Labor Day, 2015. I stand on the balcony and stare at the lake. Waves lap the shore, sails snap in the breeze. The sun sinks low and shadows settle over me. It’s the end of the season.
My first summer here was 1957. Early that season, Cleveland pitcher Herb Score got hit in the eye by a line drive. The Yankee hitter said he would quit baseball if Herb Score went blind. I was seven and heard it all on my transistor radio.
I was here in 1968, the year Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy were shot and killed. My high school buddies and me came for our post-Prom party. I drank too much and could barely focus on the lake.
In 1977, I tried out my new mask, fins and snorkel. I dove and rose, paddled and breathed underwater. I saw schools of shiny fish and watched them scatter like shooting stars.
In 1985, I saw a lightning bolt split a towering oak. I watched red sails blown across slate gray water. I saw a waterspout connect the lake with the sky.
I stand on the balcony and stare at the lake. I add blue to splashing waves, red to snapping sails, gray to clouds that shadow the day’s last light. My Seeing Eye dog lies at my feet. We’ve been here a week, just the two of us. We are companions. He leads our walks and retrieves our Frisbee. I write on my laptop and listen to books
We wait for the phone to ring. It will be my wife, saying she’s almost here and the holiday traffic isn’t as bad as she’d feared. I’ll know before I answer that it’s her — she’s the only ring tone with Quacky the Duck. Now, a wood duck quacks from the lake and Randy nuzzles my hand, telling me it’s she on the phone. “Time will come, big guy. You’ll see her soon.”