A Change in the Winds

It’s many, many, years since I last piloted a sailboat, but for a while in my life, I seemed to head out onto the water any chance I could get. One of the biggest tricks to sailing is to be able to read the winds and adjust your course accordingly. On the open sea, they do not change direction/speed all that much, but on a smaller inland lake, they can be all over the road in both. I learned to sail on Lake Geneva and it’s high bluffs, bays and narrow gaps would cause the winds to do all kinds of crazy things. There were places that I tended to avoid at all costs, as the winds would die off to almost nothing at all. Go into these spots and you were spending a lot of time to get out of them (none of the sailboats I piloted had iron gennys (engines)). On the other hand, there was a spot that when the winds were out of the west, they would have to funnel through a gap- “The Narrows” it was called and that funneling effect caused the winds to increase dramatically. Great for flying a hull in a catamaran!

Sailors are a nostalgic bunch. Most finding metafors linking sailing to life’s journeys. While I do not consider myself a bonafied sailor…yet! I do find myself finding metafors between sailing and life. Thus, last Sunday, when I found myself in the doldrums and not very happy about my situation, I sat myself down, had a good talk with myself and chose to change direction.

Now I did not do anything dramatic, like discontinue building the shop, or move out of the camper. Rather I just counted my blessings. I am healthy. My family is healthy. We have a roof, all be it small one, over our heads and this is not a permanent situation. I know of a few folks that are either facing difficult health issues, or a family member is and thought about the struggles they were going through compared to mine.

In short time, I found myself with sails full of wind and feeling very fortunate about my situation. Nora and Gracie returned late Sunday night and that also helped to fill my sails!

The sails of the building crew were also full this past week, despite weather that was not the best. For those following week to week and also those just dropping in for this one. Last week finished off with the back wall completely framed, but not sheathed. The front wall was partially framed and totally marked off. Monday was probably one of the best days for working and the builders too full advantage of it. They had a crew of 3 show up early and got going on framing up the front wall. Huck was supervising.

I left around 10 am and came back at around 1 and they had the front and back walls up, as well as one of the side walls. I hung around the rest of the afternoon and watched the other side wall, as well as both inner, load bearing walls go up. So by the end of the work day Monday, all walls were up! It sure was a site to behold! Up to that point, I had only been able to see what the structure would look like by looking at the plans I had drawn up.

Tuesday the weather was OK, but not nearly as nice as Monday. Huck got set up to supervise and the crew got to work. Tuesday’s work was not as exciting or as noticeable, but just as necessary. The crew was at 2 and they spent the day adding the double top plate to all of the walls, as well as adding more sheathing to help keep the walls stiff and in place.

Wednesday was also a rather lack luster day as far as noticeable things done and I did not take any pictures of the site. Wednesday evening was the final gathering of the Jacobsville Pot-Luck. It is an event held regularly held at the community center and has been going on for longer than most of us have been alive.

Wednesday was also a rather lack luster day as far as noticeable things done and I did not take any pictures of the site. Wednesday evening was the final gathering of the Jacobsville Pot-Luck. It is an event held regularly held at the community center and has been going on for longer than most of us have been alive. Labor Day weekend is the traditional exit period for all of the summer residents with kids and or jobs in the academic realm. Then slowly one, by one, all of the “snow birds” begin to leave. For most of the snow birds it is a bittersweet occasion. Most of them live in places that are not set up for the cold season, so as the weather turns colder, they have no choice but to leave. I am sure many of them would love to hang around longer. The last of the snow birds typically leave around mid-October to early November. They are fortunate to have heat in their homes and perhaps even some insulation, but prefer to leave before winter starts taking it’s bite for the next 5 months.

Anyway, this was actually my first pot-luck of the year. The summer was just too busy with packing/moving and or poor health. Then once we moved down here, we did not want to leave Bleau alone in the camper. Huck would have been OK, as he has just gotten to that age when getting into mischief is not worth the energy! Bleau is a totally different story! So I stayed back with the dogs, until the final one and then it was cool enough to keep them in the vehicles.

There is also a board of directors, whose main responsibility is to see over the community center. They hold their meeting after the pot-luck once a month. I did not stick around for that, just the great food and chatting!

Getting back to the building, Thursday a good sized crew showed up and the order of business was to set trusses. Earlier in the week, it looked like Thursday was going to be a complete wash out. Perhaps even a monsoon! However, the forecast changed Wednesday afternoon, so I quickly let the crew know that they would likely be able to work on Thursday. It did spit some showers from time to time, but about 75% of the day was spent without rain falling. By midday, they had gotten up several of the trusses. The going was slow for the first half dozen or so, as there was some hand framing to be done for the dormers and stairwell as those trusses went up. The rest of the trusses went up much quicker and by the end of the work day, all were up and braced! Now I could REALLY see what the structure looked like at full size!

Friday was better, weather wise and they got busy sheathing the roof sections and by midday, had one side completely done and the end of the day, had completed all roof sheathing!

Once the walls went up, I was able to get going on my end of the building process. The first thing I was able to get going on was to wire the exterior walls that will be getting spray foam insulated. I did not get it all done yet, because on Friday, I was joined by my brother and we jumped into the installation of the venting for the roof cavities. It entails stapling up cardboard pieces custom made to fit inside the 24″ cavity between the trusses. By the end of the day we had been able to get around 65% done and we worked another hour today and raised the percentage to around 75%. The rest will go up fairly quickly, but we need the sheathing for the second floor to go on so there is a nice base to work from.

I plan to finish the rest of the venting and electrical in the outer walls by Tuesday or early Wednesday and as long as the other builders are done with the framing of the end walls and dormers, insulation should be getting sprayed Wednesday or Thursday. I plan to pick up the doors this week and hopefully the windows will come in and get installed and we will have a dried-in structure. After that, I could move my operations in there if I want, or can wait for the permanent heat and plumbing to be done. In any case, we are getting pretty close to being able to move out of the camper. Not done with the shop/living space, but at least into a space with around 10-12 times the space!

My final bit to share with you this week is non building related. The winds were blowing pretty good out of the east for much of the week. In fact, when a generator or one of the tools was not running, we could hear the waves hitting the sandstone walls and/or shoreline of Jacobsville. After visiting the build site Thursday evening, Nora and I took the dogs to the beach to see the waves and let them burn off some energy. The waves did not disappoint and the dogs had a blast running around on the beach, checking things out and burning off some energy.

So life is grand here in Jackobsville. Not only because a ton of progress on the shop was made this week, but because I have re-set my course to one in which I recognize all the blessings and steer clear of the negative. Winds change and situations change, but this was a great life lesson and one to remember the next time the winds change.

Good night from the Keweenaw..