A lake is the landscape’s most beautiful and expressive feature. It is Earth’s eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature.  The fluviatile trees next the shore are the slender eyelashes which fringe it, and the wooded hills and cliffs around are its overhanging brows.

~Henry David Thoreau, Walden

“We’re out of bread,” the store manager says with raised eyebrows. “It’s an anomaly. By 10:00am we were sold out of bread and that never happens.” It’s the third place I’ve been to looking for bread for our sandwiches for the road trip. I settle on Sara Lee instead of the bakery.

Today, I’ll spread wheat with egg salad and white with salmon and slather a few slices of doughy with peanut butter and Nutella for the boy who turns up his nose to the others.  Ginger snaps stack inside the Tupperware at the ready.

It’s a tradition, the food we eat on the 22 hours pushing pavement headed north. H’s mom loaded coolers with the same thing for him, when they drove from Phoenix to the family cottage in Ontario, Canada.

I’ve cleaned out the refrigerator, done the laundry, sorted through the mail pile, trimmed and mulched the garden, watered the plants, and asked the neighbor to collect the mail. We got hair cuts, collected dry cleaning, scooped ice for the cooler, made doctor’s appointments and drove a third time to the grocery store.  Deleted photos off my camera and stacked InStyle and Real Simple next to Walking on Water in the passenger seat.  And I think we’re ready.  Right after I fill those little bottles and place them in the overnight bag that we’ll push through the Capital Hilton in Washington, DC about ten o’clock this evening.

The van loads with golf clubs, kneeboards, and suitcases full of swimsuits and suntan lotion and I’m noticing what we’re not taking this year.

No Lego’s, blocks, matchbox cars, polly pockets, fishing poles with plastic fish hanging off the end or Saddle Club DVD’s in the van.  Just American History text books, IPods, To Kill a Mockingbird and gum in the back seat.

And the biggest thing we’re not taking? Our faithful Golden Retriever we lost to cancer in January. Winston’s furry tail wagged in unbridled expecatation of chasing tennis balls, long swims, and quiet walks with us for eight summers. He even pranced through hotel lobbies and rode the elevator.

And while time spins her cyclone around us, we’re clicking our heels like Dorothy and returning to the Kansas of our soul. The place where the trees blink their eyelashes and we remember who we are in the reflection of still waters. The “earth’s eye” will remember us, even if we have grown up a bit.

We’re going to dirt roads leading to ice cream under sun’s canopy and fire pits by starlight. The place where the arm of the internet isn’t quite long enough to grab onto our thoughts and the phone service is spotty. So, I’m officially unplugging here for two weeks.  And I’ll miss you.

I’m returning to sit in the lawn chair where I wrote my first blog post and had no idea how smitten I would be with the friendship of all of you. So, if I get out of my wet swimsuit long enough to make a run to the library where internet is a lazy resident, there might be a post here and there but I’ll be back on August 6 with regular posting. And while I’m away, I’ll be remembering you in my prayers. I hope you’ll do the same for me.

 If you’re new here, I’m so glad you stopped by and if you want to read more, below is a list of my top five most popular posts:

Surprised by Redemption

Because What You Don’t Know, Can Save Your Life

When Fear Take Over, Take Courage

When My Perception Isn’t Your Reality

Don’t Tell Me, Show Me

The winner of a copy of Grace for the Good Girl from yesterday’s post is Laura Hogelin, a first time commenter. Congratulations Laura!