Happy July 5th everyone! I hope you had a happy, safe, and enjoyable Fourth of July. I greatly enjoyed the long weekend (five full days – thanks to Summer Fridays) and fortunately/unfortunately find myself back to reality.
I spent the long weekend up at my boyfriend’s family cabin upstate. It’s one of my favorite places on earth – beautiful open sky, no wifi or cell service, and seemingly endless hours to read. And read I did.
We expected awful weather on Friday but tempted fate by meeting up with my boyfriend’s former editors for lunch. They were lovely and funny and brought us a quart of strawberries they had picked themselves. They were the sweetest, most delicious strawberries I’ve ever tasted and knowing they had picked them for us made them all the more sweet.
After lunch, I wrote and submitted a piece for the online writing course I’m taking and we picked up two slices of pie – chocolate orange tart for me, Grandma’s apple cake for him – from an adorable bakery named Two Old Tarts. There was a light drizzle, so we made our way back to the cabin and waited for the rain.
Mornings at the lake are always chilly and crisp – just cold enough to make your lungs ache. So we spent Saturday morning reading and patiently waiting for the cold to burn off. We had a few errands to run so we picked up coffee, the newspaper, and arguably the most random grocery trip of all time. We drove through the windy roads listening to a podcast and just enjoying the feeling of being unplugged from the rest of the world.
The rest of the day was spent reading, eating cheese and hummus, and just enjoying nature. Oh, there were mimosas. The happiest of hours include mimosas. We also took a lovely walk around the lake and hung out with three really cute dogs. That night we saw a black bear making its way through the woods and were both in awe but cautious – knowing that we were the ones in his backyard even if we felt he was in ours.
The overarching theme of the weekend was reading. Neither of us wanted to tear ourselves away from our books – I’m currently more than halfway through Hanya Yanagihara’s A Little Life – so we didn’t. It’s easy to lose yourself in your book for hours when there’s nothing to tear you away from it (aka smartphones and the internet).
There will definitely be a review for A Little Life once I finish it but what I can say is that it is absolutely worth the hype. It is as beautiful, heart-wrenching, and well-written as everyone has said. It is anything but little – it has been an anguishing, restorative, and deeply upsetting reading experience.
Sunday, we built a fire to sit around and Andrew built a bench for the fire pit. I helped (a bit) but mostly I read. And read and read and read. It’s been a long time since I found myself so enthralled with a book – seemingly unable to put it down. There was even a moment when we were sitting in the living room with the fire going and I was just holding the book. Unable, even by candlelight, to put it down.
Monday, our final day, was a little melancholy as the last day at the lake always is. We dragged our feet and vocally expressed how much we didn’t want to leave as if it would make the weekend longer. Of course it didn’t – it never does. So we spent our final hours the way we had spent most of the weekend – on the deck reading.
When it was time to go, we packed up and reluctantly made our way back to civilization. As we got further from the lake house, we got cell service again. Each ping and push notification a reminder that the weekend was officially over.
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What did you do for the long weekend? Did you get any reading done? Have you read A Little Life? If so, did you like it? If not, do you want to?