A Lighter Shade of Pale (green)

With school starting, I guess we are officially in a new countdown mode. The count down for first frost, first snowflakes, first accumulation of snow, peak colors, deer season and then the start of snowmobile season! As I have grown longer in the tooth, I have also become a more patient man. I am good with some nice September weather for a few weeks and then true autumn weather can arrive.

For the first time in many years, I do not have a lot of outdoor chores to get done. I need to put the electric wiring from the generator to the transfer switch inside conduit, install a few outdoor power outlets and a motion sensor spot light. I also need to cut a bit of firewood, but the amount I need to make for the season should not take more than an hour or two, with help stacking! Nora showed me a picture of where we were last year at this time, as far as the barndeeminium and it inspired me to look through my camera roll to see what I had. This is the only picture from the 13th of September 2019, but the previous 3 days showed just the slab, then the next day the slab with one wall up, then a little later that day, all the walls up. The 12th showed them setting the trusses.

I would not want to trade places and go back to that date at all! I still have a lot to do on the barndeeminimum and we have some fairly large projects we want to do on the house, but just about all of the house projects will be done by a contractor and the things in the barndeeminimum will just happen one task at a time. I am currently working to finish up the electrical, once done, I can begin to close in the walls, as the plumbing rough in was passed a long time ago. The first walls to get done will be those in the shop. For one, all the lumber for them is on site and also outside, so I do not want to be having to haul it in once the cold and snow hits. Secondly, once the shop walls are done and contractors do the ceiling, then it will be ready for the final push to finish it out and make it 100% ready for use. Right now it stands at about 75% ready.

As mentioned, school started on Tuesday. The schools up here are doing in class teaching, but with masks. They are also offering an on-line program for those parents that do not want to have their children physically go to school. Grace is in the same building as Nora for the next 3 years and so far so good!

Before starting school, Grace took advantage of her last day of summer break by enjoying the beautiful weather we had for Labor Day. Then the next day, before the sun even rose, it was up and Adam and out the door for day number one in 6th grade. Grace loves school, so she does not have much of a problem getting up early to get ready and take the trip to Calumet every morning with Nora. Nora does not mind either. They use the time to and from school to chat and keep the mother-daughter bond strong as ever. 

Wednesday was Gracie’s first cross country meet. It was actually a home meet and they ran out at the cross country ski trails in Sweedtown. It was a little chilly day, but not too bad. Probably perfect for the runners and not too cold for the spectators.  The boys run first and then the girls line up along the starting line and wait for the gun to go off. Grace has always loved running long distance. I can remember back to the time when she was just a few years old and Nora and I would walk with Huck and Millie and our fairly quick pace was the same speed as little Grace’s jog. Our typical walk was around 2 miles and Grace would only stop a few times and much of those stops were done to check something out rather than rest.

Cross country is not really a spectator friendly sport. We do get to watch them take off from the starting line and then they all run out and away from the spectators. They do then return to a finish line in the same area as the starting line, so we get to watch them finish, but for around 20-30 minutes, we are all just standing around! I was pretty surprised by the finish that Calumet had for all the runners. the final 300-400 yards was all uphill and in sand! Talk about punishment! All the runners really had to give an extra push to get up the hill through the sand and all did well. 

Friday evening, Nora got together with two of her girlfriends from down here for a bonfire. No boys and no kids allowed, so they are able to fully relax and enjoy each others company. They also were treated to a magnificent sunset, courtesy of the wildfires out in the western US. Did I ever mention that this is a pretty nice place to live?!

Other than the schools starting this past week, there has not been a lot of things going on up here. This seems to be a time of the year when most of the locals are just concentrating switching gears from summer/relaxed mode to autumn, back to school and back to the busy schedule mode. The color show is slowly progressing. We do not have much color at all here in Jacobsville. A little bit up the road, there is a spot where the trees on the side of the road are further along, but I have been to Calumet as well as down to Houghton/Hancock this week and their colors are still mostly green, although a more faded shade of it. The colors do change earlier in the higher terrain of southern Houghton County. Not way earlier, but on average around 4-7 days before our peak up here in northern Houghton and most of Keweenaw County. I suspect that it should be a pretty good show this year. The trees got plenty of water and also plenty of warm temps, so they should be fairly healthy. Each season is different and like Forrest Gump says, you never know what you’re going to get. I will promise to do my best to capture the color show up here. Perhaps not all areas, but as much as I can. Who know’s, I may even charge up the batteries of Snowflake 1 (the drone) and get some aerial shots/video.  

I guess that wraps it up for this week. Have a great third week of September and be safe everyone!

Good Night from the Keweenaw..