From (back in) the North Woods, Good morning all:

Wisdom Of The Week:

“To dare is to lose one’s footing momentarily. To not dare is to lose oneself” — Soren Kierkegaard

I am in love with life; especially so with the quiet of the morning. Hello from the north woods where a light breeze, an orange morning sky, our cove’s two loons with their two chicks paddling by, are all eagerly anticipating the sun to pop over the tree-line. It just doesn’t get any better. Too bad Pieter and Jeanne, and Marcia are still asleep ‘cause they are missing the best. Oh well, I’ll just share with our resident mouse in between sips of my fresh mug of coffee.

Did I say the summer has finally arrived? Maybe that is a good chunk of my “joie de vivre”. The other being that Jeanne and Pieter arrived mid week and it’s been non-stop since.

We have finally met most of our immediate cabin neighbors, and what better way than to be invited to the evening campfire. Again we hit the jackpot as we met some delightful folk. You’ll have to agree that things ‘click’ when quickly we were in the thick of a discussion on man-breasts. Belly’s sore from laughter Marcia and I finally waddled home.

The following evening at the campfire one retired gentleman was asked to share one of his more harrowing stories from the days when he was the helmsman on the Great Lakes iron ore freighters. The one that stands out is while turning into Thunder Bay an unexpected storm hit his ship broadside. For a bit he thought he’d lost the ship and that it would turn over. Upon docking it was discovered that several of the metal deck covers had blown away – they had 8-feet of water in their front hold.

Having been a tour guide in my former life I sprung into action when P & J drove up. I had a complete two page listing of the “must do” events (for day one). About this point Marcia got a case of apoplexy and in clear terms advised me to “get a life.”

What has now happened is that in the morning we are facing the day with a Seinfeldesque events list of doing nothing. Crashing at night we can’t get over how busy we’ve been. I should point out that my 40-year old folding kayak is performing as hoped for. With the morning lake being like glass we’ve done some stunning two-person paddling exploring the shore line. Finally I have a few nice photographs to send on Hal, the 87 year old gentleman I bought my kayak project from—I think he’ll be pleased with the results of the rebirth of his ‘baby’.

Finally I can write about a cabin tradition. This year, again, Daniel (husband of my niece Jacquie) brought his telescope to the north-woods. No ordinary telescope, this one comes complete with electronic tracking, a remote, and a drawer full of eye pieces. Again we took our trek into the woods to a bare stone outcropping—the “Observatory”. Most took their quads to make it to that outpost. I loaded up the little ranger (including two passengers in the pick-up’s bed), threw it into four-wheel drive, and just barely made it.

What is amazing is that each year the sky watching is so different. While last year we had no moon and our Milky Way was a large ribbon of stars, galaxies, and planets, this year we had a full moon along with a very clear sky. Imagine looking at a faint and very distant galaxy while hearing a moose calling somewhere in the distance.

With Pieter and Jeanne we are having an amazing time; the paddling, the exploration on the quad, the quiet talks, the evening Happy Hour on the pontoon, and an evening campfire (which just lit up into flame as I am writing this). And I haven’t even mentioned our hike through the woods to reach the top of our lake’s signature spot the 300’ high cliff of Rock Candy Mountain. A little later this morning we’re off to ‘civilization’ and a nearby estate auction.

Even without any ‘list’ I have been able to make it a great week. I trust you’ll do likewise.



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