Greetings on this Saturday morning to everyone. My morning coffee has been made (using the clear waters from the nearby natural spring). It’s the first tangible ‘wow’ thing we noticed after heading north.

The other was running into my ‘ole fren’ Claire who laughed at my accent and straightened me out, eh. Not just accent mind you, but Canadian pride – so these are some Canadian inventions;

”ski-doos, jet-skis, velcro, zippers, insulin, penicillin, zambonis, the telephone, short wave radios, robertson screws (square hole)” ~ are a few of the tid-bits rambled off by Claire which stuck with me (oh. And I forgot to add Tim Hortons “bits”)

Ok. That’s all for the opening; A to Z (for the summer it’ll be; A to ‘Zed’)

Java Joe’s – Marcia and I, after almost a decade, figured out that making the trip north is so much better when we do it in two days.  It has us arriving at Northern Comfort refreshed and mid-day – leaving all sorts of energy and daylight to unpack, un-shutter, air the place, and (this is critical) get the water running.

Perfectly located in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, in the little burg of Saint Ignace, is the Driftwood Inn where a clean bed, warm shower, steaming hot fresh Whitefish and a cold beer awaits.

It was Nick and Donn who steered us to a tiny little morning place called Java Joe’s a few short blocks up from the Driftwood. This year we tried it out. What a spectacular find. And as luck would have it Joe was already there holding court as if he was waiting for us.

Well, Joe (who out talks me) quickly discovered that we were from the ‘Nati. “Me too” he said, “well actually from Newport, KY” (across the River from downtown). So there begun the old stories from back home – along with a solid slice of Goetta (brought fresh from Cincinnati and an actual item on the menu).

Turns out that he had a business on Newport’s Main Street next to a Strip Bar. Actually in the day a Mayor going by the name of Jimmy TV Paluso ran the town and that particular section of Main Street had 8 strip joints (only the Brass Ass remains). Next thing you know, over a great breakfast and perfectly made Java, we’re exchanging ‘strip-club’ stories. Even Marcia joined in.

I’m almost ready to make a weekly early morning dive across the border for another session at Java Joe’s.


Opening Up – Five complete days here. We’ve been working hard, have done a whole bunch, and it seems like we’ve hardly begun!

Our screened in porch looked like there had been a paint-ball fight with white splatters everywhere. When we found the dead little Wrens (four of them) and I discovered a tiny little opening above the screen door that we put two and two together. It’s cleaned up.

We’re in the midst of ‘Frost Heave’. The doors were seized shut and I had to crawl through the Pump Room window. Already the kitchen door operates as it should. The Patio doors are still an issue.

Water line was put into the lake and within fifteen minutes we had running water – that was Tuesday. Wednesday Marcia started yelling – the hot water line in the bathroom had burst.   Water was turned off and it was off to the hardware store for components. That fix mostly worked except for the quart-plus still dripping every hour! Thursday morning King Plumbing was on site.

In the meantime I had gone off for a ‘quick’ run back across the border to pick up our new (previously ordered) Refrigerator. These runs are always coupled with a stop here and a stop there and with travel become a six to seven hour event.

Friday, applying technique learned from the Egyptians, Marcia and I got our new 18-cubic foot frig into the place and the old one loaded on the truck ready to head to the dump later today.

But wait, there’s more – Plenty of time left in the day to get the dock lowered. That process worked seamlessly. Then came the task of placing the decking (I needed the decking’s winter storage area to place the shutters and the pontoon’s winter tent). It also meant I had to remove the 17’ canoe to get at the decking. I noted that Marcia was busy planting her garden so thought; “how difficult can moving a canoe be?”

Everything went hunkey-dory until a gunnel rail I thought I was already holding up slipped of a ledge. The result being that the dropping canoe’s gunnel peeled an inch and a half strip of skin off my arm; much like a potato peeler.

Luckily Marcia found a large gauze ‘sponge’ pad in our first aid kit – now held firmly in place with some duct tape. Bottom line, the decking is in place. I realized that what I deserved was a pre-dinner drink and cigar outside in the sun and breeze (Maria called it a wind) while sitting on the dock – how good can it get!

Oh, and the garden too looks great, especially the rhubarb.

Today: I’ll remove a tree that had fallen during a winter storm so that I can use the back drive. Once that’s done the Pontoon can be pulled out. That will allow me to place the canopy which will allow for Our Duck to be pulled out of storage. I call it the North’s ‘Circle of Life’.

Finis – Back in Cincy last Saturday our whole gang joined up for a Mother’s Day Brunch at a lovely new find called the Sleepy Bee. How pre-teens can get through a stack of three large pancakes topped with whipped cream and nuts is beyond me.

Kirstin sent us a photo of Derek taken just prior to one of his (many) band concerts. I now call him “Mr. GQ”. It’s amazing; I saw the photo and had a flashback to when I first saw him in Kirstin’s arms at the airport and then me holding this wonderful sleeping little bundle. Yes, time does fly!

Make it a great week everybody. Keep all those affected by the awful and warped actions in Texas in your prayers.


Comments are closed.