Who can guess what that number represents? It’s not our street address. It’s not the amount of money in my bank account. It’s not the balance on my credit card. I’ll give you a hint. It is time related. Take your time on this one, but really to be fair, you would really have to be hyper-in tune with my life to be able to figure it out. So here goes…It’s the number of days Nora and I have been married! Actually, a few more days than that, as there have been some leap years as well, but if you divide 6570 by 365, you should come out with 18. Who can perform that mathematical task without a calculator? I’m pretty sure I could, but would not enjoy the process!

It’s been a very busy last two weeks for me. I’m still playing catch up with all the things that did not get done because of my extended stay in the hospital. I have an unusually full plate at this time. Why? Well, when Nora and I purchased the house we are in now, our plan was to renovate and do a little adding on to modernize things and give us the room we need to be comfortable. Well, through the course of the past 3 years, we have found quite a few issues with the place and have spoken with come contractors and the conclusion that was met was that we would be better off tearing down the old home and building new.

So that is what we are doing. For a good chunk of the summer, we have been working on the apartment above the shop to finish it out. I finished the rest of the electrical in the early spring and then we had drywallers come in late spring. Nora, Grace and I then painted over the summer, as well as put flooring down in the entire space. I was preparing to do the trim when I came down with my blood ailment, so that did not get done. I never expected to be in the hospital for so long, that by the time we entered week 3, it was decided to have the trim work done by the same contractors that will be knocking down the old home and building the new. It took them around 3-4 days and were finishing up when I finally came home from the hospital.

The next thing on my list was to remove the cabinetry from the old home and bring it to the shop for a fresh coat of paint and then install in the apartments kitchen. Still being way behind schedule, we had the crew that did the trim remove the cabinets and bring them over to the shop. Nora and I have been sanding and repainting them one by one for the past week or so, but that process had to be briefly put on hold this week, as I had to travel to Duluth on Friday for a checkup with the hematologist. Nora and I were able to get back on it this weekend and today I was able to install all the base cabinets, the new countertop and sink. we still have a few upper cabinets to paint and hang, but the apartment kitchen is really starting to look like a kitchen and is also becoming much more functional. The 2×4 and OSB contraption I had built back when we had to stay here for a few weeks before moving into the house back in 2019 just was not much good- except for supporting the sink!

Once the rest of the cabinets are done, then I just need to finish up emptying out the workspace behind the garage. Nora, Grace and I got the garage all cleaned out about a week ago. The new home is not going in the same spot as the old. It will be set back further from the road and will be built in the backyard of the old home. So all we need to empty before the contractors can get going is the garage and workspace behind it. They will tear those portions down and be able to get their equipment and materials to the site of the new home. We do still have to empty the house and some things have already been removed, but we are not in a huge rush.

So once the workshop behind the garage is empty, I FINALLY get to organize my shop and get it in full working order! It’s been in differing states of unorganization for the past 3 years and I think that right now it is in the most disorganized shape it has ever been in! I actually love to organize things, especially my shop, so I am very much looking forward to being able to dedicate most of my free time to that. It will be very nice to have it in full working condition, especially as I plan to build some cabinets for the office and then all the kitchen cabinetry for the new house.

As far as a timeline for starting the new house, we are close. The contractors have told me that they really would like to have the foundation work done before October ends and then they will be working on the place through the winter. If all goes pretty smoothly, then we could be moving into the new home by the end of April or perhaps May. Words cannot describe how excited Nora, Grace and I are to live in the new place. Plus, it will give be added content for the journal all winter long!

So as mentioned, today was Nora and my 18th wedding anniversary. We chose to keep our nose to the grindstone rather than get all gussied up and celebrate. Plus, Grace had skating this afternoon, which would have complicated doing too much of a celebration. I suppose the age old question is: “Does it feel like it has been longer or shorter?”. My honest answer is that it feels like it should. Nora and I have been through a ton of challenges. Probably more than the majority of couples face in their first 18 years, but we have come through them all and I think that each one has helped to make our relationship stronger. I knew very early into our relationship that I wanted to marry her and that we would have a long and happy marriage. It’s funny how your gut can just tell you things like that.I’m sure that there have been moments when Nora wanted to kick me to the curb and I have had some where I wanted to kick me to the curb as well, but we always find a way to make it right and grow from those experiences. Those same experiences have added some gray hair and wrinkles, but all in all, I’d say we don’t look half bad for a couple in their 50’s.

The color show is in full swing. Jacobsville has not yet reached peak, but it sure is a pretty drive coming and going from our little hamlet. The thought occurred to me this past week that it is a real shame that the color season does not last longer. Winter last several months. Summer does too. Even spring hangs around for around 2 months, but the color show is only around a week or two long. How nice would it be to enjoy the full glory for a month or two?! Or even a few weeks? Oh well, I guess like a lot of things in life, you need to enjoy what is happening around you now and not put much energy into what lies ahead. It will come in its own sweet time.

Much of the western UP snow belts saw their first flakes of the season. We did not have any here in Jacobsville, but on my drive to Duluth on Friday, the roofs in Painesdale were white from their snows overnight and I drove through a pretty healthy snow squall while traveling through Ironwood. Thankfully by Friday, all the inclement weather had moved on and left the region in typical mid-autumn weather for Grace and the rest of her cheer group to be outside and cheer on the football team.

I guess that covers it for this one. Once again, I have to travel out of town for a doctors visit. This time it will be back to the Mayo in Rochester, but it is to see if perhaps a med change or two can help my heart pump a little better and make it easier for me to be more physically active. Right now I have the stamina of a pretty healthy 70 year old and would really like to rev that up and put my in the 50’s where I should be!

Until next time…

Good Night from the Keweenaw..