in the out house

I went to our camp this past weekend, just for an evening. My husband and son went for the long weekend, but I can’t do that, there is mold and mildew and I am allergic, and anyway I can’t take three days off work just now. So I drove up there Saturday, late afternoon, a perfectly perfect day, just the right temperature, not a cloud in the sky, and the drive along the lake between here and there is always beautiful. On this day, the water was the darkest of teal, all dotted with tiny white sailboats.

I keep forgetting the windmills, built two summers ago, although I guess they are actually turbines, all stark and white and metal-looking but still, stunning. And along this drive there is a spot where you come down a big hill into a small town, and ten of these windmills are perched at the top of the next hill over. It is a very hilly place. And it’s a sight to behold, takes my breath away, really, the way they stand there like sentinels watching over the valley.

I should have stopped to take pictures, but the road was busy and my dog was panting, freaking out because he hates hates hates riding in the car and we were 30 minutes into a 45 minute drive. So I drove on by without taking pictures, but one day, soon, I will go back. And when I got to our camp I said to my husband, “I want a windmill, can we get one?” and of course, he just laughed, thinking I was kidding, but really, I want a windmill.

And then I sat down and listened to the wind in the trees, poplars and pine, that wonderful sound, and I watched the poplar leaves dance back and forth. I thought of the trees that have fallen, these poplars that are dying one by one, two of them have landed on the cabin. And this is where we got married, on the bridge that crossed the stream, but now that has fallen, too.

And I thought of our dog, the other dog, the one that died three years ago now, how camp was always his favorite place and we took him there the weekend before he died, even though the weekend before that he didn’t want to go, could barely move as the kids and my husband packed up to leave. But that next weekend we took him, not knowing it was his last weekend. And when it was dark, we went for the walk that we always walk, and we stopped in the spot where we always stop and we listened for the splash in the neighbor’s pond that we always knew was coming. That weekend, it was like he was a puppy again.

And then suddenly, out of nowhere, I was crying, not just misty- eyed but balling, missing all these things that are gone. So I went to the outhouse to collect myself and dry my eyes. The photo above shows what I saw facing out through the doorway of a door that no longer closes. Still life with outhouse, framed. (It faces into our woods, privacy isn’t an issue, and I went back, afterwards, to take the picture, in case you were wondering.)

Later, as I was leaving, to drive home to care for these cats and to sleep in my bed, I walked out to the road and saw the Milky Way, perfectly perfect, every star in the sky visible. And then as I drove I watched the moon rise, just beyond a long stretch of farm. It was huge and orange, tucked behind wispy clouds, more harvest moon than end of May moon. And again, I wanted to stop for a picture, it was that incredible, that memorable, but again, I had my dog in the back and his panting had risen beyond frantic, so I kept driving. And then I was home.

But in that short span of time, just six hours,

I saw a lifetime of fabulous views.

17 Responses to “in the out house”

  • Julie Mangano Says:

    What wonderful memories you have, and what a special place your spot in the woods must be.

  • georgia Says:

    i very often have days like that… where i see so many picture-perfect sights one after another, but for some reason or another i can’t stop to take photos. it drives me crazy, because everywhere i go, i see potential photographs, and if i can’t take them, i’m frustrated.

    that said, i’m glad you share them with us anyway. you conveyed to us the pictures that you had in your mind’s eye. that’s just as good, especially the way you describe them.

    i too love those big metal windmills. i think there is something so cool about the way they look out in the middle of nowhere against big open skies. i got to see loads of them in california years ago, but was not into photography then, so i did not take pictures. now i want to go back! we have just one int the area where i live, but i have a feeling there will be many more soon.

  • Megan Says:

    On the eve of my first dog’s passing, I took her to a beautiful beach… as she lay on the sand watching the sun set and feeling the balmy breeze, I saw the acceptance and contentment fill her being. It still hurts having her gone and visiting the places she loves makes me ache too, but the memory of her being at peace on that beach will always resonate in my heart xoxo

  • Stina Says:

    Thanks for the little journey through your personal photo album…. It was like a little retreat for me this a.m. to read it…. very meditative….. I, too, LOVE the windmills. I know some people think they are ugly but they just inspire awe in me… and make me feel a connection with the extraterrestrial or something…. And I know what you mean about visions that inspire memories, which help you to release pent up emotions… very therapeutic.

  • beth Says:

    my eyes are damp…..this was wonderful in so many ways and as always your words settle so easily into my head while i’m reading…..

    memories are good….sad sometimes, but so good.

  • Leenie Says:

    Found you through Kamana–Journaling through Photos. You have a wonderful blog. What you say sounds so familiar. I understand crying in the outhouse and suddenly being overwhelmed by memories. And, by the way, I thought silence is more light blue than purple or golden. ;D

    • Mrs. Mediocrity Says:

      Thanks for stopping by and for your kind comments. I think we each have our own perfect color for silence…

  • Marcie Says:

    Amazing how just a short trip and time away can jangle our memories. Such beautiful ones you’ve shared here.

  • jill Says:

    the first time i saw a windmill farm was travelling in England. it seemed like it came out of nowhere as we passed a dense group of trees, then viola those giant white turbines rising up into the sky. it was a sight that is still ingrained in my memory. the last time we flew over, as i was looking out the airplane window, i spotted another farm in the sea right along the English coastline. another memorable sight. white pinwheels rising from the dark green sea.

  • Kimberla Says:

    I think you know how I feel about camp…

    It’s such a magical place…

  • Debi Says:

    God, all the things that are gone and all the things that keep going. It is too much to bear sometimes. And oh, clairvoyance – would that we could have that, that you could have known it would be your dog’s last weekend, but really, it could not have been any better than the gift you gave him. Perhaps we are better off not knowing, perhaps it would just make us anxious-er and crazy if we knew. A wonderfully told tale of time that just won’t stop. xoxo

  • Tracy Says:

    I haven’t been by in awhile. Life has just been weird and busy and I have had panicky moments of things that are going to be gone.

    Maybe it’s the weather… or the season. But I usually reserve these melancholy moments for shorter days.

    Read your last three posts… loved the image of the bark. This is my favorite blog to visit… Thank you. 🙂

  • the domestic fringe Says:

    Your camp sounds like a special retreat. They are going to put up windmills near where I live. I tell my husband we should have one on top of our house, because it’s ALWAYS windy!


  • lisaschaos Says:

    You painted the day with your words. It sounds like a wonderful day, but I’m sorry you felt fresh pain from your loss, it’s weird how it comes up at unexpected times. I lost a sweet Lhasa 5 years ago and I still think of her often.

  • prairiegirl Says:

    oh kelly … now you have me bawling …
    i wasn’t quite anticipating that when you told me
    that we both had ‘outhouses’ to share in our postings … 🙂
    you know, i just can’t really express how wonderful
    your gift of words are … and your joyful and spirited
    heart for taking that picture out the door ~ your view
    for the moment as you saw it …
    you really are a special soul …
    you make me smile so …
    and everyone about you ~ humans and animals alike are lucky
    to have your love …

  • Kath Says:

    Kelly, this post rang true in so many ways for me personally. I love how I feel like you’ve written something specially for me ….

  • margie Says:

    you are a good mother, i would have missed many opportunities to keep the dog comfortable. priorities. lol.

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