VALOIS, New York, USA - The long, not-so-hot summer at Seneca Lake closed out just before Labor Day weekend with a flurry of close-the-house projects, including putting the Spirit of Louise on her trailer and then taking the ship to Morgan Marine in Penn Yan for service and storage.
The Admiral took her first solo voyage on the boat, running her down the lake from the house to the Smith Park launch ramp where we slid the trailer in the water and voila (!) we were ready.
True to form, the Admiral used a steady, if heavy, hand on the throttle and beat me driving to the launch ramp in brother-in-law Dan's truck.
Spirit of Louise ready for the trip to storage.
That same night, we sojourned all the way up the hill from the main house for a cocktail party, open-house at the cabin, which our friend Brad has been fixing up all summer. The place looked great, the food and beverages were also very noteworthy and the strategically placed tiki torches filled with citronella kept all but the nastiest and largest of mosquitos from landing and biting.
For the record, I only got two mosquito bites that evening, waaaaay below average for me being outside at dusk.
Part of the evening's festivities included an hour's concert by Brad and cousin Brett Beardslee. The booming sound coming out of the amplifiers proved that the electricity service to the cabin can handle a pretty big load.
Brett and Brad jam for the relatives
And so it was with heavy hearts a couple of days later that we flew out of Syracuse, winging our way back to Sacramento for, gasp, the beginning of the fall semester and teaching.
But before we cleared the runway at JFK airport in New York, we got to witness a minidrama for about a half-hour, as a airliner about to land was waved off at the last minute, its landing gear not locked properly.
The runways were all cleared and many of the planes (including our Jet Blue airbus) were pinned to the spot while the plane circled a few times before attempting another landing.
The plane came down fine, but it increased the number of drinks I had on the flight from JFK to Sacramento exponentially. That's my story, anyway. And I have the empty little bottles to prove it.
Just before landing, I noticed on the tv screen (all Jet Blue flights have televisions in the seats) that there was a company contest for the best photo taken from a Jet Blue flight.
I doubt it's a winner, but here's my entry, which would win me a roundtrip flight anywhere Jet Blue flies.
Reno at night
NEXT: Back in the classroom and back in the smog