Home Sweet Home

Well, as the title implies, I finally made it home. It took 3 weeks and 2 days, lots of tests, prayers from myself and many others, but I was actually released Thursday night, with the premise that I would stick around in Rochester to have a blood draw done in the morning to make sure everything was on the right path. Before I go on, I need to explain why this is appearing on Wednesday and not Sunday. I did write Sunday, but when I went to login to my website and it said I was locked out because of too many failed in login attempts. I had not tried previously, so I gave it a whirl. No go. My wait time to login was 6 hours and as much as I wanted to get this out on Sunday, I was not going stay up to post it at 2 am! I tried again Monday and Yesterday and same thing. I finally wised up and contacted the support team for my host server and they jumped right on it and got things going! I’d love to know who was trying to login, have Moose and Rocco pay a visit and politely make sure they never try again!!

So back to our regularly scheduled programming. So my first order of business once set free was to go and check into the hotel I had booked a reservation at. I had to stay in the hospital until 6 pm so that they could give me one final med and draw blood one last time. After checking in, I walked a couple of blocks to a steak house and ordered me up a nice juicy ribeye. I was able to order outside food to my hospital, but the drivers were not able to deliver to the room and quite frankly, the few times I did, it was not as fresh as it would have been while eating in the restaurant. So the steak really tasted fantastic and I almost finished the whole thing, but ate too many of their bacon/cheese mashed potatoes! After a pretty good night of sleep, I awoke early enough to get to my blood draw appointment at 6:30. I was very grateful that downtown Rochester has such a wonderful skyway/tunnel network to get to almost all of the buildings at the Mayo Clinic, as well as many of the near-by hotels. It was in the mid-40’s when I went for my blood draw and I did not have a jacket, as nearly a month had passed since I was admitted and there was no need for a jacket then! I was able to take the skyway/tunnel system back to my hotel and then to my choice for breakfast. I ordered up the establishments namesake and a dish of mini-doughnuts. I was unable to finish the doughnuts so took them back with me and then proceeded to forget them in my room after checking out! Se la vie!

I’m not sure if I mentioned this in the previous entry, but I was not at the Mayo (St Mary’s to be more exact) for the entire time of being in the hospital. My first stop was at our local hospitals emergency department, Portage Health. I think that hospital is very good, as are it’s employees, but they are a small hospital and cannot always give the treatments or take the tests needed. So I was flown out to St Luke’s hospital in Duluth. This was my first time there, but I found it to be of great service and personnel. What also made that experience so good was the fact that it sits about a block from Lake Superior and I was able to snag a room with a lake view! It helped to pass time by watching the freighters and other ships/boats come and go. I arrived in Duluth on Wednesday night August 31st and then was driven to Mayo on Sunday the 4th of Sept. So my stay at Duluth was much shorter then Mayo. I did not get a room with a street view, but rather looked across at the other side of the building I was in. The room itself was quite nice, the building was fairly new and thus the rooms there were very modern. So that made it less stressful to be there so long. The biggest help in keeping me sane nearly the whole time I was there was the fact that my best friend and neighbor, Tim, came down on September 5th and stayed for 2 weeks! I cannot find the words to express my gratitude for his company for such a long time. He also was my connection to the outside food work, bringing me fresh fruit as well as sweets and chips and was my pick-up man for when I ordered out. I have know idea how I will ever repay him I just pray that it will not be similar circumstances.

Another huge thank you goes out to another friend. One that I got to know through the website and have ridden both sleds and side by sides with him. He goes by the handle “Scottyking” on the discussion board. He lives about an hour away from Rochester in a SW suburb and also has a cottage in Twin Lakes MI. With Tim back in Jake and a release looking very likely. I called him to see if he was heading to Twin Lakes this weekend and when he said yes, I explained my situation and asked if I could hitch a ride. He was kind enough to first drive down to Rochester and then we headed north to his place and met up with Nora and Grace and made the ride home.

I missed a lot while I was gone. I will save the details for another entry, but it felt both wonderful and a little strange to be back. I had grown so accustomed to the hospital, that being back in the outside world and home was a bit foreign. Even a bit stressful if I can say. Not over the top stressful, just a bit uneasy. I think the only way I can describe things is from the movie Shawshank Redemption when the old man that was the librarian got released and could not handle it. Now my case was not even 1/100th the experience he went through in the movie, but had the same foundations.

I don’t have a lot of pictures to share from the Keweenaw this go around. I really have only been home a little more than 48 hours, but I can report that we/they have gotten a ton of rain the past few weeks and look to get more in the next 2 days. No snow yet, but just the other side of the lake from around Wawa to Gearldton look to get a coating in the next day or two. The colors are in different stages of change, as is the case every year. Driving through N WI produced the most colors, but they were only around 50 percent. The hardwoods around Mass City and Twin Lakes were around 10-20 percent and here in Jake there are just a few hints of colors. Here is a shot I took yesterday just past the Dreamland Bar and here is a shot nearing the end of Jacobsville Rd. I have seen some picks of the higher terrain in Keweenaw County and their colors are around 40 percent. So it looks like the peak will be near average time for most areas.

I guess that does it for this one. Thanks for stopping by and,

Good Night From the Keweenaw..
JD

Stumped

Greetings! My sincerest apologies for being away for so long, but I do have a pretty valid excuse. A little over 2 weeks ago, I started to have bruises show up that were really not explainable. I kept an eye on things for a few days and new bruising kept appearing. Then I had a day in which  felt very low on energy, followed by another day with even less energy. So Nora and I decided I had better get myself checked out and with my health history, I skipped the regular walk-in and went to the Emergency Department at our local hospital. They did some tests and discovered my platelet count was extremely low. The normal range for platelets is around 140,000-400,000. I had 1000.

Our local hospital is great, but small and they do not have the resources to deal with someone in that condition, plus because I was so low, it was decided to ship me out. The first choice was Mayo, but they did not have room for me at the moment. Next was Wausau, but same thing. The next call to St Luke’s in Duluth provided me with a room and treatment, so I got to take a nice sunset flight from Houghton County airport to Duluth aboard a fixed wing air ambulance.

Once in Duluth, lots more tests, blood infusions and some drugs that typically help reverse the condition I had. I was there from Wednesday night through Saturday night with no positive results, so I was decided to ship me off to the Mayo. No air travel this time but they did give me something to keep me relaxed and comfortable for the 4 hour drive. 

They drive went well and I got settled into my new digs at the Mayo. That was a week ago and since then I have had LOTS of tests done. So much blood drawn that they have had to put some back in me! My platelet count has been bouncing around every day and if it gets too fare below 10,000, then they give me a bag of them. My highest platelet count since this all started has been 24,000, which was a week ago today, but that also followed a transfusion and the medicine that typically helps boost platelets in the body. Yesterday I was at 9,000 and today 8,000. 

Tomorrow is a pretty important day. I am going to have a PET scan done in the morning. It is a scan that looks for areas of abnormally high metabolism. That could indicate cancer or or infection. They also have a test scheduled for Tuesday in the event the PET scan does not show anything. That Tuesday test would give them a very good look at my heart valves to see if either or both of my artificial valves are destroying the platelets.

The doctors here say that it is very rare to have someone stump them for so long, so I guess at least I have that honor! So far the the Lord above has been giving me plenty of doses of patience. Typically I start to get very anxious after around 2-3 days in the hospital. This due to all the previous hospitalizations creating an anxiety disorder.

So I am very grateful for not having lost my cool. I am also extremely grateful for the care I have been given from the first moment. Portage Health, St Luke’s and the Mayo have all been top notch in every level. I also have had a friend from Jacobsville here since Tuesday of last week, keeping me company and helping to pass the time. He has truly been an angel of mercy with all the time he has spent here with me. 

Nora and Grace have not been able to make the trip down yet. School just started and there are lots of other things going on, including having to take care of Bleau and Kashi. I am really hoping that the test tomorrow bring out the guilty party and that it is not too serious. I am ready to go home and be with my family. I’ve been through a lot of sticky wickets in my life and find myself pushing through another. I got plenty of fight in me and am locked, loaded and ready to keep on keeping on. I welcome any positive thoughts, prayers and anything else you can put out into the universe to help me on my latest adventure and I will be sure to keep you all updated on things.

Have a wonderful week and…

Good Night from the Keweenaw (in thought)..
JD 

“Karhu kylkeänsä kääntää”

The bear rolls onto his other side. It’s a Finnish phrase used to mark the halfway point of winter. Sometimes I like to think of the winter version as a bear and not a sleeping/hibernating bear. In which case, it has rolled over and briefly awoken to see it is not yet time to break it’s summer slumber. However, in it’s subconscious, the thoughts of waking up and doing it’s thing are starting to become common.

We are only two weeks away from Labor Day weekend and three weeks away from what has become the traditional “first taste of the pending snowmobile season”, Haydays. I wish I could attend this year, but I will be traveling to Rochester on Labor Day for some tests and an appointment the next day to see if they can get my heart rhythm in better synch with med changes and not have to do an ablation. It really does not matter to me how my rhythm gets improved, I just would really like it to be improved. I am able to get around OK and even do mild physical activity, but things like going up more than one flight of stairs or backcountry snowmobiling are not really able to be done. So, because I will be in Rochester late Monday into Tuesday, I really do not feel like getting back home very late Tuesday or pre-dawn Wednesday, only to turn back around and do most of that drive all over again on Friday. I guess I will just have to learn about what Arctic Cat has instore for their next chassis platform, as well as anything else that gets revealed at the event.  

Last week I talked about how there were hints of autumn coming, but no big changes in things yet. That remained the same this past week. Still no real colors in the trees, the weather has remain quite summer-like, with the exception of the nights being cooler and dropping off into the 50’s almost every night. What did change for me was the desire for autumn weather to move in. I am not fully ready for that, but a few weeks ago I had no desire for the summer weather to go away and now there is at least some desire. I suppose some of that has to do with some of the work on my to-do list. There are a couple of trees that need to be taken down, cut up and move to a friends burn pile and that is not summer work! Also, I am looking forward to not having to dress for autumn in the early morning 50 degree temps, only to convert to summer clothes by late morning and the rest of the day when temps are in the upper 70’s and 80’s. All in good time!

The three main activities this week were to keep working on the apartment above the shop, travel to Hayward WI to pick up a new lawn mower for myself and Grace’s birthday party Friday afternoon into Saturday morning. The work at the apartment is still the flooring. It could have been done several weeks ago, but my knees and back do not allow me to work for much longer than an hour at a time before one or both body areas has me throwing in the towel. We still have a little more to do, which will probably take around 1 1/2 to 2 hours to complete. Then I will move onto the trim work, then finish up getting the kitchen all set up and then it will be all ready for occupancy. Once that is done, then all attention will focus on the shop and getting it finished. That includes setting up the central dust collection system, putting the wall material up and organizing the tools and fixtures that will hang on the walls. I have no idea when that will all get done, but I am hoping for sometime around Halloween.

The trip to and from Hayward was event free, except for picking up the mower. I decided to go with a make and model that will likely last me much of the rest of my mowing career and got the Ferris ISX2200. I have put it through its paces since arriving back home with it on Wednesday and so far I love it. The ride is probably and luxurious as it can get on a lawn mower, it handles wonderfully and cuts like a dream. It is almost making me wish I had more yard to cut! That will actually happen in the years to come, as I plan to expand our yards back into the woods a bit more than they are now.

The third main event, Grace’s birthday party, did happen 2 weeks after her actual birthdate, but this was the weekend in which it worked best to allow for a sleep over with some of her friends. The girls started the festivities with an axe throwing session at the Copper Axe in Calumet. It is a recently opened axe throwing facility and is a fun place to check out. You are allowed to bring in your own food and beverages (including alcohol if you are of legal age). It’s $20 for an hour’s worth of tossing and would make a fun pitstop for snowmobilers heading through Calumet.

The first couple of tosses had axes flying in all sorts of directions, but it did not take long before the girls were getting things dialed in and even getting some bullseyes. I gave it a try and did not fare a well as the girls. My first 10 tosses did not stick, but the 11th did and once I found my distance and other techniques, I was getting the axe to stick nearly every time. I did not partake in any of the games the girls were having, but did toss enough to realize that it would be a fun thing to do with some friends. So hopefully I can get some friends and take them there! The event ended with a photo of all the girls in front of the targets.

The rest of the party was spent down at our house. They swam in the pool, went to the beach, played some games, had some wrestling matches (yep, girls do that too these days). Even a game of nerf war was played Saturday morning after breakfast. At night, it was decided to pull an all-nighter and all but a couple did! By the time things ended around midday, they all had hit the wall and I am sure most of them were very quiet for their parents the rest of the day!

Yesterday evening, Nora and I had a party of our own to go to. It was a neighbors 70th birthday and her husband and daughter threw a little party for her. There was a local band playing music, catered food and beautiful weather for the event, including a stellar Keweenaw Sunset.

That about covers it for this one. Until next time…

Good Night from the Keweenaw..
JD

A Hint

Holy wa! I did not even realize that it had been 3 weeks since I last wrote! I can say that last Sunday we were invited to a neighbors house for a get together and two weeks ago there was something going on as well, but I could have written on one of those Monday’s as well. So my apologies for being away for so long!

I don’t know about the rest of you, but this summer is flying by for me. Hard to believe that in three weeks, it will be labor day weekend and in three weeks and two days, school will be back is session up here. I suppose one reason why it has gone by so fast is that we really struggled to put together any kind of summer weather until July came, so that means we have only had around 6 weeks of true summer weather.

Here I am talking about how fast the summer is going and we already have had some hints of autumn creeping in. When I say hints, I do mean just small things that could probably be missed by visitors or even locals not really paying close attention. Such things like it getting darker so much earlier now. By around 9-9:30, it dark enough that objects become difficult to see. Basically Nautical Twilight. That’s around 2 hours later than it is around the solstice. Another thing is the nearly regular occurrence of dropping into the 50’s and even a few upper 40’s at night. This has not been a sultry summer and I’m sure I can count the number of really warm and sticky nights on one hand. Typically the Keweenaw will only have around 5-10 of those a year, but with it getting darker earlier and lighter later, it just gets more and more difficult to keep things too hot and muggy overnight.

I have not seen any colors starting to pop, which is a bit rare for this time of the year. These early turners, as I like to call them, are really not part of the main color show, just trees that are under stress and decide to go dormant early. The main show, of course, will be the first 2 weeks of October, kinda centered on the October 7-10 period for most of the Keweenaw. Every year when we get to the end of August, I become amazed at the change about to unfold in the weather. In the span of just around a month, we go from summer weather to pure autumn weather, with the chance for some of the first winter precip of the season. All in the course of 4-5 weeks. Wish we could go from winter to summer that fast!

The summer tourist season is still going strong. We were up in Copper Harbor on the 4th for Grace’s birthday and the joint was hopping. All the business owners seemed to still have plenty of energy, with the end of season burnout not yet setting in. Strange to think that in some areas, the kids are already back in school and in others, they will be starting in the next 1-2 weeks. Not here in the great state of Michigan! Unless a school is granted a waiver, they cannot start until after Labor Day. The good old fashioned way!

The week of Grace’s birthday she attended a figure skating camp at MI Tech. Even though tech is “local”, it it still about a 45 minute drive away. Add in another 10-15 minute cushion to handle any construction or the bridge going up, plus another 15 minutes or so for her to get into her skates and be ready and a 60-90 minute session on the ice turns into an at east 4 hour affair. Which eats up a good chunk of the day. Nora and I really do not mind taking her, but it’s amazing how little gets done around the house on day’s like that! The camp is done and she tested out of two dances, so now we are down to lessons at Tech 2 times a week. It’s been so much fun to watch her progress. She still has 5 years left with the local programs and it will be really cool to see where she is at by the end of those 5 years. Also sad to see it come to an end, at least locally.

This past week a friend and I took Grace out on the boat to go kneeboarding. It had been a year since she last went, but her older age and more developed strength/coordination allowed her to not only pick up where she left off, but to advance even more. She was out there for around an hour and even though she wanted to go more, I said she had better stop if she wanted to be able to move the next day!

After the kneeboarding, the three of us did a little exploring on the other side of the waterway from Jake. Even though we look at it all the time, it is from nearly a mile away and so I never really have seen the details of that side. So we motored slowly along that shoreline, checking out the marina and homes over there. Most of the homes are actually old homes from way back in the day that there was more commercial fishing done out of there. One in particular you can see had a net/tackle room on the first floor and living quarters on the second floor. Commercial fishing is still done from that side, although the boats dock a bit further up the waterway. While on that little excursion, we came upon a small island with some trees and an old abandoned boat on it. Even though I was around 1400 miles north of it, the sight really reminded me of being in the backwaters of the Florida Gulf, around Ft Myers and Bonita Beach. Our family used to vacation down there and we would cruise around the inland waterways to fish and explore. I think it helped that the weather was very much Florida-like, with sunshine and temps in the 80’s.

The other evening the girls headed over to the waterway to do a little fishing. For some reason, I have lost my interest in fishing for the past 15 years or so. I used to really like it, but now I just prefer to drive the boat or sit and watch. I did not even tag along for that fishing adventure, as I had some other stuff to do, but Grace was able to catch a little rock bass and Nora was skunked. I do really need to get Nora out on the boat fishing. While Grace was kneeboarding, I kept seeing fish on the depth finder at the same spot and perhaps Nora can catch a few of them and find out their species and size.

Last night Grace, Nora and I took to the back yard to practice our aim. I have a 9mm pistol, a .22 lever action rifle and a break barrel pellet gun. Grace is allowed to shoot the pellet and .22, but the 9mm has a fair amount of kick and I would like for her to get some training from someone that knows more than me about handguns and shooting before she shoots it. I know she has shot a .22 and .45 pistol with her uncle, so I am hoping we all can get together and shoot sometime and Grace and I will become knowledgeable enough to let her shoot the 9mm. Then we’ll move up to a .50 cal!

The biggest news in the Keweenaw this week was probably the arrival of the cruise ship Viking Octantis. It has been sailing the Great Lakes all summer and while in Lake Superior, Houghton has been one of it’s stops. The first two times it was supposed to head up the waterway to Houghton, it could not. The first time because of wind and the second because of fog. Third time was the charm this past Wednesday as it quietly slipped through the south entry at around 4:30 am and headed up to Houghton. It cannot dock anywhere there, nor does it fit beneath the lift bridge. So it goes up the waterway to around Dollar Bay where it then stops and passengers that want to go ashore get into a launch and that takes them to a docking area in Houghton. 

I don’t know how many people turned out to see it while it was in the Houghton area, but there were quite a few here down in Jake/white City to watch it travel back down the waterway and back out into the big lake. I was one of those spectators and have to say that it was really something to see that ship. It is brand new, having being put into service just this year.

Even though it was only traveling at around 5-6 knots as it passed through the waterway, it did not take long before it was passing the lower entry light and back out into the big lake, on its way to the Soo Locks. As it slowly cruised by, there were some passengers on the decks that shouted “Thanks for Having US!”, which drew the immediate reply from the shore of “Thanks for Coming!”. It still has several more stops planned before the summer ends and it starts doing cruises to the Caribbean, South America and even Antarctica.

Well, just as it was time for the Viking Octantis to sail on, it is now my time to do the same. Like the ship, I will be back for more, hopefully a lot more than just a few more!

Good Night from the Keweenaw..
JD 

 

 

My Kind of Town?

editors note: I did write this on Sunday, but had some issues transferring the pictures, so things got delayed until Monday.

OK, so as promised last week, tonight is going to be the recap of “The Dee’s Take Chicago”. Or in my case, re-take! This whole trip to Chicago was really for Grace. I lived in the big city for about 5 years combined and grew up within a stones throw for the first 18 years of my life- visiting the Grand Lady many times.

As mentioned in last weeks entry, we traveled from the Keweenaw to Geneva Lake for my mom’s memorial service, as well as to grab any things from my mom’s house we wanted to keep with us. Our trip started pretty bright and early on Friday morning. We drove to Harvard IL to catch the train to Chicago. There were a lot of “firsts” for Grace and Nora on this trip, the first first was to travel on a train. The trip from Harvard in the far NW of the Chicagoland area takes around 90 minutes, as it makes pretty much all of the stops all the way there, but is still a much better way to go than driving. I really do not know how long it would take via driving these days, but back when I would take the train in, it would be close to an hour without traffic. So despite having to make all the stops, I think we still came out ahead as far as commuting time. 

Once reaching the station in Chicago, we were met by a friend from Jacobsville of all places. She lives in Chicago and when she heard that Grace and I were going to go there, she convinced Nora to tag along and be with her while Grace and I painted the city. She took us to her apartment and then we grabbed breakfast. After that, she drove us to our hotel, where Grace and I dropped of our luggage and then it was off to the Shedd Aquarium. From that point on, it was just Grace and I for the next 44 hours or so. 

It was so cool to watch Grace’s face light up as we drove around the city and she saw the mightiness of the buildings and other features of the city. I can only imagine what it was like for her to see all of this at her age. By the time I was her age, I had been downtown at least a dozen times and had driven right past it on the Kennedy expressway and south Lake Shore Drive probably 30 more times.

I can say that it has been probably 40 years or more since I have been to the Shedd Aquarium, so it was quite the experience for me to see all that had changed in that time. The giant tank that is the cornerstone for the aquarium is still there and has not changed much at all. It is so huge, it probably will never change either! I was able to snap a shot of Grace in front of it while a shark swam by in the background. A new exhibit in the past 40 years is one where persons can reach into a shallow tank and “pet” the stingrays.

We spent a good chunk of the afternoon taking in all that the Shedd had to offer. We ended exiting out of the front of the building, which meant that we had a bit of a walk to get to where we would be able to flag down a cab. Add to that the fact that it was the first day of Taste of Chicago, and traffic was a nightmare in the Grant Park area. we ended up walking over to Michigan Avenue and then north up that until we were past the Art Institute, that is where the mess of humans and vehicles dwindled to regular Friday afternoon traffic and we flagged down a cab to take us to the Blackhawks store. We picked up some merch at the Hawks store and then got to our hotel where we checked in and then I collapsed for a brief while before we had to get ready for the next adventure of the day.

That next adventure was to take the elevators to the 95th floor of the Hancock building where we would have dinner at the Signature Room. My date put on a beautiful dress for the occasion and I did my best to keep up with her look. Unfortunately, the weather decided to be uncooperative with us for our dinner and provided us with a beautiful view of nothing but the gray of clouds. Just as we were finishing up our meal, the clouds tried to depart and did enough so that we could at least look down and see the ground and specks of people walking below, as well as glimpses of some of the buildings around us. After dinner, we strolled back to our hotel room, relaxed and eventually drifted off to sleep.

The next day found us grabbing breakfast at an off the beaten path restaurant, which proved to be very popular despite it’s quiet neighborhood location. As we approached, we saw a line reaching down the sidewalk and my mind immediately starting thinking of a plan “B” for breakfast. However, we got very lucky and upon reaching the hostess station, we were met with the person seating folks. She asked how many in our part and immediately after I said 2, she pointed to a table outside and said “take that one”. I was very happy that we did not have to stand in line or find another place to eat and the food was most excellent!

With full bellies, we flagged down a cab, which took us to the Wrigley Building where we then took the shore hike to do the one thing that probably all tourists do when they visit Chicago in the warmer weather. That being go to see Cloud Gate, or “The Bean”. I had seen it when I was in Chicago around 6 years ago, but Grace really wanted to see it and I really wanted her to see it, so that is what we did.

After that, we worked ourselves back down to the museum campus and took in the Field Museum of natural history. That is a rather enormous place and I explained to Grace that because we had more plans for the day, two of which required being to them at specific times, we would not be able to take in the whole museum. So once in, she studied the exhibit map and came up with a game plan. I was a little surprised by some of her choices, but learned that one of the things that really interests her from history is the Egyptians. Of course one cannot visit the Field and not go say hi to Sue, so we took in a brief documentary in the discovery of Sue and how her remains were removed and then reassembled. After that, it was time to go visit the old girl herself. It was my first time seeing Sue as well and both Grace and i were amazed at the size and look of that T-Rex skeleton. It is the most complete skeleton of a T-Rex ever found (to date) and was discovered right here the good old US of A, more specifically the Badlands of South Dakota.

Time was ticking and after visiting with Sue, Grace and I moved on to the next event of the day, which was to take the elevator to the 103rd floor of the Willis Tower. Actually, you take one elevator to the 90-somethingth floor and then another to the 103rd floor. Once there, you pop out onto the north side of the building. The weather for that high observation point could not have been better. Clear skies and fairly low humidity, so the visibility was about as good as it gets for the summer months.

We worked our way around the windows. I pointed out some of the things we were able to see, including the building where I lived with Burt and Baileys just before moving to the UP. The big thing to do while on the observation deck of the Willis Tower is to go into “The Ledge”. Actually there are 5 of them and not just one. They are boxes made entirely of glass that extend out of the building, so once out there, it feels like your floating just outside the building. There being 5 of them and so many visitors wanting to go out into them, you have to wait in line for almost an hour to get your chance to be in one. Your time in one is limited based on how many are in your group. They have attendants at each ledge that will let you know when your time is up, as well as take some pictures of you out there, which you can choose to get or not get when you get back to the ground floor. You also have enough time to take some shots of your own, so I snapped a shot looking down and of Grace lying on the glass floor. I have to admit that it was worth the wait. I am not one for lines at all, but it was cool to be out there!

The final event of the day was to head up north to Wrigley Field to take in the Zac Brown Band. We got there with plenty of time to spare (didn’t concerts used to start nearly on time?). We watched the stadium fill up with others, as well as watch the band members come out of the outfield wall and walk over to the stage. It was a great concert, Grace’s first, and now she is hooked, already picking out concerts that she would like to attend!

After the concert, back to the hotel and then off to bed. On Sunday, Grace and I had breakfast in the hotel and then headed back to the train station to meet up with Nora and head back to Harvard.

Back to the events of last week, it was another pretty busy week with things on the to-do list. Nora Grace and I were able to paint all that needed to be painted in the apartment above the shop. We also got some of the flooring done. We should be able to finish the flooring this week and then all that will be left to do is trim and build some kitchen cabinetry. It will then be done and I will have that monkey off my back!

Grace was challenged to a kayak race by our neighbor. She is quite competitive and does not lack for confidence, so she quickly agreed. It was decided to have the race yesterday afternoon. The finish line cannot be seen from the starting line, so Nora and I decided to be at the finish line and watch them come around a point and head for the finish line. Grace was the first to appear and had a sizeable lead at that point. Her lead only grew as the race went on and she finished about 2 minutes before her competition.

So that gets you ll caught up on not just the last week, but the big city trip. Have and great week ahead and…

Good night from the Keweenaw..
JD