Good afternoon all:

Weekly Wisdom from the Canadian North Woods:

“Tell the Mrs. that the road less traveled has really crappy shopping.” — a local everyman we’ll name Claire

New and old products do eventually make it up north to the Soo—but ever soo slowly. Except for my Tim Hortons coffee that is; first shop is just down the road from the border checkpoint.

An empty Cabin – A short visit home in the ‘Nati means that at the end of several hectic – but not to be changed – weeks, that the cabin is truly empty. For Marcia and I it also means that we are no longer eating form Strawberry Shortcakes or Winnie the Pooh paper plates. Actually, we probably will want to continue the paper plate thing since here at home we have a dishwasher and we probably should not overload it too much by using proper chinaware.

Ladies in the wilderness – Yup, buckskins are out, as are muck boots, bag balm for cattle, and pots of boiling canning supplies to make ready for winter. However, what is somewhat different from life in the city is the laundry. Oh sure, each is grateful to Dia for offering her newfangled washing and drying contraptions, but the Pastoor women felt they had to stay true to what the Northern Comfort cabin is all about. On various days Adrianne, Cathy, and Kirstin were seen sitting under a nearby conifer with knees locking in a soapy bucket while working the old scrub-board. Notice that one name is missing? Marcia was spotted slinking into the back door at Dia’s place with a seriously large load of dirty laundry. What’s more, as we eased back across the border into the USA, the bed of our little truck was packed tight with (what proved to be) eleven loads of laundry. This was the aftermath of numerous bed-linens and towels used during the previous weeks.

Quiet joys – One day the ladies made arrangements to have afternoon tea. None of you would expect the spectacular setting for teas and deserts found in the North woods. Located about 8 miles from the cabin is Art Tarts and Tea. It’s amazing the ‘jewels’ we find in the remoteness of the Penokean Hills surrounding the tiny farming community of Kynoch. The husband and wife who run Art Tarts and Tea having an herb and flower garden which will make anyone green (pun) with envy. Their cottage style log home is packed with art works and how often do you get tea served in your own moose decorated teapot. Little Dina even managed a proper pinky curl while sipping her tea—the pinkie opposite to the hand holding her cup.

Strawberry seasonis always a bit of a ‘to do,’ or should it be a “ta-dah!” Fields high with bright yellow milkweed hid the sought after fruit. The milkweed is encouraged as a natural way to manage the bug population. Additionally, it is the perfect plant for the Monarch butterfly to lay her eggs, and for the larvae and pupae to grow. How cool is that. Pick fresh, super sweet, berries surrounded by a world of butterflies. Not counting the pounds eaten ‘at the vine’ a basket containing 15 pounds of berries was brought to the cabin and placed on the kitchen counter. Breakfast was never the same again, as were the smoothies and deserts. Now bags of frozen berries add color to the freezer compartment. Little Vai never stopped picking and eating—not one of her picked berries made it into the basket — exactly the way it should be.

Animal Planet – During our last days before heading home saw a Bald eagle lazily circling and swooping over the cove. Later we saw several large Turkey Vultures circling in the same area. Jason and I took note of a Cedar Waxwing sitting in a tree next to where we sat. The Blue Heron flew by on a daily basis. Then I took a photo of a bug I cannot identify—any ideas? And finally, the neighborhood’s resident Chipmunk has come back from vacation.

Just before leaving we topped off the Hummingbird feeder. As Dana Carvey’s Church Lady character would say on Saturday Night Live,  “.”

Make it a great week everyone.

Cheers,

Dirk

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