Thursday, January 8

Winter on the Lake

Dave and I live in a house on a small lake in Tennessee. I always wanted to live on a lake and finding this house was a blessing. Our lot has a gentle incline so it is easy to walk down to the water. The house is filled with windows and the view is always changing; woods border both sides and the water is ever changing.

The winter wind blows off the lake cool and crisp but the sun warms you into forgetting it's really winter. Today the water is rippled from the brisk breeze and the "everyday" fisherman is no where in sight. Tennessee winters are mild compared to New York or Michigan and it's not unusual to see a pontoon boat filled with boaters clad in coats and hats taking a turn around the shore line on New Year's Day.

Most days you can see a variety of birds from our deck including several different kinds of woodpeckers, cardinals and finch. My personal favorite are Chick-a-dees but we are lucky to have blue birds and they run a close second.

Living in Tennessee means we are about half way between our friends and family and Florida. This gives them a destination where they can spend the night and get a "catch-up" on news and a hot breakfast before continuing toward the sun. Many times it is nicer weather here than it is at their destination. This week my brother and his wife (from Illinois) are making a stop for an overnight and not leaving until they get biscuits and sausage and gravy.

Retirement for Dave and I means we are able to do what we want more than ever before. For us writing is what we most want to do. Dave published his first book in 1978, How to Grow Houseplants, and his second, The Little House on Buchanan Street, in 2008. His next book, Cattleya and Catopsis, will be out next month. Dave has been writing for a very long time. Gardening is the way he gets away from his writing. Dave's gardens face the lake.

My writing began when I was newly divorced and on my own for the first time in my life. I first wrote letters that were not meant to be mailed but acted as way to get rid of my frustrations. Later I wrote weekly columns for the local newspaper. I wrote about my gardens, favorite plants and living on a mountain top in New York. My columns became a book, topics for lectures and three Lasagna Gardening books. Today I am writing several things but the first published will be a re-write on the book "My Garden Doctor" first published in 1914. It is such a wonderful little book I want others to be able to enjoy it as I have.

My lasagna gardens bordering the front door are a happy way to go in and out and I enjoy the herbs and sedums more every year. It was easy to install this garden; I laid down wet newspaper and covered it with peat moss, grass clippings and chipped leaves. Once I laid down pavers I planted around them and mulched the whole thing. As soon as I find the photos I will post them for you to see.

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