Good morning all:

Weekly Wisdom from deep within the north woods:

“If you don’t change your direction when hiking in the forest you’re likely to end up where you’re headed.”—from our north woods everyman we’ll call Claire

Way on the eastern horizon a cloud bank is slowly turning a purplish orange. A light breeze is causing the boat to creak against the dock and small waves to hit the rocks on the shore. A few songbirds are practicing their morning voices. Nearby, in the cove, a Loon is yodeling. For the rest, all is quiet on the lake. I think I’ll hold off perking the morning coffee for a bit—don’t want to disturb the peace.

But, only for a bit mind you; can’t wait too long.

Coming and Going – The long wait for summer is over. Summer is now racing along, wanting to get on with it I suspect. Up here, the ‘heat’ of summer refers to the level of activity. Although, we are told to expect a bit of the same temperature spike many have been experiencing over the coming few days. We’ll see.

Mid week Kirstin, Vince, and the boys left for home – only to then immediately start getting ready to move from Florida to Texas. Derek and Kellen have entered the rambunctious years; no longer the “little sheep that follow” kids of just a year ago. This did cause the ‘camp director’ to take a necessary break here and there.

The last thing they did was climb nearby “Rock Candy” mountain. We climbed the day prior to leaving and I believe Vince and Kirstin planned it so that the boy’s newly tapped energy reserves would be set on ‘charge’ for the trip home.

Derek has totally mastered the fine art of kayaking. At some point we’ll have to get a whitewater model with waterproof skirt in order for him to start practicing rolls. Although, having said that, there was an instance where dad Vince ended up towing him back when they explored out a bit further—eight year-old arms can only carry you so far.

Their leaving created a void. Even though the resultant camp atmosphere is noticeably quieter the resultant peace has a downside. I do already miss the little guys.

I had thought that the departure would have had more impact on nearly 3-year old Vai. She talks about her cousins, but has quickly shifted to imaginary play. Last evening it was a craft-project squirrel and owl which went flying off to go to the library; “flap, flap, flap” we could hear her little high-pitched voice, “I can fly you to the library, hop on my back.” And with squirrel on the back of the little owl, on outstretched little arms, they flew through the air amidst much giggling by Vai. They were; “high in the ‘ky’.”

Massive arms and shoulders – Every spring the melting snow pack runs down the hill and causes ponds to form underneath the cabin. The winter frost heave then causes shifting to occur. This year’s major fix is to install a “French Drain” around the affected areas.

Let’s just say that were it not for Tevita’s massive arms the French Drain would still be just a dream. He’s dug a ditch (moat) around half of the cabin – 3 feet deep. We’re now waiting for the 10 yards of stones which are on order. The drain pipe and its sock are already here. That final effort should be the easier part of the project.

After it’s all done I plan to put a gutter along the back of the cabin and have the downspout directly connected to the drain pipe which will have a direct path into the lake. It should make a noticeable difference next spring.

The term, “French Drain” must be peculiar to the USA and is foreign to Canadians, they just think I am talking about Quebec.

Animal Planet – Donn and Marlene have got a Raccoon around their place. Just having a Raccoon wander about at night is to be expected. Having the critter make nightly deposits in front of the cabin door is less tolerable.

Unlike my solution, theirs was to use a live trap. Night two or three proved to be successful, and they drove the not-so-little fellow up north a ways. The locals say the he’ll be back in a day or two. Yesterday morning they had a welcome packet by their cabin.

It was Vaioleti who told us that there was “a doggy outside.” As expected, she’s just a kid and therefore there was a bit of poo-pooing. Finally someone did spot the “doggy.” Everyone raced to windows and created a bit of a reverse world with us in the ‘cage’ and the creatures outside as we realized that the ‘doggy’ was in fact a beautiful fox.

Mr. or Ms. Fox was quite pleased to get all the attention and hung around for several minutes. Now we have a great little film clip and a series of photos of one very pretty little animal.

Vai has also learned to sit up, clap her hands together and yell; “got him,” whenever she hears a ‘moqito” buzzing around her head.

Closing – Last night’s dinner with all the family members at the lake was one for the books. Flank steak, wild salmon fillet, and chicken with Banana bars for desert made for a stunning meal. Thanks much for hosting Donn and Marlene.

Make it a great week everyone

Cheers,
Dirk

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