Happy Tuesday all:

Weekly quote:

“You can tell that winter is over when its really over.”  ~ From our north woods everyman, Claire

It’s Tuesday morning and as I am enjoying my morning coffee I cannot but help thinking of the grief-stricken people of Oklahoma. Please keep those families in your prayers as they wind their own paths through the grieving and rebuilding process. Remember them as in minutes life as they knew it turned upside down.

Skidding – Exactly a week ago Marcia and I left the ‘Nati and began skidding north; through towns, through counties, states and finally into the next country – Canada. All in our trek to reach Northern Comfort!

Our Duck (the little Deux Chevaux) dutifully followed our every twist and turn securely tied to the reliable Dolly trailer. The F150 eased its heavy load up every hill with ease. In fact it also guided that same load down the hills without any effort whatsoever.

One sit-down stop for lunch at a local ma-and-pa Detroit Style Coney establishment, plus a refueling at the border got us to Northern Comfort in 13 hours from our 3:30 AM start.

Crossing the border two days after us Donn and Marlene got grilled by a cadre of crossing officials; got any root crops, how about potatoes, got more than four kilograms of dog food, got the dog’s rabies certificate, got any fertilizer, got weapons? On and on the questioning continued. Our crossing? “Hello, do you have any weapons with you; no?” “How about mace or bear spray; no?” “Is that little car coming back out with you; yes?” “You two have a great stay!”

Northern, but no Comfort – It was a cold day when we arrived. Although the ice was off the lake, here and there we spotted remaining a small patch of snow.

We unloaded and took care of a series of necessities such as placing the meats in the freezer. While Marcia packed the food stuffs I kept unloading our supplies and took the Duck off its trailer and secured it under cover. Finally we had dinner and by nine o’clock managed to crawl into bed. We quickly discovered that the space heaters were incapable of pulling the cold out of the walls and the floor—one more woolen blanket was added.

By morning our bedding told the story – overnight a major battle had been fought. I faintly remembered Marcia moaning; “oh Jesus, oh Jesus.” Let me express that her exclamations were not aimed at me. Over coffee we compared notes, most revolving around how many muscle cramps we’d each had—Marcia had a really bad one (hence her “Jesus” comment) and I had had five smaller events.

Northern, but no Comfort (part deux) – After breakfast we noticed that the temperature was warming and the sun had come out. It was a good time to head into the lake and place the water-line. Soon it was time to prime the pump. Minutes later I head running water: all over the bathroom and kitchen floors.

The leak in the kitchen was easily dealt with. Its amazing what even a properly secured cabin can experience when the temperature drops to minus twenty. It was the bathroom leak that required a little more work. Once I had completely removed the shower stall recoupling one of the “popped” water lines was not too difficult.

Four hours of pump priming and running bucket load after bucket load of water from the lake proved unsuccessful. That is when Donn volunteered to come over with a portable sump pump to explore the one remaining unchecked item; the water line itself (the little cover I had ‘secured’ over the intake had disappeared in some winter storm). The amount of unrecognizable clumps and silt that popped loose was extraordinary. Back to priming.

Now we (Donn was still here) noticed that a heavy duty metal ‘T’ joint had cracked. Without a replacement to be found it was a 45 minute trip back to town and the hardware store. Two hours later I was wrapping Teflon tape and re-assembling fixtures.

About the time that a sorely taxed Marcia exclaimed; “we are one step removed from camping out” (in desperation she’d made use of a nearby outhouse) I finally got running hot and cold water—four days after we got here!

Sunday – all the little ‘extras’ experienced opening the cabin were quickly disappearing into the fogs of history. We were so ready for the hubble-bubble of everyday life in the north woods to kick in, and it did. The dock was in the water. The old Hemlock tree next to the cabin, downed by remnants of hurricane Sandy, had been sawn up, stacked, the stump pulled and removed. We’d even showered – in hot water. That evening, with a warm setting sun and no wind we made a campfire, poured a drink, and I had a cigar. We were back into the swing of a Northern Comfort.100_1478

Animal planet – The male Ruby Throated hummingbirds are back staking out their territory and waiting for the females to arrive. Occasionally a Raven, complete with its loud and raspy vocals, flies over.

The Loons are back on the lake. In fact, the other day two Loons glided by merely twenty off-shore. Then, while they were directly in front of our place, just twenty feet further out, a large Beaver swam by heading for its lodge (barely visible in the picture).

Fini – Make it a great week everyone.

Cheers.
Dirk

One Response to “Little Comfort”
  1. Pieter Says:

    Glad to hear all is well and you are getting it ready for us. I have George convinced you guys have bed bugs and that Marcia is steam ironing your mattresses to kill them. George is now bringing his own sleeping bag.
    All the best

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