“Stay away from the edge!”


Chris starts up the mountain

This all happened yesterday.  Christopher and I climbed a mountain in the afternoon.  (OK, a “Michigan Mountain”…what people in other states might call a “tall hill” or a “foothill”.  We in Michigan live in such flat country that any tall hill is deemed a mountain.)

Do any of you feel like yesterday is a past life?  A memory of something long ago?  Something so long ago that sometimes you can barely recall?

Alas.  That’s how I often feel.  The moment so often seems the only reality, the only truth.  Yesterday feels like a hundred years ago, a dim past life, a dream.

In yesterday’s dream, Christopher and I climbed a mountain.

Shadow on rock

A mountain we climbed many times during his childhood.  This mountain is filled with childhood memories for him.  He pointed out crevices in rocks where he huddled with childhood friends.  We spoke of those long-ago days when we trekked up the slope of Baldy, making our way up through the trees onto the granite outcrops.

Oh how long ago that was.  I do remember worrying that the children would careen to their death down the rock slopes.  I remember fussing, “Stay away from the edge!”  Now this very same son skis down Californian mountain slopes which make this mountain look like a lump of putty. He backpacks up mountains which make this mountain look like a  beginner hill.  I am probably happy not to know about the mountains he has climbed.   This one is challenging enough.

Tiny purple harebell

I was sweating and out of breath ten minutes into our climb. 

“So, Chris!” I called up ahead, panting, “Are you–like–breathing heavy?  At all?”

“I’m breathing,” he said.

Mama narrowed her eyes at his back and panted some more. 

But soon we crested in a more open rocky face.  Ahhh….wind.  Ahhhh….breeze.  Hi there vultures!  Will you come closer for a photo shoot?  Please?  No?  C’mon, show us your fabulous wings.  Let us pretend we can drift on the currents, suspended above this beautiful land!

Claw of a tree branch

Christopher liked the view.  He tried to explain that this Michigan view actually seemed impressive because the surrounding land is so flat. 

Chris surveys the vista

Once you reach the top of the mountain, you can view incredible vistas in 360 degree view.  To the north and west stretches the lake.  Beautiful blue Lake Superior with the Huron and Keweenaw Bays and beyond.  The Huron Mountains stretch out below.

We climbed higher.  I was glad that Chris brought bottles of water.  We sipped thirstily.  The sun beat down.  We trekked toward the very top.

Looking up at a burned tree stump on the top of the mountain

And then we found–

And then we found–

Never mind.

I’m not going to tell you until tomorrow what we found on the top of the mountain.  It’s a post onto itself.  You may have three guesses.  That’s all.  Three guesses.

Top of the mountain, overlooking the Huron Islands

Speaking of tomorrow–which, as we all know is a future life–further than the top of any mountain–we have to be at the airport by 5:30 a.m.  Christopher’s plane is winging back toward San Diego.  We have to arise by 4 a.m. (oh my, that’s  about eight hours away!) and drive up to the Hancock airport.

After he leaves, I aim to settle down in a coffee shop with a hazelnut skim milk latte and my laptop, Ms. Ellie.  There are also lots of other errands to do.  Recycling.  Buying shorts for yoga.  Shopping at the co-op.  You know.  The usual things you do when you visit the Big City. 

It has been a wonderful almost-ten day visit with our son.  What a gift–to spend these days with him.  And mama got to climb a mountain with her son!  A blessing, indeed.

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
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33 Responses to “Stay away from the edge!”

  1. holessence says:

    Kathy – “Shadows on rock” looks like you made your own petrified leaves — way cool!

    My three guesses:
    1 – a bird’s nest
    2 – a genie-type bottle like you found before in a different location
    3 – something to do with paper (maybe a piece of trash, a note, or a receipt)

    By Christopher, I’m so glad you came home for a lovely visit. Have a safe journey back to California.

    • Kathy says:

      Thanks, Laurie! I will tell him your well wishes when he comes inside after helping Barry build the garage addition. I can’t tell you what the “right” answer is about our mountain-top find. but I do love your guesses! Glad you like the shadows, too. Did you notice I was experimenting with smaller photos tonight? Can’t decide if I like them or not… You have a good night!

  2. Dawn says:

    You are blessed…what a lovely visit from your son. Both of you will remember that special mom/son time forever.

    My guesses:

    1. blueberries
    2. A tree with a bald eagle’s nest?
    3. A beautiful rock with your son’s initials on it, initials put there 20 years ago

    • Kathy says:

      More excellent guesses! Wow! I wondered what anyone might guess would be discovered atop a mountain…you guys both have some great suggestions. It was a lovely mom/son time. I am so grateful. Truly…

  3. What a great way to spend time with your son. Very intimate.
    I was really into the story!

    1. A Bald Eagle
    2. A Barge on Lake Superior
    3. A restroom to take pictures….

    Extra Credit:
    4. A mountain lion
    5 A billy Goat
    6 An American flag

    and last but not least…a Caribou Coffee…..Yes Laurie I am delerious….no coffe for a month and a half….

    Go to bed early…..


    • Kathy says:

      You certainly DO have extra credit, Kim! Six guesses! As for Caribou Coffee, we don’t have any of that ’round here, but I’ve had some at the Minneapolis airport. Yum! I just went outside and told Chris, “Seven hours til you have to get up!” Don’t think that lad is going to get much sleep tonight.

  4. Susan D. says:

    The claw of the tree branch is my fave, along with all the shots of Chris. It seems as if the “boy” just arrived and here he is leaving. That feeling of “yesterday being a past life” resonates with me.

    Your adventures are so full of lovely surprises, I can only imagine what you and Chris found at the very top of the mountain. Perhaps a shoe. Or, a $100 bill. Or, a baby stream birthed by recent rains … Whatever, it will be magical, I know.

    Blessings for your early morning send off. Safe Journey, Kathy’s boy …

    • Kathy says:

      I liked that claw of a tree branch too, Susan. Found it lying up there and held it up toward the sky. It looked magical. Glad you can relate to yesterday as a past life. I can’t remember feeling that way when I was younger. These are such interesting amazing ideas of finds atop the mountain. What everyone has said! Thank you for the early morning blessings. Will wave on the way through Baraga.

  5. Carol says:

    No guesses, but I am waiting with baited breath! Both for what you found at the top of the mountain, and my kids and grandkids arrival next week. It is so wonderful to have time with them as adults.

    • Kathy says:

      Carol, you are waiting with baited breath! I surely hope I won’t disappoint you. But I can imagine your anticipation ofr your visit with the kids and grandkids. How exciting! You will surely have a magnficent time!

  6. Kiah says:

    Happy 50,000! o/

  7. barb says:

    There is something about hiking with a grown child – a reward of sorts for Mothering and fussing all those growing-up years to get them to where they are now – on top of a mountain! I think you saw a fawn or a treasure he hid as a child, or maybe a barge wending its way on the lake. Don’t oversleep!

    • Kathy says:

      G’morning, Barb! We didn’t oversleep. Heck, I don’t think either of us slept much at ALL. I remember looking at the clock so many times during the night. Feeling awful sleepy this morning in the coffee shop. Love your guesses!

  8. Colleen Lloyd says:

    Ah, those Mama-heartstrings! Always being tugged in so many directions. I used to (sometimes) feel such a sense of restlessness after our two guys would come home for a visit and then fly off to their very adult lives.
    I like the contrast of the large and smaller pictures used together. It’s interesting and invites one to look a little closer.
    My guesses are: a message in a bottle, an Inukshuk or a (Tibetan?) prayer flag (oops, two!) and a like-minded friend.
    Have a most wonderful day tomorrow and safe journeys to Chris.

    • Kathy says:

      Colleen, what is amazing me is the suggestion that there are SO MANY possibilities of what one might found atop the mountain. I would have never thought of this many possibilities! Am wondering if the restlessness will happen after this visit or not. Sometimes it comes; sometimes it doesn’t. Thank you for your safe journey wishes.

  9. patty sue says:

    A beautiful view? An eagle’s nest? Oh, I like the ‘message in a bottle’ … so perhaps some sort of message? Another wonderful blog my friend and it sure sounds like a great climb up that ‘hill’ … which looks mighty steep even in “Northwest-lots-of-REAL-mountains comparison! How wonderful to climb and share his memories and take it all in – through his eyes and yours!

    Glad you’ve had a wonderful visit with Chris and also wishing for a sweet farewell with him tomorrow.

    love ya,

    • Kathy says:

      Hi Patty Sue, oh it’s a delight to see you here this morning! Oh I am SURE your Northwest mountains are MUCH steeper. (I’ve driven through some of your mountains a few years ago. They are.) But it was a lovely visit was Chris. That’s for sure. thank you! Love ya too.

  10. I am singing “Anticipation” as I go to bed.
    So exciting to see where you were!
    Beautiful weather too!
    Hugs to the Mama and Papa.

    Love love love, S

    PS New Playdate posted on the Line. xo

    • Kathy says:

      Suzi I must have heard you singing last night! (I was awake then…kinda hard to go to sleep last night…) Mama and Papa appreciate the hugs. Will try to look up the Playdate when the eyes open wide enough to read. LOL!

  11. Karma says:

    Hey, I noticed – you skipped a day again! 😉

    Well someone took my guess for the top of the mountain – the fawn, curled up sleeping. I don’t think I can come up with any others that haven’t already been said. I’m thinking that since I am just reading this today (Friday) that I won’t have to wait too long to find out anyway, right?

    Looks like a wonderful hike! The view from the top is lovely; reminds me of Acadia National Park in Maine, atop Cadillac Mountain.

  12. Marianne says:

    Kathy, thank you for the lovely post. It brought tears to my eyes. Only having a son myself, I’m sentimental when it comes to moms and sons. I feel that my son is a gift and a blessing to me also. A teacher extraordinaire.

  13. Karla says:

    SURPRISE!! was your husband up there with a picnic basket lunch for you and your son??

    Oh, your day sounded and looked simply perfect. I’d love to climb a mountain one day…the “I”m breathing” response made me laugh out loud. Funny!

    • Kathy says:

      Karla, what a great idea! What a great idea!! However, I think it would have been a HUGE challenge for him to sneak up the mountain and surprise us, as there is only one spot to park cars. I will tell him you suggested it though. glad you thought the “I’m breathing” response was funny too!

  14. No guesses from me…I’ll wait until later. I would say just be thankful you still could go on this little nostalgic adventure with your son, Kathy. It was a lovely story of past, present and a hint of the future.

    Oh, okay, one guess….you found the top of the “mountain”. 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Hey there, Scott! How astute of you! We found the top of the mountain, we did, oh we did! And something else too. Something…no, I’m not telling. You’ll have to see what I just posted!

  15. absurdoldbird says:

    Lovely photos and post – I hope you found/find a pleasant-manned vegetarian vulture.
    Most of my yesterdays that feel like a past live belong in London where we used to live. Since being here in Wales, time has a different feeling to it altogether.

    • Kathy says:

      Ms Bird! We DID find at least six soaring swooping vultures atop the mountain. That wasn’t quite what I wanted to share–but they were wonderful to watch steering and soaring on the currents. They were incredible.

      Glad to know that you understand that yesteryear concept. That past life sensation… It feels very strange, indeed.

  16. Karma says:

    Wah! everyone got a comment reply but me, back there at the middle of the pile somewhere! 😉

    • Kathy says:

      Karma, oh shame on me! I get down on bended knees and beg forgiveness. I was doing this at the coffee shop–after getting up at 4 a.m.–but still that’s no excuse. Must train the eyes to be more alert! More presence-filled!

      Will truly scurry on to your blog IMMEDIATELY in hopes of your forgiveness!

      It would have been so lovely to see a fawn curled up. So lovely…. But the fawns are hopping & jumping & skipping like crazy now! They think they own the world!

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