As the evening sun flowered the still waters of Little Gill Lake on the unofficial last day of summer, I fell into my annual recounting of warm weather accomplishments. It’s a mental checklist I go through each year. Summer is short in Michigan, even shorter if you’re a mind to float dry fly in the steady currents of the Grayling River. I think upon all that I’ve done since June, and all that I had planned to do. The lists are sadly out of balance.
I had intended, at the onset of the hotter weather, to canoe from Trout all the way to the first dam at Sable, camping out along the way, the stars for my roof, the earth for my floor. Alas, my canoe made it no farther than the River Bend Diner. And who could blame me? Strawberry topped flapjacks were on the specials menu.
I had planned to take bird book, binoculars, and logbook afield to identify as many fowl as I could, even photographing them as the opportunities presented themselves. After running over a pair of Mallards with my Jeep late in the spring, though, my guilt would not allow me to claim camaraderie with our feathered friends.
I also had it in mind to walk the Mighty Mac during the annual Labor Day Bridge Walk. It seems, though, that the onset of ragweed has been especially splendid this year, rendering your editor helpless to do no more than walk to the medicine cabinet for my prescription of Allegra.
This morning I watched the faces of our tortured youth as they lined up at bus stops, reminiscent of the black and white photos of the Bataan Death March. Ah, misspent youth! Each one of them, no doubt, groaned throughout the summer about all that there was not to do. Pity them! Pity them! If only they could understand that the time they leave behind is not deposited in some great hourglass account, to be withdrawn at their leisure when they are rich in both finances and personal transportation.
Lost. All is lost to the ages. Use it or lose it, as it were.
But we have the fall! And is there no better occasion here in our pleasant peninsula? Oh, all that I plan to do before snow drapes the landscape! Let’s see…I’ll hike along the river while the leaves are at their full brilliance. I’ll sip warm cider in front of a fireplace every evening while re-reading my Gene Hill collections. I’ll breathe the air so deeply the smell of autumn will remain with me until summer returns next year. Yes yes! I’ll make a list. I’ll do it all.
Join me, fellow Troutonians. Now is here, but only for a moment!
Buck Rubb, Editor in Chief