Good morning all:

Weekly wisdom from deep within the north woods:

“Man who pushes piano down mine shaft get tone of A flat miner.” ~ from our north woods everyman we’ll call Claire

Sitting around with a few buddies and even more ‘longnecks’ had Claire come up with this “Confucius say” groaner. For those who didn’t know, the nearby town of Elliot Lake was the site of early Uranium mining efforts.

The breezy overcast cool mornings here at our north woods cabin, makes me appreciate my steaming mug of java even more. Wait, the sun just poked on through. But, in fact, the last week’s long days packing and driving, major temperature swings, an array of cabin opening chores, has it so that my throat is a bit raspy. Yes, I have a cold.

The reality is that I am writing this on Friday morning. The satellite connection Paul so kindly lets me tap into is out of order. The backup solution is being worked on at full speed. ‘Full speed’, in the style of the north woods –means that it will, most likely be, at least until next Friday before WiFi is available. This means that this afternoon we’ll make the long trek to town and upload at the library. I also have to send some work related mail; so please no swollen heads with expressions of; “oh I’m so inportant, he’s driving all that way just for little me.”

Setting up – Opening the cabin is a process that is always different. This year getting the water system up and running was a challenge. From getting the pump primed and water running, to absolutely nothing, we had it all. The ice has left the lake, but it’s still cold-ish getting the line placed. Donn came over and scratched his engineer’s head. We started again from scratch – meaning a second trip into the lake. Anyway, we now have water.

Meanwhile Marcia cleaned out all the cabinetry and started stowing bag after bag of canned goods and boxed of food stuffs. After all of that it was cleaning one room at a time. Under the bunk beds in the small bedroom was a 24-pack of toilet paper. Somehow, some mice discovered it before she did. Let’s just say that mice love toilet paper more than humans. That pack looked much like the way a Rock band leaves a hotel room. it was also a hint that our well sealed little abode was not as well sealed as we thought. Last night I set some traps.

It was well after eleven when Marcia woke me up. “Dirk, get rid of that mouse, it’s got Vinnie (our heroic ‘mouser’ cat) scared to death,” was her cryptic command. Marcia, wide awake with the cat standing tippy-toe on her head, was less than pleased with the accomplishment of my successful trap placement. Turns out the little mouse got a foot stuck in the trap and dragged the whole contraption right underneath Marcia’s side of the bed—probably just looking for assistance. The mouse quickly took a little trip outside.

Birthday gift – The truck was half empty before I saw some aluminum frame and bright cedar planking poking out from alongside the cabin. Turns out that this winter Marcia started plotting to have a new dock built as a birthday gift for me—and it’s gorgeous! Somehow all the planning and plotting came together because I was absolutely oblivious. Did I say it’s stunning?

The reality is that our current dock is in two bulky wooden sections. Due to winter ice both sections have to be pulled and in spring reinserted; conceptually, quite workable. Workable, that is, until you realize that each section weighs over 300 pounds of dead weight. I had played around looking for ways to ease the pain of placing the thing, pulling it out was not bad since a line to the ATV made short work of that bit. The new dock will be hinged on a concrete pad and come winter all that has to happen is the planking needs be removed and stored and then the whole frame is winched up until its clear of the lake and ice. It’s beautiful!

Car port – One of the tasks accomplished yesterday was the putting together a portable car port for our little Deux Chevoux – 2CV. It towed up beautifully, but now here, I refused to have it buried under tarps for any nasty weather – tarps damage the paint.

With a beginning cold I did manage to get the whole thing assembled. Marcia helped hold the roofing material wile I squared it on the frame. I think it’ll do the job just fine.

Once done it was just about time to drive to the south end of the lake for Happy Hour with Donn and Marlene. We proudly drove the car out from under its shelter and headed off. About halfway down it began pouring rain – raining only on the south end of the lake. Arggh!

Animal Planet – The Loons greeted us loudly when we arrived around dusk Tuesday evening. They serenaded us till well after 10 pm.

Last year we had an Eastern Phoebe nest in the rafters under the little roof jutting out by our kitchen door. Wednesday evening I took a quick peek. Sure enough, she’s back and has already claimed her spot.

Make it a great week everyone; hope your horse wins the Derby. So, what’s it gonna be for you this Saturday; Mint Juleps or Margaritas?

3 Responses to “A Cold in the North”
  1. Pieter pastoor Says:

    Nice to hear that your in the north woods safe and sound – enjoy

  2. Pieter Says:

    I know you are having internet problems – so I will keep you informed as to what is going on in the USA. I all try to pick important items to you.
    So – for now – don’t worry Rush is still on the air

  3. Pieter Says:

    Your comment section on your previous post is closed

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