Those adjectives perfectly describe my morning yesterday. I drove down to Maribel to meet Lala and hike the trails at Cherney Maribel Caves County Park. We met at 10 AM, arriving simultaneously by chance, and set off, after I sprayed myself liberally with Deep Woods Off!, my new favorite perfume. It promised to be hot and humid and didn't disappoint but we kept moving and talking and it was fine. The previous night's rain made the trail muddy and slick in places but we were careful and just enjoyed the place. Lots of ferns and rocks and tiny springs or streams that crossed the trails, and tree parts that looked like animals. The caves are mostly just narrow fissures and the ones that do have space for exploring are gated shut and locked tight (whew!), they're only opened by the pros who lead tours a couple times a week, not that I'd ever be so foolhardy as to go into a dark, dank hole in the ground, no sir, not this chicken. *bok, bok* There aren't many signs telling you how to get back to the parking lot so we hiked a lot further along the river trail until we realized that we had gone quite a bit longer that way so we turned around, found a spot on the riverbank to sit on mossy tree roots to have our snack (lemonade and scones), talk a bit, and sit enjoying the quiet and the sweet smell of summer. It was hot and humid, yes, and mosquitoes whined around our ears, yes, but it was a great escape to be sweaty and muddy and away from the everyday in a new place for a couple hours. At the north end of the park, on private property sits the ruins of the Maribel Caves Hotel, aka Hotel Hell, which is the subject of many lurid tales of fire and Al Capone and bones and ghosts, none of them true (they say). In the bright light of day the place looks benign but I'm sure it looks like everybody's nightmare on a dark and stormy night. The property's bordered by a split rail fence posted "no trespassing" every few feet so you can't get close to it but it's fun to see. After a couple hours or so we drove back to GB where I turned off toward home and Lala continued on to Waupaca to Judy Rebird's for an overnight in her writing shed. I imagined that I'd come home and mow the lawn. I didn't. The temperature soared through the afternoon and I'll admit that I was dead tired so I talked on the phone to DD and CH, finished crocheting a dishcloth, and
I thought I'd share the recipe for Three-Citrus Lemonade with you. It was in the latest issue of Our Wisconsin magazine and was an excellent thirst quencher on yesterday's hike.
1 ½ pints water
1 cup sugar
Squeeze juice from 4 of the lemons, limes, and oranges; pour into 2 quart pitcher. Add sugar to juices; stir to combine until sugar is dissolved; add water. Taste and add more fruit juice or slice the remaining fruit for garnish. Serve immediately or refrigerate. 6-8 servings.
The original recipe called for twice the sugar and twice the water but when I used half of everything it tasted like sweet citrus water to us so I ramped up the juice and it was absolutely perfect for a hot summer day. Enjoy!
June 24--Turkmenistan, Coat. That red coat meant the world to Lissy. She'd bought it with her first paycheck when she'd started working after graduation. It was a rich red wool with silk embroidery on the cuffs and over the shoulders, and now it was covered with blood, Dale's blood. She lay on the lobby floor with the smell of gunpowder souring the air, broken glass glittering like diamonds on the marble floor, and Dale bleeding there beside her. Was she bleeding too? She didn't know. She lay there, her eyes locked on Dale's as she watched the light fade from his dark brown eyes. She felt his last breath ruffle her hair and all sound came rushing back. She heard the shouts of people on their cellphones on every side of the huge space; their voices echoed and jangled. Out on the street were car horns and sirens, but in her quiet space there in the cooling pool of her husband's blood her heartbeat was the only sound.