And then there were three

Whew….Mom and Dad survived! It sure was a long week, but we managed to make it! It’s funny how not having Grace around this past week changed things around here. It really was very quiet and a bit lonely. I will have to admit that for me, there was a tiny bit of gratefulness to have a bit more free time, but of course I would never choose to make the trade full time. I think Nora probably enjoyed a bit of down time too. Not that Nora and I will be dwelling on it for the next 10 years, but we both wondered how parents survive sending their kids off to college, or watching them get married and move on! I guess we will just jump off those bridges when we get to them!

Friday morning was the pickup time for the campers and the atmosphere around our house Friday morning had a bit of a Christmas Morning feel to it! ┬áBoth Nora and I were excited and anxious to be able to see Grace and her about her week. Soon after breakfast, Nora and I drove the SxS down to the camp to pic her up. I’m not sure if we were the first there, but were certainly among the first! It was a beautiful morning, with sunshine and typical crisp temps in the 50’s. All the campers were finishing up with breakfast when we arrived and then following breakfast, they all went to watch a little video put together of the weeks activities. It was fun to watch the video and see all the smiling faces. They sure kept the kids busy all week and despite weather that would probably get a “C”, Gracie said she and all of her camp-mates had fun.

It was also funny to see Grace still in her PJ’s. She does tend to wear them as long as she can at home on days she does not have to go to school. Anyway, we gathered her stuff and she said her good byes to the girls in her cabin and her counselor. We then headed to the SxS for the ride home, but first stopped to take a picture of Gracie in front of the dinner bell.

One of the things that got accomplished while Grace was at camp was the pool got put up. I got things started and then Nora and my brother Jim joined in and we were able to get things all set up in about an hour. We started filling it right away, but then had some interruptions while we were away or using the water to take a shower or something. For some reason the pressure really drops when the hose is running. I cannot fully figure things out, as the line from the road is 2″ and then feeds the outside spigot and splits and feeds the house. What ever the case may be, I hope we can fix it when we do the remodel of the utility room later this summer.

Anyway, it did not take Gracie too long upon getting home to get into the pool to try out the little wind up boat she bought at the camp store. ┬áBoth Nora and I cringed as we watched her get into the pool and play a bit. She was actually having a lot of fun, but at one point, Nora called her over and felt her legs and they were quite cold, so we decided she had been in the cold water of the pool long enough. However, the creativity runs deep in the Dee family and Nora got the idea to pull out Gracie’s kayak and put it in the pool so that she could tool around in the pool with it. It was a great idea, as Grace had never paddled on her own and it gave her some practice in a safe setting. She did really well and I suspect that the next step will be to put it in a shallow bay area of the big lake or perhaps one of the shallow spots of the inland lakes we have.

As mentioned, the weather this past week was probably a “C”. Not as bad as it could have been, but certainly not as nice as we are accustomed to this time of the year. It’s really been a different summer. Pretty cool and quite a bit more cloudy than we are used to. I believe that I have mentioned it in previous entries, but will repeat it for those of you that have not heard. The same type of magical influence from the big lake that makes our winters a bit warmer and a lot more snowier than other locales at our latitude has a very beneficial effect in the summer. That is to help keep us a bit cooler and a whole lot more sunny that other areas at our same latitude in the summer. The pattern that has been the dominating one so far this summer has been one that has been able to overcome the stabilizing effect of the big lake in summer and thus we have seen quite a few clouds. Not cloudy every day, as can be seen in the pics of Gracie playing in the pool Friday, but normally about 95% of our summer days are filled with sun and so far this summer it seems to be around half. Some of the cloudy days have also been accompanied by cool temps. On Tuesday of this week, it was so chilly out that I actually had soup for lunch! I think our high was only around 50 and the absence of any pure sunshine also made for a good soup day! It does look like there could be a change coming in the overall pattern as we head into the first week of July, so perhaps that pool will be seeing some action from the old farts in our family and not just Gracie!

Yesterday, I traveled south of the bridge to go side by siding with friends. When I left our house, it was just cloudy, so all I brought with me was my mud boots and a sweatshirt. By the time I got to my destination around 30 miles south of Houghton, it was raining pretty steadily. Unfortunately, it kept raining steadily the entire day, which made for a wet ride. The SxS I was in had a roof, but only a narrow strip of a windshield at the bottom, so we got the full brunt of the rain as we drove along. I was loaned a waterproof jacket, which saved me big time, so all that got wet was my pants. The other machine had a full windshield, so the guys in that one stayed a lot drier.

Had I known that the weather was going to be so wet, I probably would have not gone down there. That way it would not have put pressure on the guys I rode with to get out in the nasty weather. In any case, we all still had fun. And while the woods were wet, at least we did not have to eat dust all day, or swat insects and were treated to some very pretty scenery, such as Penn Falls on the east branch of the Firesteel River. It sure never gets old happening along sights like that, no matter the weather!

It’s hard to believe that this is already the final weekend of June! The summer sure is flying by. It seems like just a week ago the trees were filling out and here in about 2 months, the trees that change colors early will already be showing some signs of change!

With that, I guess I will sign off for this one.

Good Night from the Keweenaw..
-JD