Sunrise Ducks I’ve been plugging away at everything and nothing lately, but it’s time for a midsummer update of a few of the things that have been in the miscellany queue recently. I mentioned on Saturday that I had been blogging “in absentia,” which means that the blog was being updated automatically with prescheduled posts. At the time we were visiting with friends at their lakeside retreat (more of a camp or “complex” than a cottage, the sort of place which has “grounds” instead of a yard or lot). It was wonderful and restful, as usual, and I even found a few hours to inject into a fledgling novel manuscript that I haven’t touched for almost a year. The image of the duck and ducklings is a reward for being awake at 5:00AM when I snapped it and a few other pics before reading for a while, grabbing a cup of coffee, and eventually going back to bed. The pace of leisure.

Reading material lately has included Tuned In: Uncover the Extraordinary Opportunities That Lead to Business Breakthroughs, for which I received a nod, a thanks, and a link in the book. Other than that, I’ve been catching up with Dirk Pitt, which is appropriate summer reading for the deck at the lake. Or anywhere else at the lake, for that matter.

Drum Instruction One of the 16 people at the lake had dragged one of these fancy-fangled video games along. Now, I’ve seen the “Guitar Hero” game, and I can only say that the “Rock Star” game is like Guitar Hero on steroids. Oh, yeah. They even had me on the drums for a bit. I’m not musical… pictured here is Caleb Friesen of the folk duo Jacob & Lily giving my eldest daughter some pointers on the drums. The Jacob & Lily express dropped by for the night en route back to Winnipeg from Sioux Ste. Marie. After several rounds of “Rock Band” and having already played to a crowd of 14,400 at the Winnipeg Folk Festival this year, they agreed to a brief three-song set for our little gang. Seriously, the tune-age is worth looking into… in addition to what’s listed on their site, Karla Adolphe (the other/vocal half of the duo) Jacob and Lily has a solo album with the Worship Circle folks. You might recall Karla from the “35 Under 35” thing from a year or so back. I know her in-laws and I know Caleb’s parents, so apart from feeling old, I’m still a fan of Karla’s lyrics and vocal — the sounds that Caleb gets out of his percussion is astounding — the wooden box he’s sitting on is actually a percussion instrument that produces a somewhat astonishing variety of tones.

As long as I’m in a picture-posting frame of mind, I haven’t yet posted anything from our trip through Florida and Mississippi this spring, so here are a couple for you, starting with a couple of snaps at sunrise on Ormond Beach (north end of Daytona Beach). You can sleep in until 6:00 there and still catch the sunrise at low tide.
Sunrise Sailboat off Ormond Beach
Seashell, Ormond Beach

The Crossroads Of course there was also the tour through the Delta… and the obligatory visit to the famous “Crossroads” at the corner of highways 10 and 61. The actual crossroads aren’t known, but this sign was erected with some amount of commercial interest at heart, I’m sure. The “real” crossroads of Robert Johnson soul-selling fame — if it exists at all — is actually a graveyard… but how I found that spot is a whole ‘nuther story for a different time. For now, we skip along to Dockery Farms, the birthplace of the blues.

Birthplace of the Blues

And of course, no visit to the Delta is complete for a Blues fan without a couple of notable sites… Charley Patton’s gravestone had coins scattered about on top of it, so my youngest daughter and I left a couple as well. It seemed the thing to do… B.B. King used Charley Patton's Grave to play requests for a dime on a street corner in Indianola, so we figured Charley would appreciate the gesture. The stone reads, “Charley Patton, April 1891 — April 28, 1934 ‘The Voice of the Delta’ The foremost performer of early Mississippi blues whose songs became cornerstones of American music.” Johnson’s stone (this is the most likely of his three claimed grave sites) reads, “Robert L. Johnson, May 8, 1911 — August 16, 1938 — musician & composer — he influenced millions beyond his time” Robert Johnson's Grave (Probably) what follows is a hand-scrawled message that Johnson had written in his final days, and then the legible version: “Jesus of Nazareth, King of Jerusalem. I know that my Redeemer liveth and that He will call me from the Grave.” Doesn’t sound like a guy who sold his soul to the devil, but it’s all part off the Robert Johnson mystery.

Anyway, hope y’all enjoyed the little pictographic ramble. For a number of years, I had forgotten how much I enjoyed taking photographs.

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