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It will be ten years back this summer to be precise…( Please enjoy the linked video with music below)

This is a Franquemont-Morgan reunion our families have held it seems forever. Basically, you need to understand the Franquemont’s are true royalty in our hearts and minds and the Morgan black spot side of our genes are the worst kind of horns-wagglin’ pirates. I tried that year to do a story hour to appease the pirates,  as shown through out this clip below, but none of that worked as attested by one of ours being snatched and tied to a chair for like days–you’ll see that too.

As always, it all happens at Lake Bonaparte, and this 2010 reunion gathered 58 of the good Franquemonts and the bad whatevers who think they are pirates.  Oddly, no one drinks at these reunions that I’ve noticed. Really!* You’ll see us innocently roping off of Round Island—a feat no longer possible with the development there—only to be chased down by the cops who escorted us across the lake for the want of one life jacket cause 17 wasn’t enough. You’ll see some brave the rapids in the Eastern Adirondacks… fires at night and some very bad singing! It’s all here! The hummingbird steals the show highlighted by the children who know we’re nuts.

Sunsets, swimming and the massively Franquemont Franquemonts win, win, winning!

On a special note, the two groups like the yin-yang have formed as one under the name: MorgaMONTS.  IN all, 2010 reunion was a calm year: very few got thrown in the lake that much each day, I don’t remember a single short sheet bed set but the beer theft was rampant. I still have warrants issued on this… It’s important to note that almost every single adult I took out fishing that year caught a large bass or northern worth mention..this could mean on an every four year bumper fishing cycle that 2020 may be tough fishing. We’ll find out this year at our 2020 reunion!

To be sure, the Lake was wet, the night fires hot** and the stars above brilliant—like my Franquemont story hour:-) The lake is so much fun; family reunions like ours happen around the shore each summer. 

Imagine…

enjoy the show…..https://www.facebook.com/lachlan.franquemont/videos/t.1384221843/425061848537/?type=2&video_source=user_video_tab

Franque23

 

  • Water, that is.
  • ** I honestly believe no one fell in a fire this reunion…
  • What a year this was!!!
  • Last year was an off year, no reunion…Shadow and I chilled out with my wife Dale and Grandchildren
  • Older times lead to new and none will be forgotten

  • taken at the Muse lodge.
  • from our dock

It’s simple in the most complex way. How something tied within can run from the tongue or written word to announce its preponderance is miraculous. But, again, words don’t work; I just have to try—

I’d been walking through a forest; walking forever…

I often walked to familiar places though no walk could be the same. No, rather than feeling redundant, each walk resembled a reoccurring dream that shifted ever so slightly in my head. Once, when I was young, the leaves held a glistening magic beyond compare and the stars above sang love songs. Breath came and went with a whisper of steam in the winter or without a notice in summer. A night bird’s call held a special treat for every step of the way.

The moon would rise—that was in the air, too.

Places presented a universe of change but that variance was apart from the heart of the matter. What was the heart of the matter? When I walked as a boy and walk now as a man there is one secret, one truth I print with each step I take. When any of us walk, we are searching for what we hope to find—this is the heart of the matter.

One day, I began the walk I had to make.

There were bushes, sticks and vines to push aside as I walked. Streaks of red and yellow stretched across a light-blue sky softly lit to a sun-licked amber hue I’d never seen before. The landscape seemed a mirror that span before me but I couldn’t see myself in it, and certainly not within the darkened places or behind the boulders that lay ahead.

Quiet noise drummed my ears to the beat of my heart. One foot-fall followed the other and mashed a fresh scent of pine from the needles that had fallen from the trees above. A breeze passed as a tap on the shoulder that turned me around again to see if someone was there.

I was alone.

Oh, I loved the twists and turns of life. The ups and downs of Life, the rag-tag moments of laughter that still echoed in my head and tears spent that had run dry to leave a trace upon my cheek were never to forget. I held my life near and dear; it was all I really had. I bent down to pick up a pine cone, took a breath and then moved on beneath a glorious sun-set sky.

There, in an instant quicker than a slip, a clearing appeared. This flowing, smoothly swept, warm as a blanket on a winter’s night place had a voice of its own set in a timbre no ear could deny. Its mysterious opening abruptly ended the maze of life I’d struggled to pass; it was an awakening of peace within my weary heart. The place turned my head, lifted my steps and lightened the tightness in my back. I turned around to make sure I’d left the brambles behind and come to a new place, a new clearing with only the truest of view.

The time turned to rest. All my effort, all the decisions random or not, all the painful struggle and haphazard joys of my journey had led me to this place.

It was amazing.

I’d found my way home to a place I’d never seen before.

Somehow, my heart just knew.

How does the heart know so much? How can the thing we always feel but never touch know the way to travel, the places to see and the people to hold? Love, the heart’s messenger, is startling when it comes whether that’s in the first minute when meeting someone or not. Mellowed by time or arriving in a split second, Love opens the flood gates of the soul so that we pour into a sea of understanding. Some people say being in love is like floating on air. Maybe. To me, Love is finding the ground I was meant to stand upon.

Of course, the clearing I found that day forty-seven years ago was you. I’m so thankful you had made it.

Thank you for being you.

This is the heart of the matter.

Franque23

To Dale, my wife of 40 years of marriage as of 1/3/2020-

 

 


(Click the pic for a larger view)

My Mom and Dad visited Lake Bonaparte often before and after I was born. Luckily, they got to spend about 30 summers at the lake after their employment days. Talk about memories!?!? I wonder which ones mom recalled most of all during her last summer on Bonaparte?

You know they had fun! (With our next door neighbors, the Sherman’s.)

My Dad trained for WW II at Fort drum and rested many days long after sitting across the lake from that training Camp’s location. He loved to see the planes fly over.

This is an old map of Bonaparte…(our camp built in 1970 isn’t listed.)

There are so many beautiful days at Bonaparte.

(Picture taken from our overlook of Porter’s Bay)

And cool summer nights to enjoy with family and friends.

(In the Muse Lodge porch camp)

Or stay warm by a fire…

We love our fireplace—overhead fans above the flames circulate the warm air.

Lake Bonaparte has a knack for getting cold. The one span of three days I visited during mid January the night temperatures hit 40 below twice and then warmed up to 30 below.

Even while casting images in a glass window while overlooking Nagasaki, Japan, the memory of  daytime snows falling on our daughter in Natural Bridge, New York, stayed with me.

And speaking of fires by the lake on those skinny dippin’ nights—what was I thinking!?!?! I’ve looked at this ol’ timey picture by Priests for years and years,

AND, mom snagged this Northern right in our bay! Like how many teeth of a good reason is this not to skinny dip?

Forgive me  if you know, but I feel we all should know Cody got bit on the leg in front of the Sherman Boat house in Porter’s bay (broad daylight) by a bass so large he had to go to the hospital! Just maybe, it was this fish I caught about 15 years later?

Fishin’ at the lake. Love it!

Perhaps many don’t know my brother Buz, (Ed Franquemont) helped build the first house on Round Island? He owned Bare Bones, a building outfit.

Here’s the team that built that house….!

My brother, Ed. (This shot taken elsewhere)

However, this shot below is on location on Birch Island where my ex-brother-in-law, Paul Doherty, lived with Meta for 30 plus years. My niece’s husband, Craig Carlock, was in charge of nibbling down trees to clear for pathways on that Island long ago and everyone should know. We still call him ‘Beaver Man,’ though he also does the best drankin’ loon call you’ve ever heard.

This is Craig watching our dog, Shadow, clear 22 feet off our dock going for a ball….and we’ve built that dock again since.

Have you noticed, lake people wave back?

It’s all too much fun! There’s always some to do or think thing about…

Beware of Pirates…..at the lake! Them Morgan clan folk.

I’m thinkin’ even our dog Shadow is looking for fish!

Impossible not to love.

While at the Lake, my sister, Sharon Franquemot, with a book published in nine languages, You Already Know What To Do, remains humble with me about our family’s  Kingly Heritage.

(really….our ancestor’s home is below. Karl Eugen ruled as Duke over most of Germany and Southern France in 1750)

So, the thing about visiting this one of five castles Karl Eugen had… sure it’s large but,….it was hard to find the bathroom.

(Karl Eugen’s largest home in Ludwigsburg, Germany)*

Anyway, I take my love for Lake Bonaparte back home to where I work in Florida and share it on bulletins boards at the Headquarter’s branch of the Alachua County Library district….

What a place to know, right? Lake Bonaparte:

Random shot of another bulletin board and one of Dan Franquemont…at the lake. (Muse Lodge)

So much—

Bye for now.

Franque23 loves Lake Bonaparte—The place and people we never forget.

*https://www.google.com/search?q=ludwigsburg+germany&oq=Ludwigsburg+germany&aqs=chrome.0.0l8.5814j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

 

 

 


I’m trying to earn my keep here at work! I’ve repeated this board four times over the past 20 years or so. Originally, the scene was of a moose looking up at a winter’s moon with its tracks in the snow–that was at Millhopper Branch Library in the late 90’s. Sue Patterson worked there at the time and she helped me design the moose which is a difficult animal to get right when drawing—about that large nose of a head…Ha!

This is the 2013 version…

I carried the moose theme to the down town Headquarter’s Branch Library in the early 2000’s and ‘re-built’ much of the background set of trees. This board offers an elaborate background scene that’s time consuming to create so I saved all that work when the board came down a second time. To make this board cost efficient to tax payers, I’ve reused the background pieces of this board two more times, though the moose gave way to a deer and the largest tree has changed as well.

I’m thinking this may be the 2016 version….

You can see this years version in two pictures below or in the time lapse linked here. Stop the time lapse when you want to get a better look and feel for how the layering works in this design. This is a time lapse of my Holiday Board… stop it any time to see the progression…  Ho HO HO…..https://www.facebook.com/alachualibrary/videos/2470169859892438/?t=

 

   

So far, our media department (thank you Chris) has videoed a time lapse presentation of two boards I put up this year: a Halloween board and now this holiday board.

I like this board; it’s a peaceful image that sets a good tone for our work space in Youth Services. I hope this board fills your thoughts and the minds of our little and big patrons with wonder while enhancing enjoyment of our public libraries! Visit your public library—they are ours to enjoy!

Have a safe, wonderful Holiday!

Franque23

2013

The moose was really fun to draw and I’m not certain which version of this bulletin board I like more: the Deer with a larger tree and different signage, or the moose in a smaller setting. The background color changes from silver to gold and there is a moon in some and not others….which do you like better? I have to tell you what I so like about this board. The frozen lake presented by the silver paper is actually vertical on the wall but it appears horizontal to add depth to the scene… I love it.


(A Morgan-Franquemont reunion about 1951) Click the pic for a larger view.

Maybe I thought my sister might drop me—why else would I be crying?—pretty sure that’s my best diaper.

Remember being young for just a minute. There’s no hassle waiting to destroy the next minute, no bus, train, plane to catch or deadline to meet. No, you’re just young. Your skin is soft without a blemish and your hair shines like  grass after a brief rain.  You’ve learned to comb your hair but your not exactly sure why you do it. There’s no need to worry and everything feels right once your parents are home; the fire place sets itself and your dog is always fed. T.V. goes on past bedtime but you’ve seen everything you wanted to see and the day has come and gone like any other. Dreams come and go like the wind without cause or problem or forecast direction.

Everything just is. Do you remember now? Shoes or belts seemed useless unless you were playing dress-up.

(Our Son-in-Law running after his son.)

The world is an empty beach to run with dad close behind.

The sky is endless and full of mysterious clouds to watch as they drift by.

(My cousin’s son, Ross Franquemont, takes a selfie as he flies by the Northern lights in his U-2 plane.)

Remember the first time you stared at the clear night sky and realized there were more and more stars to see up above as your eyes adjusted to the blackness. Remember the morning dew on your bare feet. This is about the time you discovered ,’brain-freeze.’

There was so much to take in and share with your cousins and friends.

A la speed-o suit; that’s me.(Morgan dock at Lake Bonaparte-about 1956) ( AND… the person who edits this glob weekly* asked a good question: why am I the only one wearing a bathing suit? The dock is clearly wet?!?! Hmmmm)

Days come as easily as picking up a pencil. The scribbling on the paper wears a smile and it seems your masterpiece is, in fact, a heroic depiction of something meaningful to older folks—it’s some miraculous sketch of objects you’ve yet to see or a panorama of places everyone hopes to go. It’s good to be loved. Daylight loves you; nighttime is a blanket. The rain sounds loud upon the window pane and snow dances in street lights with winds that come from the moon you can’t see.  The pets always sleep on your bed.

Everyday is safe. Every night is cozy. You get along with other  kids, even with those who seem so different!

Being young harbors within it a certain kind of peaceful hope.

(View of Lake Bonaparte from our ‘half-way’ dock.)

Without notice, you assume the older folks will always be here.

Life seems a garden of acceptance.

You can wear any hat you want when you’re young!

(And on Youth Services hat day because we could.)

Routines begin to form. If it rains, you stay inside. If it is sunny you go out. Parents rush off in the morning and come back later after your nap but you’re never really alone, not that you’ve noticed or ever thought about. Tooth brushing is a daily important thing, not the best, but you watch as globs of toothpaste slide out of your mouth onto your cheeks around your out-stretched smile in the mirror and it tastes sweet. Tooth paste types change from being white, then striped, sometimes dotted or with a hidden line of stuff surrounded by white. You just do it.

You think broccoli may kill you but not if you eat just a bit. Vegetables are stupid but they’re the gateway to dessert.

I once thought food first filled my feet, legs, then my middle section, then my arms and finally my head: that’s when I was full. I made sure to save room in my head for dessert.  People talked over dinner but mostly we all came to eat. Someone would say something funny and we’d laugh but always, without fail, my dog’s head was near my lap, soft, warm, nudging my legs occasionally for that bit of something I didn’t care to eat or wanted to slip him anyway.

I hadn’t a care when I was young. Music filled the air and dancing had no steps, just movement.

Of course, I learned later in life that my life was not a universal experience. No, while I was in college there were children in Vietnam who awoke in the night to run out of their homes in fear Napalm bombs would hit their homes and burn them alive as it had some of their friends the night before. And other children weren’t lucky enough to live at all but died without ever knowing what a refrigerator was. Somehow, learning the truthful horror about some life on earth during my twenties put much of my childhood experience in a time-capsule that I cemented in a corner stone of myself.  My memories were too good sometimes to be shown in the face of another’s reality.

I’d been given so much and never knew. I’d been raised in the midst of modest but successful homes full of choices, flavors, designs, music,  friends and surrounded by mowed yards and shoveled driveways all owned by smiling people.

If you’re life was like mine, it’s okay. It’s okay that we may have been born some of the luckiest people on earth. Thing is, now it’s our time to give thanks. Now, if we haven’t already, it’s time for us to payback life anyway we can.  We have to fight for what we believe is best for this earth and give thanks to those who died for our right to do so. If we have something to teach, we have to do it. I think Thanksgiving has never seen a generation who has more to be thankful for than mine. Now, more than ever before, it’s time for my generation to stand up and speak about what we feel is right.

My generation owes the World a difference.

We can do this. It’s time to be young again, strong, wide-eyed, questioning and full of spirit. Spirits don’t age like our bodies, not really. Look in that mirror as you did as a child and see your face, see your smile and remember who you really are. You’re one who can make a difference.

We all can get along; we have to get along and help each other prosper—this is our task and purpose.

Franque23—Happy Thanksgiving.

*Barbara Mullenix gets all the credit for anything spelled correctly in these globs and none of the blame for all the rest….

 

 

 

 


(Click the pic for a larger view)

Imagine, you were born and once lived happily in a Levittown community on Long Island.

Your home town of Roslyn Heights was a Levitt built community….this pic is of a Levittown that was built further away from NYC out on the Island than your home, but it was the same type of community.

You didn’t mind the winters and made piles (ahahah) of dough out of shoveling snow as a kid.

This was my life as I grew up.  Here is a picture of South Park, Roslyn Heights and the house I lived in. Back in the 1950’s we got Nor’easters (snow storms) that blanketed the homes and streets and, thank God, stopped school!

But during college, maybe before, something snapped inside of me and I wanted wide open spaces….I wanted the wild, the untamed, the jungle or was it the wild west? Okay, I really wanted to see, Where the Boys Are*, in Fort Lauderdale and be one of those guys the gals were after. That worked out well and Florida became just that sort of jungle I was after.

I had no idea how Florida, land of melting sun, would attach itself to my soul but it did.

Now, I’ve lived here since ,errr,,, 1972ish?

I’ve had a wonderful time in the surf—I love to surf waves.

This is me catching a good ride.

My wife and I had a rabbit who lived out back in Micanopy in his cage. One morning we awoke to look out and find a bob cat on top of his cage…..that started me thinking….(Don’t go out at night to pee…..)

Apparently, I’m not the only one to have found nature at my door step here in Northern Florida

Heck, I knew I loved this place of wonder, a place of untamed nature.

But I never lost my eye for the power of that nature as well… We landed on the moon, but maybe we don’t control gators?

It’s okay to count on fences to a certain degree…

So there’s a beauty and danger to Florida none of us Floridians should forget.

How about a night dip in the pool?

And then, only twice, I saw in person and close up by mistake, a Great Horned Owl…They can fly up to 40 MPH and have been known to pick up and kill 60 pound pets!! Our dog, I suspect, was attacked twice by one in our fenced in backyard—where he never goes at night anymore.

 

This is a shot tripped by a night camera….

I was running in the woods about thirty years ago when I saw a beast of a bird…it seemed to stand more than three feet tall and when he took off his wing span was about five feet! Just wow. I once saw another Great Horned Owl as I drove down Rochelle Road outside of Micanopy. The bird took off before I reached him and traveled over the road for about one tenth of a mile right before our car. That bird’s wing span seemed to almost reach from side to side of a double lane road–no joke. It was as if we were seeing a dinosaur.

I’ve fished the swamps for over ten years in my younger (err risky?) days….and there’s a beauty to a swamp—not a McDonald’s or Starbucks to be seen.

But always, there are gators. How many gators?

( Those eyes all belong to gators.)

This is the Alachua Sink in Alachua County, Florida. It’s about  one mile from our home. And this shot, by John Moran got him nation wide PR. His photos have appeared in National Geographic, Life, Time, Smithsonian, the New York Times Magazine and on the cover of the National Audubon Society Field Guide to Florida. Dale and I were lucky enough to canoe down the Suwanee River with John, a time I’ll never forget for many reasons but one of them was having a wart hog pushing against my head from the other side of our tent as I slept at night as he rooted for food.

So, I’ve rooted here in Florida. I love the ocean, always have. And, I love to grow food as my father from Iowa taught me to do. Of course, we have a garden as any Floridian with the space should.

At six months , Shadow, didn’t know he wasn’t me, or human, exactly, and he helped me weed…I miss that help now.

You might be able to see, but at one year old, Shadow figured he should eat green beans right off the plant as we did as we picked them! He stopped eating green beans at about age two.

Once, I was drying herbs out in the front yard in foil sheets when a cop came by, stopped, and walked my way with a grin and his hand on his gun…I smiled and said hello… He looked down at my tins of herbs and said, “What do you have here?”.. “I’m drying herbs!” He wasn’t convinced so I walked him over to the garden and showed him the plants….”Well, I thought I had you busted for pot!”

I can’t blame him….but I didn’t add that I might have learned the entire process by growing and drying pot in my twenties:-)

So, we grow pineapples, too….

Mounds of oranges and grapefruit, too.

It’s all good. This city slicker found a home in the Northern Florida woodland, and I love it.

Heck, the tomatoes came in like a champ this year; Dale canned many.

From Levittown to the wilds of Northern Florida, I’m good. I don’t miss the hustle up north, the quicker pace of life or the traffic. No, I’m good with the gators, bob cat, owls and other critters. The sky here is open to see, and the ocean wind still washes the peninsula by four or five each afternoon. Gainesville is just 60 milers north of the Sub Tropical line. We live in a jungle of 24/7 year round growing just about. The birds love it, and so do I.

Cheers– thanks for visiting.

Hope to hear from you soon!

Franque23

*https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0054469/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


(Click the pic for larger view)

Have you ever noticed the Jimmy Durante* size nose on the front of your dog’s snout?

That dog nose has it all over your nose; a dog can smell perfume from two miles away!

But what has this to do with Lake Bonaparte dog days? Well, it’s true I’ve bragged plenty about the time three years ago when my dog, Shadow, leaped 28 feet off our dock for a ball!

This is the moment; a twenty-eight foot leap that we measured.

But I think this year Shadow took being a dog at the lake to a whole new level. Actually, it’s scary. I mean he turned my four grandsons into dogs with a simple flick of his tail.

I’ve got them just where I want them….Shadow.

The next thing I knew, the boys were crawling around inside and out as if they were dogs! They were rolling around on the lawn, on all fours, barking and pointing like a bird dog…(Shadow, as a  Catahoula Leopard dog, is 1/4 blue tick hound).

I’ll teach them my pointing tail trick...What happened to their tails, anyway?

I’m hoping they omitted the butt sniffing thingy dogs do—not sure, I mean these are boys!

Shadow is about 100% of the time guarding us, or is he keeping us in place?

Does Shadow imagine he’s going to church?!?!

Who’s the real captain of this boat?

I’ve got them reading…..

Okay, timeout for a hug…..

Wait, Isaiah’s got it! Time to hug AND read!!! Shadow, the Great.

It can be tiring training four boys to be dogs.

 

Okay, this is my, ‘They are really screwed up,’ tail…..Shadow.

There’s this magic allure that emanates from dogs even when they’re drooling for your hot dog. Shadow is our dog, but sometimes I really have to wonder. Heck, he’s got me scratching his belly night and day and holding doors open for him whenever he wants. I panic if his water bowl gets low and I’ve about sold my soul for all natural dog treats and food.

You are now under my power…like forever, dude. Shadow

I only carry your socks in my mouth because you think it’s cute.

Guess how many times I’ve absolutely decided that this time, THIS TIME, I was going to drive away on an errand without him and then changed my mind?

Nope, your guess was waaay off…Start thinking about the figures in America’s National debt and you’re getting close.

Orange you gonna take me? Dude, I’m going with you, now get the keys…

Sure, I sleep in some days…when Shadow lets me. Who can sleep with a cold nose on your cheek? Unfortunately, I thought it was funny the first time I didn’t budge from bed once awake and Shadow hiked up on the bed to trample my face. Now, I’ve got two choices in the morning—either I lie comatose in bed without opening an eye, keeping my breathing pattern sleep-like while daring not wiggling a toe the slightest bit OR I get face-dog-paw trampled until I get up.

I’m not gonna admit to being in the rain while walking Shadow or waiting for him to come back home. I know that person looked a lot like me, your honor, but it’s a case of mistaken dog food, no, I mean identity.(Am I low on dog food?)

I do think dogs love to stick their heads out a moving car window for the rush or air, but they also are taking in an entire universe of smells as we speed along.  The book, Nubs,** is one of many amazing true stories about dogs who traveled unreal distances to reunite with their loved people—dogs have a uncanny sense about direction and life in general.

Of course, there’s more…..

“Interactions between people and dogs can be beneficial for both species. Increases in β-endorphin (beta-endorphin), oxytocin and dopamine—neurochemicals associated with positive feelings and bonding—have been observed in both dogs and people after enjoyable interactions like petting,”https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/is-the-gaze-from-those-big-puppy-eyes-the-look-of-your-doggie-s-love/

Maybe one more doggie fact for those lake lovers who follow their dogs around…

“Accordingly, behavioral studies of dog cognition have revealed similarities of dog behavioral traits to humans. Dogs have been found to engage in gaze following similarly to human babies , exhibit selective imitation  similarly to human infants, (Dogs)….observe photos of faces roughly similarly to human adults and to link photos of objects to objects themselves .

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3641087/

This last finding in bold is why we have Shadow’s picture on a magnet on the refrigerator at his eye level…I thought this picture made him happy when I first put it up and now I know it does.

There’s no place like the lake for Bonaparte dogs, so I guess ‘us people’ followed?

Cheers

Franque23

*Jimmy Durante

*

How do you like me, now?

Bonus picture of us building the dock about 10 years ago…Sherman cool dock in background

**https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6557929-nubs


It’s impossible to miss the beauty. It was more than the three day drive up to the lake that split my head open as I looked at the lake during our first moment getting there. The colors of the lake displayed a vibrancy seldom seen in any urban center or sprawl. The  sky paled above the lake’s deepest blue waters; the green landscape never appeared so inviting. The warming earth beneath my felt felt like home.

Every day, no, every hour up at the lake shakes out a different tone as the breeze rustles the trees. Each day features an ongoing exchange of wind and water that forces waves near and far to rise and fall or, at other times, and mostly at morning or night, flattens the lake’s surface to the look of a mirror. This is when reflections take the lake’s tapestry over and commands attention to every watery detail so neatly bound to the look of the shore.

Image may contain: cloud, sky, outdoor, water and nature

Thanks to Susan  for this picture…

A crane lazily cuts across the sky; a school of nipping brown trout dot our bay’s surface water as a darkened circle that moves left to right. A hawk whistles from above and turns my head up where I see the white wispy clouds streaming from the west are gaining size. The shoreline cedars blast scent and contrast to the whitest black and grey birch. The humming bird wings by to dot the, “Oh My!”

Aptly put, Lake Bonaparte is an onslaught of beauty to behold for the jumping young, strapping aged or the resting old. The lake is always game for the viewing. The sun-twinkled waters or rain laden storms that move across the lake spark the imagination and ignite an internal yearning to be closer to the nature of our life. The peace of the place seems all so easy to attain but so far away, and all at once. Do a cannon ball on that thought. I don’t care who you are—a cannon ball into the lake will do you good; it’ll put a smile upon your face.

We’re facing the sunset…taken her down. a nightly ritual.

This shot seemed to burn the camera lens!

Sometimes, I just have to laugh. How could I be so lucky to be at Lake Bonaparte? How could all of us who abide by these shores be so fortunate? Life is a weave and there’s a spin to it, a stitch of fate that sets us where we are. I’m so glad this thread is part of my life. For almost seventy years now via my parent’s or my own footfalls I’ve made it here.  There’s so much to be thankful for, right? There’s so much to take in.

This has to be one of my favorite shots of Bonaparte…and I don’t remember if I clipped this off another’s posting or not? Forget.

I love the light in the clouds above.

From a few years back….

There are endless postcards of Lake Bonaparte to send, right? And all of them are kept safe inside—there’s a comfort to this, trust me.

cheers

Franque23


(As always, click the pic for a larger view…)

If it weren’t for the traffic on Rt 3 the place would be paradise—it got so bad this year I think I saw several cars pass by on a single ten mile drive to town! And, I guess I should mention the loon racket at night, especially between 10ish and midnight; will they ever shut up! Then there’s the morning crows and chickadees, the afternoon blue jays, red wing black birds, those dang soaring eagles, cooing cranes, whistling hawks and late afternoon quackin’ ducks to spoil any days nap. When will a guy ever get some sleep!

Even the view can keep a guy up!

There’s a weird speed to time at the lake no one has yet to understand. It’s like a horror show. You’d call time fast to pass at the lake but, then again, it never lets go. Nope, the memories, smiles, talks and moments fly by like the wind but sit like a immovable block in your soul as well. You can think what you like, but I’m saying there’s no surgery that can take this massive thing out once it has seeped inside you. There’s a devious kinda magic to those waters and reflective sky at Bonaparte that mirrors deep by day and night in the Mind’s eye—it’s sorta like a strangle hold on your senses you can’t sue and win.

Lake friends last forever as well. Who has time for that?

The whole experience is torturous.

You catch a good fish a few years back and spend the next 7 trying to do it again….oh brother, what a bother…

It’s been a while for me, being so busy with raising a family for oh so long, since I’ve had real time to make new friends or see old ones while up at the lake. This year was different. I got to know Kim and Steve and their ten inch high killer dog, Lola. I’ve never been afraid of dogs, but now that’s over. I’ve struggled with our fireplace pull rods for over twenty years which is why having some strange guy named, Bill-the-Beatrus I think, fix the rods with a minutes’ thought and about ten minutes time is problematic. My sense of self worth is gone forever, it’s over, doctor, and those psychiatric bills won’t be cheap.

Time spent with Toni, the two Michelle’s, Forbes, Randy, Laura, Vicki and the Sherman’s is always fun, but who let them out of the loony bin? To boot, now there’s no cop on the lake. And now, with our Grandson making friends with our neighbors son pretty much any sense of normalcy that never existed here is entirely gone. Why keep dreaming about it?

It’s also possible to take really bad shots up at the lake..(does anyone have a flashlight)

Hear’s one of my thumb I took this year at the lake….perfect shot!

It’s great to see Bill again; meeting anyone my ancient age or older has a special zing to it. There’s like this on-going contest between the lake petrified folks to see who falls in the lake first and doesn’t get out. I can tell Bill is watching me closely as I age and our fifty-foot bluff gets closer to the house. Some may not know it, but Grady-of -the-lake(now deceased) had nine lives and he spent one of them running towards this very same bluff. There was no blue moon the night before or heralding of angels in the morning of the afternoon when Grady, Dave Morgan and I sat on our porch before this steep drop off. All of a sudden, Grady gets up and starts running full speed toward the bluff as though he might do a high dive into the lake! Only a lunging hand to his ankles stopped his forward movement and saved a grave digger the effort. Mind you, this run of Grady’s had nothing to do with beer(s), but rather the magical pull of our evil lake was at fault.

I’m telling ya, there’s more than the best pure air up at Bonaparte—it’s full of friendship forged through good time and bad. There’s nothing like building a dock, camp or boat house and have the ice take it out the next winter; there’s nothing like the bond of spending money like a drankin’ sailor on lake side repairs. There’s a saying; only buy a boat if you can afford to buy ten—maybe the Bonaparte camps are the same way.

But who cares when you’re young, free and without a care like about none of us.

Still, those losses and efforts all make for great stories shared between a laughing, here’s-to-the-lake crowd. (Beers help, too)The night sky is more than pay back for any expense. But, daytime swimming, soaking in the sun—did I fall asleep that long?—fishin’, kayaking, bird watching, boating, tubin’ ( I did see a skier), and even some sail boating also take the day to flight. The air is incredibly invigorating at the lake. Breathing there is sorta like breathing in an oxygen tent where ever you go. So, the loony’s on the loose, the evil lake stare, the crazy birds, the alluring sunsets, the mesmerizing night stars and stormy five-foot high waves that tear docks and boats apart are all worth it. Why do I think this? Well, I’m nuts like the rest of you.

Cheers from the archives of franque23 Lake Bonaparte insanity logs.

Franque23

 


(clicking pics gives larger view)

The day had no way of knowing, it started off so differently. I still sat at the breakfast table when our four grandchildren, without any prompting, opted to chill and read in the morning light.

.

After working in a library for the past twenty five years-just wow.

But I had a plan.

There’s nothing like a fishin’ trip to spark up day! We’d gathered with high spirits along with some pensive moments: what would happen; how would do; would we come home fishermen or boaters?

We headed down the steps on our way to the boat. (How about those fingers!)

We set course for  Mud Lake with broad smiling faces, multiple rods, bunches of hooks, buckets of smelly worms on board and soda’s in hand. Plus, we had Shadow who knows at five that boat rides rock up and down and all around.

We had attitude, baby.

Guard Shadow had our side covered…

What would happen? Would we have any luck? And, would Shadow dive in after the loons, ducks, beavers and or fish? No one knew?

Bingo!!! Fish up!Actually, more than 60 fish up. My right arm hurt at night from de-worming, and de-fish hooking for those a bit off on that. Hats keep most hooks out of heads, but fingers are hook magnets.

Okay, I’m not sure, but I think this is a ritual we will keep up after any successful fishing thingy.

Time to leave Mud Lake meant our sounder took position to safely lead our way.

We headed home a happy lot. We’d have fish for lunch and a bunch more books were waiting to be read. And, there was also yoga time.

But maybe showing off our catch to our new neighbor friends was the best of it all!

Then again, we’re all neighbors at the Lake! Thanks for enjoying  a dream come true: fishin’ time with the kids and doggie…Ya gotta love it!

Cheers from the lake with more to come!

Franque23

 

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