Happy Saturday morning:

An insight on staying warm in the north woods:

“the first one to turn over in bed gets the blankets” ~ Gary Mule Deer

Which I am not – in the north woods that is. Yesterday around 11:30 I decided to make the trek back to the ‘Nati. More about that in a minute; first I’ll enjoy some more coffee as an aid in stopping the highway’s roadway lines from flashing in front of my eyes.

I left Northern Comfort yesterday at 1:00 PM only to get caught up in traffic heading for the US Border Control and sat on the bridge for one full hour—in line for the complete length of the Soo’s International Bridge. Once clear I made it back with just a single fuel stop and rolled into the garage a minute or two after 12:30 AM. I do believe I set some sort of a record. On top of that, the big F150’s V8 averaged 20.2 MPG – Wow!

Property sale – ours has definitely not been hassle free. I once read a line uttered by one of those Real Estate guru talking heads; “If you’re not going to put money in real estate, where else?” Let me tell you where; anywhere else – buried in a coffee can!

It’s been a throbbing nightmare selling a small rental property; failed deals, poor marketing, us not taking the first offer, and on and on.

This whole summer we’ve been dealing with first an offer, agents without a clue – who sat on the paperwork for two weeks, then the buyer’s lending institution, then a totally obscure city department which no one knew about, and not to forget the appraiser who can’t complete his appraisal for weeks on end (he’s now the final hang up.).

At each turn and bend it proved that both Marcia and yours truly would be requested to stand and bend way over. Name the hoop and we jumped it. Name the pinhead lawyer generated small-print paperwork and we’ve filled it out – sometimes three times over!

I do believe I’m getting shrill.

Yesterday, at the last minute there was another delay, more paperwork, and a request for yours truly to spend the better part of the day generating what I now affectionally refer to as “my PoA”.

By noon my mind was made up. Enough was enough. Marcia and I needed to join forces, we needed to present a united front; we needed to hold hands. An hour later I honked the car horn as a departing gesture to Northern Comfort.

Now we’ll stomp around attempting to motivate the various parties and finalize the deal. That by week’s end we’ll BOTH be at or heading for the lake and some relaxation.

Lonely? – Most of the readers (all 4 or thereabouts) of the Ramblings know that this season I’ve led the solo life here in the North Woods. That’s now ending, yeah! Marcia tells me that I should be thrilled in that apparently I’ve been promoted to head Chef and she will be easing back to the role of Sous Chef.

Anyway, this bit is more about a question that’s been asked a time or two relating to being here alone and loneliness.

The reality is that stuff is always going on; from pro-jects, helping neighbors, to family being in the area. There are downtimes to be sure, but these too become special moments. It’s all what you make of them.

One of the things I’ve taken serious pleasure in was my music. I’ve been more than fortunate to have been raised at a time where the music industry was being peppered by a phenomenal blend of great artists.

Just naming some, and these are all over the ballpark (if music is not your thing skip ahead or you’ll bore yourself silly): Bob Dylan, Ray Charles, Jimmy Hendrix, Freddy Mercury, Joe Cocker, Crosby-Stiils-Nash-and Young, Janis Joplin, The Beatles, Leon Russell, Robert Plant and Led Zeppelin, Procol Harum, Billy Joel, Canned Heat, the Rolling Stones, Van Morrison, James Taylor, Harry Nilsson, bunches of Motown artists such as Martha and the Vandelas, John Fogerty and his Credence Clearwater Revival (CCR), Little Feat, Billy Preston, Chicago, Leonard Cohen, John Mayall, Pink Floyd, Levon Helm – The Band’s great drummer, Taj Mahal, Phil Ochs, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Simon and Garfunkel, and on and on. Anyone could easily add dozens more.

Again, I didn’t mean to bore some of you, but the rest just received a flood of warm memories.

This is not to say that there have not been great song and music crafters since, but for a very few short years it was as if the floodgates opened and stunning talent came pouring out.

Anyway, that time was also special for another reason – we actually listened to the music and the lyrics. With no ipads, smartphones or anytime work calls, when you’d invite friends over to listen to a new LP they actually came to listen. There were no side conversations. Not only that, we would listen straight through—you were there for the complete ride. We’d let the artist or band guide us through their vision and their journey.

And, and this is even more meaningful, we’d then talk about and discuss what we just listened to. We actually spent time talking about what we’d just heard. I remember listening with some buddies to The Moody Blues and by three AM we crashed to only continue the next day – maybe it was a wee bit more than just the music.

So, how did all this play a part to my solo stay at Northern Comfort? Well, I guess that you’re already way ahead of me. You are correct. Through the magic of iTunes and my XM Radio, I’ve had some very special evenings. Lonely? Nah, not really (although I did miss you Marcia).

Animal Planet – Mid week I took my first morning peek outside and sitting on the back of our bench was a super-bright American Goldfinch. I just knew it was going to be a good day.

Not long after on that same day I watched our resident Bald Eagle soar overhead. Against a blue sky with puffy clouds even at a height of several thousand feet it stood out.DSCF0837

In the back of our cove is a pair of Blue Herons. Normally I’ll see them fly by near the opposite shore. Thursday one was making its shrill cry near Northern Comfort – never did see it but it was close.

Wednesday evening we had a campfire. Getting some wood from our wood pile I lifted a piece and spotted this beauty. I had not seen this coloration before. Turns out that it’s a variant of the common garter snake and the solid back with blue spots is occasionally seen in Ontario. That fat area was probably some unlucky frog.

Fini – You know what we’ll be doing. I hope that our efforts will bear fruit. And that any of your own efforts – whatever they may be – will also be successful.

Have a great vacation to Vince-Kirstin-Derek-and Kellen.

Make it a great week. Stay safe.

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