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Blissful Reflection: Ducks & Waves

{Blissful Reflection is a series of essays that highlight a story and photo that made my week meaningful.}

My mom looked at me with wide eyes and said, “I wish I was a duck. Then I could be in the water all year long! I could even fly to different lakes too!”

I laughed aloud, pushed my paddle into the water a little bit further and said, “Now that would be fitting and perfect.”


Since Monday, I’ve been hanging out with my parents in Lake Tahoe and today is our last day here. Lake Tahoe has been full of waves late in the day, but the water is like glass at sunup.

Every morning we’ve stumbled out of bed at 6.30 to go kayaking on the lake. The average temperature has been 36 degrees and the RV is incredibly chilly. We pull ourselves out from under the covers because the orange ball in the sky warms us up quickly. As we kayak along the shore, it feels like the sun has cast an invisible blanket upon us.

I spent a lot of time at Lake Tahoe as a kid and it seems like everything I see contains a childhood memory. My memories are like the afternoon waves. They start with tiny ripples and then grow larger and stronger as the day goes on.

In my weekly letter, I talked about how time is the real wealth and that I’m grateful to be here with my folks. I’m especially thankful to have the early mornings with my mom. We’re both like little ducks floating along the waves. As my mom says, “Quack. Quack.”


What’s made your summer blissful? Share your story in the comments section.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Sandra Pawula /Always Well Within August 21, 2011, 12:09 pm

    Lovely! I’ve been unplugging one day a week and enjoying the space around the edges, the gap between activities. Spaciousness is luscious!

    • Tammy August 22, 2011, 8:12 am

      @Sandra – “Spaciousness is luscious!” I love that line. It’s so true.

      It’s been nice to have this time with my parents. Although I’m sad to leave the lake. But I can’t complain. I still have another week of travel left! Wishing you all the best.

  • Alison Wood August 21, 2011, 12:42 pm

    Making it to the coast, just for one day, but hoping to return for some of September. I love the sea, it soothes and reinvigorates all at the same time. Enjoy your time on the lake, quack πŸ™‚

    • Tammy August 22, 2011, 6:29 pm

      Thanks Alison! I hope you can return to the coast in September too. Quack! Quack! πŸ™‚

  • Sunday August 21, 2011, 12:59 pm

    my summer has been blissful:
    making sun tea in the morning for the afternoon
    letting the chickens out in the afternoon to scratch around in the yard
    finishing another good book
    seeing my family almost every weekend
    taking a nap in the middle of the day for the first time since i was a teenager

    • Tammy August 22, 2011, 8:11 am

      @Sunday – Absolutely lovely. Thanks for stopping by and leaving your thoughts. πŸ™‚

  • Briannaavenia August 21, 2011, 3:03 pm

    Loved your story of bliss, Tammy! Experiencing that kind of peace with family members isn’t always easy, I think it’s a real testament to the beauty of your lifestyle choices that you have built that kind of relationship with your mom.

    I also just got back from a kayaking trip (in the Adirondacks.) There is something about that soft, silken dip-dip-dip of a paddle through water that just settles the blood. As good as meditation, I think.

    Other blissful summer experiences- fantastic free outdoor performances. Alvin Ailey’s Revelations, The Moth, Andrew Bird, Punch Brothers, plus all sorts of street music and outdoor movies (Ghostbusters!!!) I love free outdoor entertainment! (Especially when it involves good friends and a picnic: )

    • Tammy August 22, 2011, 8:10 am

      @Briannaavenia Thanks for the kinds words. πŸ™‚ Kayaking in the Adirondack’s sounds incredible! I read your comment aloud to my mom and she said, “Ohhh I’m so jealous. I want to go!”

      Portland has a lot of free music and movies during the summer. We haven’t been able to attend as many concerts as I’d like. Maybe next year! πŸ™‚

      Thanks for reading.

      • Briannaavenia August 22, 2011, 8:57 am

        I have to admit, I’m really curious about Portland in general. It sounds like such a haven for folks with simple living type values. I won’t ever move because my family is here on the East coast, but I’ve been fantasizing about it: ). My friend said that Portland’s stormy weather can be draining, though. (Something about a high suicide rate??) What do you think?

  • Gina August 21, 2011, 5:23 pm

    What a beautiful photo!

    • Tammy August 22, 2011, 8:08 am

      Thanks Gina. πŸ™‚ Lake Tahoe is so beautiful! We’re leaving today. I’m heading back to Red Bluff with my folks. It’s going to be such a contrast! The average summer temperature in Red Bluff is 100 degrees! Yikes. πŸ™‚

  • traci sabia August 21, 2011, 6:04 pm

    being able to open my windows to let in the warm sunshine and to see my kids play and laugh and have fun. we are bundled up all winter here is northeast PA so to see them in there bathing suits and little dresses is fantastic!!

    • Tammy August 22, 2011, 8:07 am

      @Traci – Ohhh that sounds so lovely! πŸ™‚ I’m glad you’ve had time to spend with your kids.

  • Gord Morrow August 21, 2011, 11:29 pm

    Great story about TIME. I love your comment about “TIME is the real wealth”. I address the issue of TIME being our most important assest in my blog, Time and Money Connection. My latest post (today) is “TIME: Making the Most of What Your Are Given”. For me it was the approaching end of summer (a big deal when you live in Canada) that inspired me to write how TIME passes by quickly and why it is important to get the most fulfillment we can from the TIME we are given. Sure seems you go that this past week spending TIME with you mom. For me playing tennis with the sunshining and fresh air on my skin, is my idea of summer bliss.

  • Heather August 22, 2011, 5:54 am

    Beautiful, Tammy! Thanks! <3 Heather

    • Tammy August 22, 2011, 8:06 am

      @Heather – Thanks! πŸ™‚

  • MK August 22, 2011, 10:50 am

    I hold sacred memories of a time with my mom at Lake Jenny in Grand Teton Natl Park – time seemingly standing still, the sun setting over the water, my mother speaking from her heart. It was to be one of the last times we would share before she succumbed to a fast growing and fatal cancer.
    Looking back, I believe she knew.
    Savor these moments and be present in them. It’s all we really have. It’s all that really matters.

    • Tammy August 22, 2011, 6:31 pm

      @MK – Thank you for sharing a little bit of your story.

      “Savor these moments and be present in them. It’s all we really have. It’s all that really matters.” That’s such a beautiful sentiment and so true!

  • Katie August 22, 2011, 11:45 am

    I have been crocheting, knitting and generally creating. Absorbing myself and focusing deeply on what I’m doing or making. Slowing down, calmness and serenity. Knitting is like meditation! On top of this, I have started selling my work, and the joy of moving one tiny step closer to my ultimate goal of self-employment and job satisfaction is a truly blissful feeling! Time IS the real wealth, and I am feeling incredibly rich at the moment πŸ™‚ Great essay, Tammy.

    Katie. xxx

    • Tammy August 22, 2011, 6:28 pm

      @Katie – Thank you! I’m happy that you’re making time to create. I’m a knitter too and love it. πŸ™‚

      Yay for self-employment! I hope that goal becomes a reality soon! Wishing you all the best.

  • While Tangerine Dreams August 22, 2011, 12:21 pm

    Going to bed early to be able to wake up at 6 am to milk our sweet cow Daisy has been a pretty blissful routine this summer. Love stepping out outside at that hour and hearing the caw of crows as they fly away from the cow pasture as I approach. I love coming back in, cooking up my latte ( the smell is the most bliss making part of my day I think) while the rest of the family still sleeps. Then having the kids wake up to the excitement of the a promise to go to the beach at sometime is pretty blissfully cute πŸ™‚

  • Andre August 23, 2011, 1:29 pm

    Beautiful photo and wonderful story. I get a little teary-eyed from the beauty of California, and Tahoe is a favorite of mine.

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