Nan Reinhardt, Author

Grown-up love stories, because we're never too old for a little sexy romance…
Browsing Lake life

Three More Days of Thankful

November20

img_5964It’s Sunday and we’re closing up the lake cottage for the winter season, which means draining all the pipes and pumping in antifreeze, packing up all the food, storing all the deck furniture, making the place as unwelcome to mice and other rodents as we can, and covering the furniture with dust sheets. It’s bittersweet. I love being at the lake, it is unquestionably our escape from real life and we work hard to keep it that way.

In the past, when November came around, we were pretty much ready to stop making the drive and spend winter in the city. This year . . . well, not so much and I’m not really sure why. Perhaps it’s because we stayed longer each time we came up this summer–often at least a week–which allowed us to “settle in” more. Maybe it’s just that we’re ready for a simpler life in a small town. But we have so much in the citywe’d miss–family, friends, our church home, access to lots of culture, and our docs, who’ve become more important as we’re aging. Ugh. The lake is lovely, but the little resort town depends on the summer folk and tourists, so winters here would be long and . . . uneventful, and neither of us are snowbird material.

fireplaceFortunately, there’s no hurry for us to make any life-changing choices and we’ve decreed this winter to be drama-free. No big decisions or changes. Just long cozy days together by the fire, reading (both of us) and writing (me) and binge-watching British television (both of us again because we are British TV addicts). We’ll see what next summer brings . . .

Here’s my gratitude list for three days:

  1. The lake.
  2. Our dear, dear lake friends–how we will miss them over the winter!
  3. Brisk weather–I really do like winter!
  4. Supper with the gang last night at a pub in the next town over–fun!
  5. Knitting–I’m getting better at it and as I get more proficient, it’s becoming more fun. I promise pics of the baby blanket I’m making when it’s done.
  6. The fascinating book I’m reading right now about the Dakota apartment building in New York and all its past and present occupants.

What’s in store for you this winter?

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Two Days of Grateful

November8

Lake flowers 2012Yesterday, we packed up and headed back to the city–just one more trip to the lake for 2016 and that will be our one to winterize the cottage and say goodbye until spring. So, I didn’t write yesterday and I didn’t write today either because we had Internet issues that needed to be resolved and then I went to vote and now . . . well, I’m done with the first part of the editing gig I’ve been working on and my foot hurts and I have a meeting at church tonight and I’m just longing for a cup of tea and a nap. So, I’m thinking . . . a cup of tea and a nap.

However, before I curl up (and I use the term loosely because curling up anywhere with five pounds of immobilizer boot on your foot is nigh on to impossible), here’s my gratitude list for  yesterday and today:

  1. Voting–my voice, my vote and I’m proud to have been a part of the process this year.
  2. Husband–always Husband, who fixed the Internet issue this morning with a minimum of grousing, and still poured me a glass of Riesling to go with our guacamole lunch. What a guy!
  3. Amazing half moon last night when we went to the airport at midnight to pick up PJ and BIL. Man, it was gorgeous–yellow and all streaky with clouds.
  4. All the lovely fall leaves–all colors and so beautiful! Of course, I’m not the one raking/blowing/mulching them, so it’s easy for me to appreciate all the autumnal beauty.  😉
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Fall Is Here

September28

fall at the lakeFall has always been my favorite time of year, maybe because I was born in late September and I think of myself as a fall baby. But since we got the lake cottage, summer has ranked pretty high on the favorite seasons list, too. This year, I’m kinda ready for cooler nights and crisp days, jeans and sweatshirts, and apples from the orchard, but I’m dreading leaving the lake. In about another month it’ll be time to close up the cottage for the winter, get the boat stored, and say good-bye to our lake friends. That’s the hardest part about shutting down our lake life–saying good-bye. I miss them all so much while they’re off to points south and we come back to the city.

One day, we’re going to be ready to get down to just one house and we’ll have to decide where that house will be. So many factors enter into that kind of decision. If we move to the lake, can two city kids make it in a small town that pretty much closes up in the winter? Would we miss the lake too much if we gave up the lake house to stay full time in the city? Man, I dunno. . .  The lake is beautiful even covered in ice. I think I’d love to live full time at the lake, although my life would certainly change to some degree. Shopping would be harder, but then again, I have to go pretty far in the city to get to a decent mall. There’s no symphony in the lake town, only one movie theater, and my denomination doesn’t have a church there. Plus, my friends and family are in the city, but the lake isn’t so far away as to make that a deal breaker. Lots of factors to consider and not a decision that has to be made any time soon.

I’m hoping that fall will bring more writing time for me and frankly, a greater desire to write. I have three different stories going right now and all of them are kinda stalled out. My brain can’t seem to focus and although I have lots of ideas, they just don’t seem to be coming out of my fingers to the keyboard. I’m thinking I might teach myself to use Scrivener this winter–it would be a good project for me and I would be writing as I was learning. I found some YouTube videos about the program, so I can watch those and maybe figure this thing out. After all, I spent $40 on it–I should use it.

I will be getting back to the gym as fall progresses–lake swimming is out of the question now that the lake has cooled down so much. I miss swimming, so the gym will take priority in the mornings soon. The weight is coming off again after a small gain this summer, which I attribute to just not being careful enough. We do drink more in the summer–it’s the old “I’m a social drinker and I’m with people all the time” thing, I think. 😉 We also drink more margaritas in the summer and even though they’re carb-free and sugar-free, they’re still 100 calories of tequila. And how on earth are you supposed to drink margs without tortilla chips and salsa? You get the picture.

I read an article aboutbreathe a month ago that talked about September resolutions–how they’re much easier than New Year’s resolutions because they’re inner resolutions. A fall renewing of your spirit and determination. I like that idea, just a quiet resolve to do better. The worrying thing will need work this fall–the knot is back, I think mostly because of the elections. That situation terrifies the tar outta me, but outside of voting, what can I do? Just live my life, love my family and friends, and try to do good where I can. Oh, and remember to breathe . . .

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Lent Check-In

March5

It’s been several days since my last check in, which is okay because I’m consciously not stressing about not blogging regularly. It’s a knot thing, you know? But here I am, reporting in.

We saw the doc on Wednesday–I really, really like her. She’s very reassuring without dismissing my fears and anxiety. She agrees it might be time to take a look inside me and verify that we are dealing with diverticulitis and how severe it is. Apparently there are other things we can do for it from different antibiotics that don’t wreck me all the way to having surgery to remove the offending portion of intestine. Hopefully, we won’t be looking at that, but I’m glad to be getting the scan to make sure there isn’t something more severe than diverticulitis going on. Her office is verifying with the insurance company and then we’ll schedule it. The knot has loosened slightly just knowing that we’re checking it out.

Today, we went to a funeral for the mother of one of our lake pals. His mom was 90 and had a good long life and had become quite ill, so her passing wasn’t a terrible tragedy except that she’s gone and there’s a hole where she lived in his heart. I know he’ll miss her and I wish so much he didn’t have to have that sorrow in his life. But it’s part of life, right? One of BFFs lost her mother-in-law this week too–another sorrow for another dear friend. This morning, we made a list of the people who’ve died in the last eighteen months. There were twenty! Twenty people I knew or who were related to someone I am close to are gone. That feels like a lot in a short time. Maybe it’s not . . . thoughts, anyone?

On the gratitude side, we’ve been reading our Lenten devotional each morning and enjoying our time together studying and praying. We’re using a study help that the pastor gave us–three questions to ask about our scripture reading. What does the scripture say? What does the scripture say to me? What does God want me to hear? Sometimes the answer to a couple of those questions is the same, you know? But we’re delving into the ways we share our faith and how we came to our faith, so it’s pretty interesting.

IMG955540Five things I’m grateful for right this minute: We got to see some of our lake pals, and even though it was for a funeral, it was so very good to get hugs and see them. I’m working on a couple of great books right now–one for a pub, one for an indie author–good stories, which is always a pleasure. We had a date last night–dinner and a movie, then we stopped and bought a bottle of pinot noir and enjoyed a glass together as we “camped out” in the lake cottage. we’re not officially open yet, so no running water because it’s still winterized, but we stayed there overnight anyway on our way to the funeral. We had heat and a warm bed and wine and each other, so no complaints. On the way home today, I wrote vigorously in my head on the new story and now I’m getting ready to work on it now. YAY! DIL sent Grandboy’s preschool pictures for us to pick from. Damn that kid is so cute . . .

So, the knot is ever-present, but relaxing some and to me, that feels like Lenten success at this point. Easter is about three weeks away and although, I don’t expect it to be gone by then, but I hope it will be looser, smaller . . . that would be nice.

Days 5 Through 10

February20

I know, I know . . . I could be a better blogger. Actually, I could do a lot of stuff better. However in the spirit of knot-dissolving, I’m not going to list them here. Instead I’m going to talk very briefly about how the knot is getting smaller and why.

First of all, I got a lovely note from sister PJ telling me not to worry about the African violets, just water them and they’ll be fine. I’m trusting her on that one–they are her plants after all. Plus, it occurred to me that if I kill them, I can always buy her new ones, so no need to stress.

WOWB setBook sales are doing okay and I’ve got two more editing gigs lined up and others on the horizon, so for now, the career is mostly in balance. I did send another submission to BookBub after they turned down my last one. I’m holding out hope that they’ll accept this one and maybe SEX AND THE WIDOW MILES will hit a list, like USA Today. How fun would that be? I don’t have a knot in my stomach over this one because I know how hard it is to get accepted to BookBub, so if I do, it’ll be great and if I don’t, I’ll try again. FYI, if you’re not a subscriber to BookBub, go sign up. It’s a great site for readers and authors. Lots of great books and you’ll discover new authors there (maybe even including me!).

A health issue is kind of rearing its ugly little head, but I caught this exacerbation early and I’m hoping that the wicked strong antibiotics that the doc put me on will knock out the diverticulitis and this will be the last one I have to deal with for a very long time. Forever would be nice. This stuff is painful and the drugs you have to take for it tear you up. I’m trying hard to learn to eat correctly–lots of fiber, mostly is the key and probiotics. But here’s the knot thing about this stuff–sister Kate’s first sign of having cancer was a localized pain in her abdomen–well, that and extreme fatigue. So when this crap kicks up, my first thought is, of course, cancer! Even though I know it’s the stupid diverticulitis. Even though the antibiotics fixed it last time . . . Nan, the doc’s got this one. Do as you’re told and chill.

sparkling waterStill have dear friends dealing with sick parents, so prayers and healing light are how I’m working on those. Yesterday, we cleaned up our woodpile and split the rest of the wood we have left. Felt good to be outside, exercising, and doing something productive. We went up to the lake today and checked on the cottage. It was a gorgeous day and we walked down to the water and looked at the ice-covered bay. Beautiful, even with a skim of ice on it. We’re both ready for spring! It’s amazing how calming it is to be up there. Life is still happening–people are still sick, health insurance is still expensive, I still have to market both my books and my editing skills, Son, DIL, and Grandboy will always be at the forefront of my mom-worry, and friends are still having issues, but somehow, the lake makes it all okay.

Gratitude for this past week: DIL got home safely from Spain; Son is getting healthier every day; we had a great time at the Lent small group study–enjoyed getting to know people at church better; it’s been warm and sunny for a couple of days and we’ve basked in it; and our morning devotions/study are pretty interesting and spirit-lifting.

Life is good.

Gratitude

August24

IMG_0426I’m working. I’ve been working all day and I will be working into the night, but it’s been a beautiful day! Blue sky, cool, and breezy—it feels like Michigan. Actually Husband said that to me earlier today. This editing gig is not fascinating—a computer title—but it’s work and they’re paying me and this is for one of my very favorite clients. My window looks out on the yard outside the cottage and the trees and my neighbors potted flowers. It’s quite lovely. The picture is a little funky because I took it through the screen.

We finished up the cottage guest room this morning–well, Husband did. He painted one wall as an accent, and put the white wicker bedframe against the sage green walls and hung some photos up and added our green print quilt. All in all, quite homey for when PJ and her husband come up for Labor Day Weekend. Can’t wait!IMG_0422

Five things I’m grateful for today:

  1. This beautiful weather.
  2. A beer-30 break from work with some very nice Riesling, but only a little.
  3. The guest room is done.
  4. Pal, Lucy is home safe and sound.
  5. I’m on my last editing gig before my vacation. YAY!

 

Thursday at the Lake

May7

Yeah, we’re at the lake–and you know, it’s amazing how much more relaxed I am here, how much more relaxed we both are here. I woke up early and we had a leisurely breakfast and then I went to the grocery since we got in too late last night to hit the store. I took my time and wandered some, mostly to get in steps, but also because I felt no urgency.

And that’s the beauty of the lake–no urgency. Seriously. we are so laid back here. We did some yard work and Husband painted the deck, which really needed to be done, but he took it slow and easy. Our neighbor, Kevin, stopped by for a chat and we just slowly worked–me pulling weeds and Husband painting–while we visited. Kevin didn’t expect us to stop our work and we didn’t expect him to go and leave us to it. We simply worked and visited and it was nice.

IMG_7568I drove the golf cart for the first time this season as we took my buckets of weeds up to the compost heap. The deck looks great, the gardens look good, and I’m ready to go buy my plants for up here. After we dropped off the weeds, we went down to the lake and I stuck my hand in–it actually felt pretty warm, but I know that’s just the first few inches. I’m sure the deeper you go, the colder it is! But I can’t wait to swim, so I hope it warms up quickly. Summer means lake swimming and boating and wine on the newly painted deck.

We had a very enjoyable beer-30 with the gang, but I got teary talking about Kate with one of the other women who’s brother is going through a health crisis. But, you know, this time I just let it be what it was. I lost my sister–it’s sad and it’s okay to be sad when I talk about that loss. People were kind and patient–they’re my friends. I got through the discussion and we moved onto other topics. I appreciated so much how the sorrow became simply a part of the buffet of conversation–it made it easier to move off the teary moment.

Tomorrow is a writing day–I’ve got notes for the new book that need to become actual words in the manuscript, as well as notes for another book. I have an idea for a Women of Willow Bay Christmas story–maybe a novella or maybe a full novel. Either way, it’s already intriguing me to the point that it may happen before Sarah’s book gets done. In two weeks, I’ll be on retreat with a small group of my favorite writer pals, so I’ll be able to hash it out with them.

Five Things I’m Grateful for Today:

  1. Our lake cottage–it is a dream come true
  2. Our lake friends–good caring folks who are fun!
  3. Getting some chores done
  4. Got to talk to Son and Grandboy tonight–love it when that little voice says, “Hi, Nanny!”
  5. Took a great class from Alastair Stephens at StoryWonk–super information and a fun class! If you’re a writer and you’re not listening to StoryWonk podcasts, you should be!

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