It’s still starry outside and therefore a Happy Saturday morning from the North Woods. I stepped back inside just as the coffee finished perking; this means no pauses, just plow into the post and start ‘cranking’.

Earlier this week we made a run (actually a very long day) to Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan to do some shopping. For some items it’s the price differential, for much its stuff we struggle to get here in this part of Canada.

On this trip Marcia added a couple of Mangoes to the cart. Let me tell you, last night’s dinner’s ‘crown’ was her Mango Blueberry salad with a Balsamic glaze and our hand-picked wild blueberries. Amazing!

So, life is good. The phone calls we receive and make, and the notes we get tells me that people’s lives are all good. Yet, listening to the satellite news, we’re on the cusp of disintegration. It’s like the world is turned upside down. I am not going to get political, but it seems like years ago I’d read the stuff I am now hearing. Turns out I had, during my College days – George Orwell.

Now we’re at a point where we have turned off the news. With no TV, I listen to a Deep Vinyl or Blues XM channel and when Marcia enters the room it becomes the Frank Sinatra channel. We do throw in a bit of Willy Nelson’s Roadhouse with Dallas Wayne on rainy afternoons (of which we’ve had too many lately).

” Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right” ~ George Orwell, 1984

‘Comma’ – It’s a known fact that when the wind in these parts comes from the East that we’re in for nasty weather. It means that we’re being back-slapped by some low front; sorta like the top piece of an atmospheric ‘comma’. We got one of these this week, big time.

sunrise before the storm

sunrise before the storm

It was still dark, the wind was roaring and the rain had begun to pelt. Marcia stepped outside under the covered porch with her morning coffee; she could make out the white caps which pounded the shore. It was then that she noticed that the bow of the pontoon had broken free and the boat was close to the shore and the rocks.

Rain slicks and boots on I went to retie the front line only to discover that one of the dock’s cleats had sheared off. Eventually, with an extra line tied to a tree things got settled. Moving a 20’ hunk of aluminum around by hand gave me my morning exercise. 36-hours later the rains finally stopped. On the little Sea Nymph I used my bailing bucket to dump 40-gallons of water before pumping out the remainder.

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At some point, Hydro One (much written about last week) saw fit to drop power to these parts – several brownouts heralded the event. Marcia and I left for a concert in a nearby little berg; all was back on when we got back to Northern Comfort.

The concert – Our dark and rainy night found us in the tiny town of Little Rapids (try to find it on the map). There, in the town hall, we heard a local band, which was then followed by a wonderful jam session. Fun, fun, fun!

But then, and here it gets strange, this happened. The lead, Val Spencer, introduced her next number dedicated to the memory of her son who had passed earlier this spring. She stated that whenever she sang it was as if he was still by her side. And the song began.

Part way in, near the first refrain, the lights flickered and the power went out. No lights no amps, just a wee little emergency exit bulb. This lasted for 5 or 10 seconds. Val got wide eyed and blurted out, “I love you too” and continued singing her dedicated song. Moments later it was the same things, flickering and then darkness; seconds later all was back to normal – almost like this was an unstated “I understand and I love you too” signal. We never lost power again.

I believe that several of the assembled folk found the hair on the back of their neck standing up.

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Fish Fry – let the photos tell the story. However, Marcia’s boat theme and decoration: Red Solo Cup won first place (3 years running). Playing the Red Solo Cup song in a loop didn’t hurt either. And, as one photo shows, a fish fry isn’t just about frying fish either.

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Celtic Times – All week I’ve been anticipating my afternoon adventure. Halfway to town is a much bigger lake than ours, times bigger (Big Basswood Lake can be found on most maps).

This afternoon the owners of one of the cabins will be bringing to life what is an annual tradition – on their dock at, 4 o’clock, will appear Bag Pipers and a fiddler. Now, if you realize how much the geography of these parts is akin to that of Scotland you also must realize that these instruments were made for just such a setting.

To get to his place their driveway is much like the monster drop on a big-time roller coaster. In fact, just prior to cresting there is a “check brake” and praying-hands sign. Driving in is out of the question.

So, I’ll drive my kayak to the property of acquaintances, put in and paddle the mile or so across the lake. Since most of the assembled are from the lake they too will come by boat.

I have driven Marcia nuts prepping for the event. My prep playlist has included Amazing Grace, Loch Lomond as done by Runrig and the Tartan Army, Mul of Kintyre by Susan Boyle, several reels, and stuff from the Drums and Pipes of the Military Band of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards.

The Kayak is already loaded. I am ready!

Animal Planet – Marlene and I on a walk saw a Great Blue Heron take off. These massive birds with their long curved necks and beak look so pre-historic, much like what the flying dinosaurs must have looked like.

The season is beginning to change over. To announce the change the Loons are no longer ‘yodeling’, they now just utter their wail – which carries easily for a mile.

The Hummingbirds too are more active. They drink like crazy and are more aggressive towards each other. I guess that prepping their tiny bodies for a several thousand mile journey takes work.

Our nearby resident Bald Eagle still soars majestically over our cove. It’ll disappear for a few days then reappear, low at first and then circle on the air currents till it dips in and out of the clouds in ever widening circles.

Finis – At first Marcia thought that the weather for my afternoon adventure wouldn’t co-operate, now the sun broke through. Yes! Derek & Tuba 1

The Cincinnati grandkids have settled in well now that school started up this week. It’s always high anxiety time what with new teachers, new demands, new kids and all.

Derek and Kellen will be starting this coming week. Derek is already settled in as he starts High school. He’s in the marching band and for several weeks has been at camp from 8am to 5pm in the Texas heat.

 

Make it a great week everyone.

Cheers.

Dirk

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