Keeping the Faith

What a winter! It just cannot seem to make up its mind. Very slow start, then record setting pace, then 10 day thaw, then back into it with vigor and now major thaw number 2. What’s next? Well funny one should ask…It looks like winter will return with both guns blazing by the end of the week and weekend and looks to keep shooting into next week. The models do differ some on the exact track of the low later this week and thus the exact placement of the heaviest band of snow, but it looks quite likely that areas of the northern Midwest will be ending up with double digit accumulations Fri-Sat and then the potential exists for another round of meaningful snows in the northern Midwest by the first half of next week. The potential for lake effect also exists for the weekend into early next week.┬áSo there is still hope for some powder busting yet this season.

That is the sneak peak at the forecast. More details will be gotten into tomorrow when I resume the forecasts. I don’t have a ton more to share with you. It was a week spent more in the truck than anything. On Tuesday I traveled to Marquette to get my phone fixed. The bad news is that I traveled 200 miles and used up over a half of my day only to learn that there was a small wood chip stuck in the charging port and that is why I could not charge or use the port for other purposes. The good news is that it did not cost me a single penny (other than gas money) to get it fixed and I was instructed in how to remove any obstructions in the future. That is one of the only downsides to not living in a major metro area. We do not have every kind of store at our disposal. A trade off I will take any day, by the way!

On Friday, I traveled with my brother to southern WI to have a nice dinner and then overnight at my other brothers house in the Milwaukee area so that we could then continue on and go to my Aunts place on Saturday to pick up some things she was parting with and to help her move a few things around. She was widowed a few years back and lives in a really nice place in Bull Valley IL, which sits just a bit north of Crystal Lake. It is a beautiful spot and beautiful home on 10 acres of heavily wooded land, but has become too much for her to take care of and is going to move into a townhouse type living facility where all maintenance is done for her.

I picked up an old lumberjacks saw that had special meaning, as well as my grandfathers homemade wooden tool chest. Inside were lot of the hand tools he used in his working wood. He was a pattern maker by trade, so had loads of talent when it came to making things out of wood. He died when I was just one year old, but for some strange reason, I have always felt there was a strong connection. It was he that moved to that spot in the woods in Bull Valley upon retirement and I believe that his spirit for living among the trees was bestowed upon me. I also feel his spirit for woodworking was passed on to me. So Grandpa John’s chest and tool will find a very special place in my woodworking shop and will hopefully remain in the family for many more generations.

My brother also picked up some things from our Aunt and all told, we filled up the back and bed of my truck as well as a 5 x 10 enclosed trailer pretty good with all the things and my brother still needs to go down and get some more items once our Aunts place sells and she moves out.

After getting all packed up, we headed back to the Keweenaw and arrived a little after 8 pm last night, a full 33 hours later, much of them spent in my truck. This morning we unloaded all the stuff and I returned the trailer. I am excited to spend time looking at and welcoming the tools to the shop. Some will be used, others will be kept for their special meaning only. For some of those that will not be used, I plan to build a special case to display them in. While I do not have any memory of my Grandfather, I do know from others that he was meticulous in his approach to doing things. I can be just the opposite sometimes, rushing through a job…just to get it done. Sometimes the rush is justified, sometimes not. In any case, I am hoping the tools gifted to me will help me to be more meticulous in what I build. I have come a long way since first starting, but still have a ways to go!

So with all the traveling and other things, I did not get a chance to go out and play in the snow before the thaw hit on Friday. I also did not take too many pictures, as the camera (my phone) was not even available for use until late Tuesday afternoon, but I do have a few. The first is of the empty wood shed. Yep, I used up the last of the cut firewood Thursday morning. I still have the reserve tucked away on the other side of the shed. It just needs to be cut to length to be able to be tossed into the boiler. For now, I just plan to cut as I go. Seems to be working pretty good and the usage will be pretty low for the next 3-4 days.

Even though we had to endure a record setting 10 day thaw at the end of January and are now into another major melt, there is still enough snow around to allow one to go onto the shop roof without using a ladder. Which ironically is exactly what Gracie did on Thursday when I was out doing some chores. She is quite fearless, but not foolish, which makes it a whole lot less stressful for her pops when she does such things. Mom is not quite on board with the low-worry frame of mind, so we tend to do such things when she is away. Of course, when she is up there, I am playing 100% attention to her and talking to her. At times I guess I might even be a bit of a cheerleader. So with all of that banter going on, the pups cannot stay out of what is going on. So they hopped up there with sticks in mouth and had some fun on the shop roof as well.

The final bit of business that I can share with you is that the Keweenaw Snowmobile Club is holding another fund-raising raffle in which someone will win a barrel sauna. This is the second year that is it being done and all of the funds raised will go towards a new groomer building. The land has already been secured for the building, but a lot more is needed to be raised to be able to construct a building for all of the equipment. The sauna is really nice and is transportable on a regular two place snowmobile trailer. It is built right here in the Keweenaw and is as pretty on the inside as it is on the outside. There are plenty of tickets still available and the drawing will be held in a few weeks. So don’t delay in purchasing your tickets to win it! I know I will have a fist full of ticket stubs when the drawing is taken place!

Guess that covers it for this one. With a little luck, next week I will have pictures of copious amounts of new snow to share with you!

Good night from the Keweenaw..

-JD