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When I think about it, maybe I should just stay home and stick fish-hooks in my fingers instead of going north to do it.

There may be a healthy amount of iron in fish hooks?

There may be a healthy amount of iron in fish hooks?

Up north or down south, hooks hurt like any other. And why go through the trouble of driving 22 hours north to spill gas or oil on myself as the boat rocks? I do that servicing my lawn mower here at home.

 A body tune-up

A body tune-up

I can sun burn out back in our yard or slip on these steps here-who needs a dock. Sure, I don’t have 49 steps in Florida, but falling’s falling, peeling’s peeling.

Florida burns like any other.

Florida burns are like any other.

I have a choice: reel in weeds from the lake or pull them from my yard at home.  One hawk’s cry echoes any other, and my neighbors here shoot off guns from time to time with almost the same regularity as Fort Drum’s boomers shake the windows up north. Of course, the Lake has those magnificent jets flying around now and then, but Gainesville has an old twin prop plane that fly’s overhead occasionally.

I keep expecting this plane to drop from the sky...it's s-l-o-w..

I keep expecting this plane to drop from the sky…it’s s-l-o-w..

Traffic cops here; traffic cops there. The bugs are about the same. Used to be the beer brands were different up north, now, not so much. The traffic jams home give me time to think while New York State RT 3 is one long country road populated by drivers who wave as they go by. Oy Vey, the arm strain up north is almost as bad as the back pain you get from visiting Japan.

What is a stop sign?

What is a stop sign? NYS RT Three.

If that friendly clerk at the grocery store asks me one more time how I am….down here there’s no time for a polite hello; we’re all busy, in a hurry and completely bummed out by searing heat, too many lunatics and raging jobs. Crowds and one million fast food joints-that’s more like it!

Harrisville's version of a New York City deli.

Harrisville’s version of a New York City deli.

We have no internet connection and choose not to hook up our TV up north. Basically, there’s only morning, noon, afternoon, evening and night, one day after they other. Pesky, friendly neighbors say hello and every one smiles, plays cards, fails at puzzle making, swims, fishes, boats, floats, and laughs the time away. It’s a crap load of fun, day in and day out, always the same, tireless, never-ending, on and on, repeated mirrored days that reflect in the lake*.It's so easy to reflect upon the beauty of the world up at the Lake.l

My mom enjoys the quiet during one of her last years up at the lake. In her day-people still prayed to make it home before leaving Beer Island at night...oh the fun!!!

My mom enjoys the quiet during one of her last years up at the lake. In her day people still prayed to make it home before leaving Beer Island at night…oh the fun!!!

The air itself, purified by the Adirondack trees and the lack of major industrial pollution, is much purer than the air found almost anywhere else on the planet-it’s work, breathing the fresh air in and out-improving health takes some adjustment. The energy you feel up at the lake is one big pain in the ass…who needs energy when they could’ve stayed home and melted into a couch while flipping TV channels.

Nothing comes free, and nap time up north cuts into daily pleasures. That’s pressure right there. You can catch people power napping all over the lake trying to hurry up the process so the day doesn’t slip by too fast. Even blinking seems a waste.

The trip was one worm after another, and sometimes fish.

The trip was one worm after another, and sometimes fish.

Ho-hum, the day is done...

Ho-hum, the day is done…

So why go north when I can sweat at home? Hmmm,,,ya know, thinking about it all, maybe 22 hours driving with a wife, two grand kids and a dog isn’t really that long of a trip.

There might be a way to have a good time...

There might be a way to have a good time…

Maybe, I would survive the fun, live through the air-breathing task and haul in some fish with those weeds?!?!

Come to think of it, my bags are already packed, and why not? We leave for the lake in 108 hours and 14 minutes. The boat’s callin’…

Let's get a move on!!!

Let’s get a move on!!! The ears have it!

Times change, but I still think boats floated better with beer in them.....but that was long ago.

Times change, but I still think boats floated better with beer in them…..but that was long ago.

Cheers.

Franque23

*Dale, my wife took these amazing shots of Bonaparte…

From the 1/2 way it's 30 more steps to the lake bottom---but what if I rolled down from here?

It’s 30 more steps from the 1/2 way dock down to the lake—but what if I rolled down the steps from here? Giant slides and elevators come to mind.

 

 

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I recently read that ten heads explode everyday from not reading at least three Meme’s per day. It’s a fact; I’ve already gone back in the bathroom and checked on that wall again. However, there’s no mention about the size or shape of the Meme-that’s troublesome.

What?

What?

To compare me to what I once was you’d simply have to have a very good memory and a bunch of mirrors. Looking back, my fellow employees once asked if they should nominate me for Survivor. Now, that show might consider me if they needed a drift wood prop.

Often, learning a bit of history can teach an ear -full.

Once, there was this guy….

I'm saving my expanding hand made paper hat we bought in the Bahama's for tomorrow....

None of this should be allowed…WTH happened?

(In case you missed the lead up..this post from 2010 is funny-promise. …https://franque23.wordpress.com/2010/01/19/40-in-a-25-mhp-zone/)

Decaying, ruinated, defunctafied, squishated, flatasided, finishatored and donered-that’s me at 67 going on 100. If my asthma gives me a breath, my splitting fingers still find the sharp end of a hook. My eyes can’t see the stairs I fell down and my bursitis-afied knees feel almost better for the fall. I’d duck to see this all coming-as if. This bent over twig of a frame of mine would snap in two at the thought. Then there’s my center of gravity belly issue-what the hell is that? Some alternate dysfunctional bizzaro universe has landed upon me and absorbed the middle of me.

wife pointing to he middle of the problem

wife pointing to the middle of the problem

Thought may be the worst problem of all, if I could remember one?  Somewhere in my house is a drawer full of dusty, moldy ol’ thoughts that are completely deadified. But there’s a bright side for those who are not yet 67: you’re not yet 67, end of story…*

Oh, I’m not bitter about being this old. Please don’t get me wrong. Harsh, haggard, burnt to beyond crispy, horrified by old pictures, I used to wear turtlenecks not be them, a craggy, draggy,  bottomed butt roast with skinny chicken legs, a funny mole farm with no hair, no grip but ton’s of gripes, a loose cannon of dropping balls and feet that wouldn’t feel a rhino step on them, yes, I’m all that ,but not ever bitter. Bitter would be way extreme.

Turkey neck for sale....it took two to hold me up for the shot....

Turkey neck for sale….it took two to hold me up for the shot….

So all you new fangled people under 67-don’t say I didn’t write on the wall-check the three-way bathroom stalls-it’s all there. Simon once wrote, “It’s all happening at the zoo.” There’s a sense of humor for ya. My zoo is sorta centralized like my weather report-hazy, foggy, unwanted precipitation, cold, hot, random gusts of flatulence accompanied by belching sounds all out of tune with my ringing ears.  Head’s-up! Those ding-dong sounds on the T.V. are actually words-go figure.

It really isn’t that bad; once you’ve lost about everything, then your mind goes. What’s to worry when every day’s a new day and every face, place, word, thought, fart or burp is  new, too! Greetings to my old friends who ever the hell you are! Let’s party, dance, maybe romance (try to remember those kinds of September) or maybe, just party-skip the dance- or sit on the couch to talk before we need the potty, or even better, let’s nap. Yes, stay home and nap at 67-it’s easier than trying to recall how to dress.

I remember being able to tie my shoes and stuff

I remember being able to tie my shoes and stuff( Lake Bonaparte.) I could even go out in a boat and make it back by myself!

Example: I once knew a guy (me) who went to the beach, like three days ago, and pulled down his shorts to go swimming before recalling  he meant to wear his suit under his shorts….if only. Fortunately, there were no witnesses who didn’t see.  Remember those dropping balls I mentioned? I signed autographs most the afternoon-no wait, were those police and lawyers/ I forget-**

Franque23

Me! In another life with a big fish.

Me! In another life with a big fish.

*Of course, I couldn’t leave turning sixty out……enjoy- https://franque23.wordpress.com/2009/06/01/60-my-speed-limit/

** Okay, I did have my boxer’s on so even asking to sign autographs didn’t work. People are soooo demanding these days.


Arriving at the lake makes ya lucky.

Arriving at the lake means you got lucky.(click on the pics for bigger views)

The 22 plus hour drive from our Florida home up to the lake always means we count our blessing if we get in before sundown on the second day of the trip. Towing two grand children, 5 and 6, plus a year and one half old catahoula made the trip a bit longer… But no worries-out of the car, the bags stowed inside our camp and then a quick splash in the water made it all good.  Last summer’s first sundown was rated an average of 6 out of ten points…I gave it a five, since I’m spoiled rotten, but others pulled up the rating.

The next day was time to get the games out

The next day was time to get the games out

We were waiting for our boat to be delivered, so the whole day was a bust.

we had to spend time swimming -no one had fun

we had to spend time swimming -no one had fun

Oy Veyish, we had to wait a whole 5 hours for the boat to arrive….so I got the tackle ready while Dale worked hard to over turn the kid’s kayaks. What? I mean, this is the Lake. Who hasn’t been thrown in with all their clothes on? See a shrink if not; you have no true friends.

Dale's on the bottom right, making her move...

Dale’s on the bottom right, making her move…

Finally, after boring games, swimming, kayaking, swimming more, throwing a ball one hundred times for our puppy Shadow to retrieve in the Lake,,,,we got to go out, we got to answer the call of the fish, we got to prove the engine would start and put hooks in my fingers.

The trip was one worm after another, and sometimes fish.

The trip was one worm after another, and sometimes fish.( about 80 in one hour-really) We had three stringers full.

I’m not sure what Isaiah had done to his brother so that he alone could be in this picture… Thing is, I’m certain I don’t want to know. On another note-I was thrilled to see some nice perch keepers come up…It’s been awhile since those tasty fish were on my plate. And, I see from FB shots that the Walleye have been caught lately, too…..very good indeed.

I discovered how to bait one hundred worms on moving, swerving, lookout duck! slap in my face hooks in less than one minute.

Bapa’s Epitaph should read: Survived teaching Grandchildren how to fish-for a pretty good length of time.

More stupid games came out plus a good book while I hunted for antibiotic to put on hook holes.

More stupid games came out plus a good book while I hunted for antibiotic to put on my finger’s hook holes.

The early morning fishing trip was my revenge plan. The three of us went out early, way early, but in June, as Lake Bonapertian’s know, the sun only pretends to set at about 10 PM-it’s actually rising then but you don’t get to see it until just after 3:30 AM. Plus the AM trips lets us guys rev the motor to let everyone know we’re out and about. Good morning!

We allllmmmost beat the light.

We allllmmmost beat the light.

What my grandchildren didn’t know is this: what Bonaparte fish do best in the morning is sleep. Heck, they’ve been tearing one another up all night long. So it was a good laugh while we filled the boat full of nothing time and time again, and then headed back home in a glorious morning light. I couldn’t help but think of mom and dad who’d given us, their children, the camp.

.mom and dad with hummingbird…..(Claudia and Max Franquemont)

The cabin was a bit cool when we arrived back home; I lit a fire while the kids tried to forget about wanting to throw me over board the next time we went out-I hoped.

I kept my fingers crossed and hoped the kids would find some inner peace.

I kept my fingers crossed and hoped the kids would find some inner peace.

When it came time for breakfast, everyone had a face for the 4 AM fishing trip idea….

What?

What?

Okay, with 4 AM fishing trips put out on-a-line, it meant we had time to finish a very difficult puzzle. We gathered for a shot to celebrate two weeks of hard work, and the completion of a master piece-Bonaparte style…

Completely done, and with an added brown overlay tinge for effect.

Completely done, and with an added brown overlay tinge for effect.

Trouble was, the sun kept rising and then the day vanishing before yet again another sunset had to be rated…We turned around, took one swim, a short nap and the dang vacation was over! Someone really needs to look into the time problem up at the Lake. I’ve got my buddy, Paul Doherty, hot on the case-He’ll fix this crap , I just know it.

There's just no way that was 14 days...Pllllease.

There’s just no way that was 17 days…Pllllease.

And since when does time speed up in Mud Lake worse than a Formula One X 2016 at the Daytona speedway?

Ya know-it's like impossible to take a photo of Paul without having a loon photo bomb the shot...really--try it.

Ya know-it’s like impossible to take a photo of Paul without having a loon photo bomb the shot…really–try it.

Anyway, we watched our last sundown-

A most beautiful and untouched up photo--I had to think about the rating.....

A most beautiful and untouched up photo–I had to think about the rating…..(thanks Daley for the pic!)

I spent the next hour thinking of how I might fake falling down the cliff, break a few bones here and there, and get to stay a couple of extra weeks….None of it seemed likely.

I bet our visit put a smile on mom's face...so we to leave, and in just

I bet our visit put a smile on mom’s face…

So we had to leave, and in just 11 and 1/2 weeks we’ll be back. That’s a mere one thousand nine hundred and thirty-two hours….a piece of cake. Actually, I think just under three months sounds better. Anyway, the whole crew is coming back, and I can’t wait for that next early morning fishin’ trip.(Gonna wear my life jacket this time.)

 

Franque23 loves the Lake.

 

 

 

 


My wife and I planned to venture by plane up to our lake cabin for a week-long story hour with two grandsons, age six and seven. Simply, we’d not lost but forgotten sanity all together. The grandchildren slept over the night before to make the morning flight more manageable.

We took these two grandsons- pay no attention to the weirdo,,

We took these two grandsons- pay no attention to the weirdo,,

“Oh no!”

We were in the car and about 1/2 mile from the house on our way to the Gainesville airport when my wife uttered the words. I figured she’d forgotten something, maybe a purse, keys, money, laptop, certainly never her good looks, or maybe the tea kettle was left boiling. All that was doable; we had time to spare.(BTW-that’s never true.)

“My pants are on inside out!”

To date-this was a first, but it was all too true, the stitch line fringe giving my wife’s pant legs almost a disco seventies mod look. It was funny, and not at all worrying, even when a few days later she showed up on the dock with her swim suit on inside out-Madonna, eat your heart out.

I suspect having two grands around was both rewarding and a bit distracting.

I realize right off wiht my own children that using leashes was a bad idea since one day they'd use them on me.....see? Ya gotta think ahead.

I realized right off while raising our own children that using leashes was a bad idea since one day they’d use them on me…..see? Ya gotta think ahead…jus’ sayin’-

Meanwhile, why(as we were outside enjoying the lake this past week) people came into our lake house and relocated my keys, glasses, jackets, I understand the fishing license, but not eat the New York State cheddar or pop a root beer while invading our space is a mystery? I had to go on, find those misplaced items, snatch the worms out of our inside frig and place them in the outside one, remove the fishhooks from my fingers and  trip over toys before the day could ever get better.

Okay, I’m not forgetful, but I taped my name on my forehead for safe keeping?

I tried not to turn around in a room more than once at a time-per day. I checked the trash when something important went missing; if the coffee cream was not in the frig that meant it was already by my coffee mug where I’d just put it down. The good news-I still can count the number of times I’ve ever opened two beers at about the same time on my relative’s fingers….

the cousin line ups grew over the years...sometimes as many as sixty plus! That's 600 fingers, right?

The cousin line ups grew over the years(this one shot taken about 20 years ago)…sometimes as many as sixty plus cousins have lined up! That’s 600 fingers, right? So, I’m good on that double opened beer thingy.

It’d been a busy morning on departure day as we prepared to go back home, to leave a lake of endless wonder and beauty. We snuck in swimming, finessed in some kayaking, wiggled in worm fishing and carried everything up from the docks to store in place for the long winter months. It was time to depart with the camp walls still standing, our vacation from heaven over, the time gone by so fast.

How is it a week at the lake seems to pass as a day while the memory lasts forever.

The memories do last forever.

The memories do last forever…

and ever....

and ever….

Our songs still echo through the woodland.

Our songs still echo through the woodland.

The past never leaves the present.

This year we cuaght over 24 pan fish in under an hour-more than enough to have satisfied this guy's belly.....

This year we caught over 24 pan fish in under an hour-more than enough to have satisfied this guy’s belly…..(Mom’s catch in Porter’s Bay-about 1980.)

My wife shared a story during our car ride to the Syracuse airport…

“I was paddling the kayaks today when I spotted you going up our stairs to the camp from the docks. Since the kayaks weren’t in view, I figured you’d already miraculously carried them up the stairs !” Then, she paddled the kayak some more.

I was still laughing about my wife wondering where the kayak she was paddling had gone when I checked our plane tickets, the row and seat numbers,  while seated by the gate waiting to be called for boarding. I hated to leave the lake, but it was time to put one foot in front of the other. I looked for any wrappers the kids might have left around our seats to throw out along with my empty coffee cup and sandwich box. I sat back down and immediately hoped I could retrieve our tickets from the garbage can before too many others added to that trash. Digging through the trash looking for plane tickets-perfect.

This is why we’d played Clue with a grandson who knew we didn’t have one.

I never did finish the puzzle from hell I’d started that week, but maybe that’s best since life is a puzzle and I hope ours will go on for quite some time. And I’ll miss the lake, that’s something I never seem to forget-the missing, the views, smell, the sense of how endless the Northern lights prove our universe is, so way beyond the hook hole in my finger.

Paul, who'd owned birch Island for years, and I watched in a cove behind Round Island as a loon fed her baby(not this picture exactly, but this year.)

Paul, who’d owned Birch Island for years, and I watched in a cove behind Round Island as a loon fed her baby(not this picture exactly, but this year.)

The loons call to those who love Lake Bonaparte. We lake lovers call back with our laughter, sense of being and sincere hope that the future will always find this place whole, fulfilling, and as unique for those who will follow.  Heck, I even wish this for the guy who took my pen and paper pad from the cabin-I looked everywhere. Jeez!

A week at Lake  Bonaparte with two Grandchildren! That’s the long way to spell JOY.

Franque23.

Book one, Avatar Magic and book two, The Code of Avatar Magic are on kindle now.


Shadow Get a Toy is a great puppy. People who survive meeting him will grow to love him. Honest. I’m wondering if he’ll enjoy riding in front of my fishing boat like David’s dog, Moe, loved to do so much.

But, about Shadow’s Nose…..

See that nose? It knows.

See that nose? It knows.

The Shadow knows what’s in your pocket, cupboard, on your grill, leftover and tossed aside in wrappings on the floorboard of your car, in your wallet, been in your hand, what’s in your neighbor’s kitchen, maybe even across the lake in garbage cans, what you wish you hadn’t cooked last week and what you’ve planned to cook for the week ahead. How? Why? Because of The Shadow Nose!!!!!

A book in our collection at our library states that if  a person can smell a woman’s perfume in a room then a dog can smell that same scent two and one-half miles away.

For all those in America, specifically in Florida, but more so for those in New York State, and then again, exactly targeting people going to Lake Bonaparte this year, I’ve news. All of us will  have a Shadow night and day. But that Shadow will move with or without you, since after all, he’s our puppy. Some people are afraid of their own shadows but our puppy, Shadow, will at first be a bit scared of you. At nine months he’s a cool, shy personality, but for anything that’s on you or about you that he can eat. THEN, the fastest runners may do best.

I'm sure this is shadow's self-image

I’m sure this is Shadow’s self-image

But sometimes, when it comes to food, I think he feels more like this:

But he keeps this all inside, don't worry.

But he keeps this all inside, don’t worry.***

Recently , I’ve come to believe Shadow uses  a red chew toy to exert a form of mind control over us that makes us give him treats….

Look Deep into my eyes; you want to give me a treat...

Look Deep into my eyes; you want to give me a treat…

Thing I’ve noticed about Shadow is  his varied diet, though he has qualifiers when it comes to what he will and won’t eat. First off, anything he can’t get his mouth around is out, sort of. Really, I’ve never seen him try to eat a car, or bike, or anything akin to the size of a house. Smaller things, like lawn mowers, pillows, he loves socks, books,  toys, not so much entire people but ankles, arms, wrists, legs, toes, fingers, those all remain in play.  He loves fruits, veggies, pizza, of course, though bread isn’t good for dogs, ice cream, absolutely anything eatable, not to mention old, buried bones, I should mention arms again, balls, special sticks,  but hopefully not dead bodies. This is why Shadow’s real name is, Shadow Get A Toy.  I’m just saying, there’s no reason to have to go to the emergency room when these simple words might spare your life, unless you have a hamburger in your back pocket, then it’s pretty much over.

I'm not sure, but I think Shadow made me do this.

I’m not sure, but I think Shadow made me do this.

The key to enjoying Shadow Get a Toy is making sure he has one in his mouth, or you’ve got one to give him. The second you say his name, his full name,  the Shadow Get a Toy name, he’ll run around frantically looking for something he can put inside his mouth instead of parts of you.* Like I say, the puppy’s considerate, I think. Of course, it could be that he already gets that killing off his feeders means  less food down the line. Yeah, he’s that smart; he judges stuff quickly, like where the food will be and when.

This blog's random shot is me with Orion, a reading dog....more on those dogs on another post

This blog’s random shot is me with Orion, a reading dog….more on those dogs on another post

This new puppy is our best buddy. I keep telling officers that it’s ridiculously for people to move out of the neighborhood over this or that reason. I never knew there were lawyers who  practiced only dog law, did you? Odd.

Only three people have moved out of our community since we got Shadow Flying Ears.

Only three people have moved out of our community since we got Shadow Flying Ears, and oh, Get A Toy…

 

I think of the lake and wonder what the new guy in town might chew next? Oh, of course, small dogs are perfect. And here’s a shout out to Jess for bringing up one. But I worry about boats! Will he chew those, too. And what about docks? Now that new Morgan dock is about the largest chew toy I can imagine.

I’ve told Shadow Get A toy all about you all, my relatives,  and he’s really looking forward to meeting you during this year’s family reunion, perhaps  he’s even salivating. But with his nose he could be drooling over anything within two miles, not just over you guys. Ha! Fat chance.

Hey Mike P! Do you have those special Canine protective bodysuits we might borrow for a week? Like about fifty of them?

Chews! Err, cheers!

Franque23

Still hoping to get some reviews from you! Title page....link below.

Still hoping to get some reviews from you!
Title page….link below.

 

links for both books in the Avatar Magic Series:

Book one, Avatar Magic and book two, The Code of Avatar Magic are both on kindle now.

*I’m writing about Shadow eating everything, for laughs, and to warn relatives that he’s coming–he’s not dangerous, very friendly, just a puppy who chews, has to, on toys, and stuff….in all, he actually hasn’t destroyed a thing but one shoe in our house–which is amazing-Vets say he is super smart. But , for the sake of humor, I have him eating everything in the blog.=Historical fiction:-).

*** This is not a shot of Shadow…just clipped for laughs off internet

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