure to blend it down your neck too!" This was certainly making to be an interesting evening (I do believe Quinn's expression says it all, ha!).
Here's Abigail and Melissa in their costumes. I guess that old saying is true: "You could wear a potato sack and still look lovely!" Even with dirt on their faces these two ladies still look beautiful!

In Rebecca fashion, we were (of course) put out in the water for the shots she needed (yes, it was cold!). Some of us had our XtraTufs on, but for those in front - me, for instance - bare feet was needed.
It was then that Rebecca shared that we were the people of Ireland seen in a vision by Saint Patrick, who saw that God was calling him to Ireland to preach the gospel. All of this was very exciting! After all, how often to you get to act in costume on an island during a picnic? When Rebecca was all through with us we certainly looked like we were right out of the dark ages!
Quinn of course is having a little too much fun with his cape, but don't we look fantastic? Rebecca joking said that the photo should be our next album cover for the band - haha! Though I doubt that will be the case, it was still fun dressing up and stepping back into the Dark Ages for a short time (for updates on when Rebecca's new movie will be coming out, watch her website!). But back to the picnic!

A picnic table was set - with a nice tablecloth of course - and soon we were trying to start a campfire. Because of the wet wood it took quite a bit longer than normal to start flickering, but thankfully we didn't need to ask God to send down fire from heaven. Soon hot dogs were sizzling over the fire and everyone was starting to feel hungrier - including Lupin, who ignored all reminders to "...get off the quilt!"
Lupin won in the end, the quilt was officially hers (for no one wanted to sit on the wet and sandy thing now!), and she was quite smug about her victory I do believe.
As the evening wore on it got a tad bit cold, fall is certainly on it's way! Everyone crowded around the fire and talked and laughed as the sun danced inside and outside the clouds. Even though the sun wasn't always out, I had worn a sun hat I made earlier in the summer for my family vacation (and didn't it turn out darling?). I was certainly trying my hardest to soak up all the last bit of summer.

Laura may have photobombed a photo or two, ha! And soon Lupin was off running around somewhere, and Greta had taken her spot on the wet quilt. *sigh* These puppies just don't understand they're all wet and gross!
All too soon it was time to pack up and make the return journey home. Rebecca was due to fly the next morning back to sunny California (we all asked that she think of us when her thermometer read 90 - while ours was reading 50), and we needed to make sure she got some sleep for her early flight. 

As you might guess, Lupin was not excited to get back in the boat, and gave Quinn and Laura quite the run-around as they chased her all over the beach. 
"Lupin? Aren't you ready to go home?"

We finally got the dogs in the boat and started out. Both Lupin and Greta were shaking, cold from their romps in the water with the wind blowing through the boat. Lupin was wrapped up in the quilt she so loved, and Greta was bundled up in a beach towel and sat in my lap the whole way back to the boat launch. 

If there is anything to be said, it's that Lupin has certainly mastered the pitiful look. She's so funny!

I don't think any of us wanted to leave the beach, nor pull the boat up out of the water - knowing that it would be the last time. The wind blowing off the sea smelled like summer, but it was cold, and it was time to go home. 
As I am writing this Autumn has indeed come to Southeast Alaska. Though we don't have the lovely fall colors of the Interior, the temperatures are dropping and the rain is here to stay. I have put away my summer wardrobe and brought out the comfy sweaters and jackets for the coming season. Though I am a bit sad those lovely sunny days are over, I look with anticipation towards winter and the promise of music, projects, and stories to share with you soon. Until next time, dear reader!


  1. Hello Emily! I recently found your lovely blog! I must confess I love certain things like dirndls and celebrations that are not so popular... and I must know are you going to throw a fun Oktoberfest celebration?

    1. Thank you for your kind comment, Miriam! I've never done an Oktoberfest party, but perhaps I shall now that you have put the idea in my mind. After all, making pretzels and sausages sounds fun!

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  3. Emily, another beautiful blog post. Poor, poor Lupin. How very sad.:( Greta always seems to find fun in all she does. Maybe Lupin will want to join in one day, but I can't say I blame her for not wanting to get in the cold water. Brrr. You all make can even make peasants look beautiful. Such an exciting endeavor. You need to come to Texas if you want summer. We are sweating with upper 90's. I can't complain too much because we had a nice summer with cooler temperatures and rain.
    Take care, Emily.

    1. Thank you so much, Donna! Feel free to send some of that wonderful heat up here, haha! We would love it! :)

  4. Hello, newbe here😊 Found you via T Tudor party. I can't believe you floated a cake! Fabulous. And this post, you all look amazing. Playing dress-up can be fun. Also, we went from a reeeeally long winter to triple digit summer and this week highs in the 40's. Ugh! I want my tomatoes before it freezes. (In Oregon)


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