The first blossoms have opened and the rest will come fast and furious. September is here and harvest is in full swing. I must take stock and decide what pickles and preserves I will get done. I have been freezing vegetables and just about every meal is made up of freshly picked garden treasures. Burton has been busy getting the winter’s wood piled in the field, ready to bring in to the basement. The air is cooler , the leaves have started turning and the lake presents just a bit more of a challenge to jump in to. Last night I prepared a meal for seventeen people to celebrate Chapin’s 31st birthday. Earlier in the day I had driven across the river to see my parents and help them celebrate their 68th wedding anniversary. My 88 year old mother was participating in a service that had forty pianos brought in and each one was being played simultaneously throughout the service. I watched my beautiful mother who is struggling with speech completely engaged in playing all of the seventeen songs. I was very proud of her. My brother, his wife , my aunt and I joined Mom and Dad for a lovely lunch and I tried to drink in the day and the gift of still having my parents. The day holds emotion for me as well when I think that 31 years ago I had my third child;my 9 lb Chapin Daniel, who brought so much with him when he joined our family. I now look at a grown handsome man, a loving husband who for the last year has been completely engrossed in building a beautiful home for he and his wife. I am so hugely proud of him. In the midst of the chaos of the crowd getting their supper dished up all I could think of was rushing out the door and escaping to the cool and refreshing and rejuvenating water of my beloved lake. I took a quick dip got my thoughts in order and returned. Part of me wanted to linger, to keep swimming, to stay where I feel so completely at rest and at peace. I am a woman caught between generations, trying to give as much of myself to both sides that need me, while trying to keep myself well and strong and able. When I consider my parents were celebrating their 37th anniversary the day I gave birth to Chapin and Burton and I have already had our 39th anniversary, it speaks loudly to me of just how quickly life happens. I do what I have to do and seldom let myself give in to the deep emotion of it all but sometimes I just have to jump in the lake. Sometimes I just have to step back and let it sink in . I am grateful for mornings like this when I can let the tears flow , I can just be me not having to be a daughter , a mother a grandmother. I can just be the little girl that can run and jump in the lake with no responsibilities to anyone but myself. I am glad I escaped to the lake but I am glad I came back too. That is the balance I strive for.