Fall arrives this week. I don't really quite know how that happened. Just a couple of weeks ago I was raking leaves and welcoming this season's first guests, and now Hay Lake Lodge is only 4 weeks from closing.
There is still plenty to do and many guests to welcome; fall colours will reach their peak in the next 14 days. Autumn morning mists on the lake will signal crystal clear blue skies and golden evening sun.
Nonetheless, we're definitely on the homestretch of our 33rd season at Hay Lake Lodge and Cottages. It's a natural time to reflect, to savour highlights - of this season and years past.
Which got me to thinking this evening - what is it I remember?
Sometimes it's a particular guest or group. It's the couple who booked at the last minute by chance with whom you find yourself surprisingly quickly in warm and open conversation. It's the family from Italy greeting their breakfast delivery with smiling Bon Giourno's or the people from the Netherlands who gave a hostess gift as they left.
So particular incidents and people are remembered. Sometimes it's a feeling - the breathless pace this past June and July with so many one night stays, trying to get on top of things. The satisfaction in having a full house. The pleasure in being told how clean the cabins are.
But underlying every guest, event and emotion is Hay Lake itself. The view off the deck. The mornings in the kayak. Hiking our trail or simply walking the cottage road. Sunsets and storms, birches and pines, wind and waves. This place is what I remember. Ever changing, always constant. Hay Lake is the bedrock of our life here. And that I could never forget.