Food, Travel, United States Travel

Pancakes at Clinton Lake, Illinois


As summer winds down and I settle in to my new home and work routine, I’m trying to take quiet moments for simple pleasures where I can find them. I love being outside in nature, especially by the water (how I miss Lake Champlain in Vermont!), so when my aunt invited L’Husband et moi to join them for breakfast in the Illinois state park at Clinton Lake, I jumped at the chance.

Though the middle of August, we lucked out with a cool, clear morning. The water sparkled, the Canadian geese (aka “the honkers”) dabbled in the gently rippling waves, and I indulged in a plate of tremendous pancakes. After almost eighteen months, tasting authentic, diner-style food from the park restaurant by the water warmed my heart and tickled my taste buds. C’est délicieux!

Let’s be real: Our country and our world are in crisis, and I’m feeling crushed by the news and the weight of worrying about the pandemic, climate change, politics, and social justice at home and abroad, to name a few (le sigh). Pancakes and lakes are not the most important things I should be thinking about right now.

But I still need them to stay sane and function and find a small sense of comfort and normalcy as we march forward against the onslaught of anti-vaxxers, anti-maskers, climate deniers, and hypocritical legislators (le sigh encore). The nostalgic taste of pancakes and smell of the lake reminded me it’s okay to take a break and take care of myself.

Taking time to reflect and relax helps me channel joy into everyday life, which is a work in progress and the inspiration for this blog. The French have their pleasure principle, and Katie has her joy principle: to take time for little moments of fun and frivolity, to be mindful of my movements and choices à la maison and au travail, and to create meaning in everyday life. That’s what joie de vivre is all about!

What do you like to do to relax and recharge?

Merci for reading and please subscribe and share!

À votre santé,


2 thoughts on “Pancakes at Clinton Lake, Illinois”

  1. Reading a book, doing a cycling tour or a bit of hiking, enjoying dinners with hubby / friends, making cards, doing jigsaw puzzles. I like a lot of things, and all of the above help me in staying sane as you call it.
    And Katie, there is a lot going on in your country, in my country and in the world. And many of these things we have no influence over. So no need to feel gulty about eating pancakes at the lake (I’m a bit jealous … ;)).
    You have to take care of yourself before you can take care of others.

    Liked by 1 person


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