I miss the ghosts

Wow, final writing for February 2023! It truly is hard to believe that March is just 3 days away. I guess I can really say this about every winter, but in some ways, it seems like this one has flown by and in others, it seems like it has creeped along. When I think back to the beginning of November when the crew was just showing up to break ground for the new home, that seems like a long time ago, but then when I think about things like the holidays, it seems like they were just a few weeks ago.

Oh well, whichever the case, the sands are getting thin on the top side of the winter hourglass. I think March will go by pretty quickly and I HOPE April will! It should be pretty well known that April is my least favorite month up here, although it has become more tolerable since moving to Jake. We usually do not have any snow left, which means that we can do yardwork, take walks in the woods and other outdoor activities, whereas those living up in the higher terrain can still have feet of snow on the ground.

We did get a replenishment of snow this past Thursday, much like the rest of the the northern Midwest. The storm was one of the most extensive storms to produce snows in excess of 12″ I have seen in quite awhile. It did not produce the as much snow as was indicated by the models in many spots, but it was still a doozy. What was interesting up here in the Keweenaw is that Jacobsville saw some of the heaviest snows. We tied with the Keweenaw County road commissions measuring spot up on Gratiot Lake Rd, but outpaced places like Houghton, Handcock and Lake Linden. I don’t know how much Calumet got, but I do know that they got much more snow with the event earlier in the week. They picked up around 8-10″, while we picked up 3.

It was nice to watch it snow at a moderate to heavy pace for most of the day. By late afternoon, it had piled up pretty nicely on Big Red and by the evening, it had slowed down, so I hopped into Big Red to clear the snow off the driveways and also off the road upstream of the driveways so that I would not have to contend with the the snow the plow would push in the morning.

It was quite windy while the snow was falling, so it did not stick to the trees too much and quite honestly it has been that case for most of the winter. Little in the way of flocking of the trees. I really love that and miss it. It seemed like when we lived up outside of Mohawk, several times a season the snow ghosts would show up. I also miss sights like this and like this. Not this year, at least I doubt it! We have had some monster storms in March and even April, so I am not going to rule it out, but this just seems to be one of those winters where that is not going to happen, even though the official measurement for Keweenaw County is just 7″ shy of 200″.

Speaking of monster snows, I think I spoke a month or so ago about Mammoth Mountain in the Sierra Mountains of California. By mid-January they had already seen 400″ of snow. Things quieted down a bit, with just some smaller storms hitting. They are back into the deep end, with over 30″ of snow falling this past Thursday and another 12″ on Friday and another 12″ on Saturday. A storm is just starting there and holds the potential for another 60″+ between now and late Wednesday. I stole a screen shot from a video a guy shot on Saturday while walking his dog through their neighborhood. The objects on the left are a person and the back of his SUV with the rear hatch up. That’s the depth of the snow out there! That may be approaching my limit!

So it’s been a busy week at both the new house and the old house. The old house had some work done and now has incredible ventilation. One of our neighbors decided to strip a lot of the interior tongue and groove paneling. I had thought of doing it, but just did not have the time. I’m glad that he and his brother are doing it, as it was very nice wood and it would have been a waste to just have it destroyed. Not much else of the house is worth saving and it will be nice to see it go. We are just waiting on the power company to come out and move the line from the old house to a temporary stand for the new home. Hopefully that will be this week.

The large picture windows missing from the old home were put into the new home, along with the rest of the windows for the new home. The doors arrived as well, so the place can now be sealed up. Inside, most of the plumbing and electric has been done. The boiler for heat is not in yet, but I’m sure it will be going in shortly after the insulation. Somehow, Grace ended up with the biggest room in the house for her bedroom. It measures 17×30′! Actually, she deserves it. Ever since moving out of the Mohawk home, she has had to sleep in some not so desirable spots. Currently, she is living between a knee wall and the roof trusses in the apartment. It is very cozy, which she likes, but not enough room to even change her mind! So it will be nice to see her have all that space and the master bedroom is no slouch either!

The electricians are just about finished with their rough-in. At least according to their list! Haha. Also by the amount of things done. They are doing a great job and even though I actually like to do electrical work and have done all the work for the shops, the cabin and addition in Mohawk and the barndeeminimum. However, I am glad I am not having to do this monumental job and do it in the cold like these guys have had to do. Plus, now if a wire comes loose, I can just call them, rather than start digging around for the culprit!

The drywall arrived yesterday afternoon and I was a little surprised to see it just stacked on the driveway, but that was done by one of the contractors working on the house and not the supplier. Plus it looks like the weather will be fine until about midday tomorrow, so I’m sure it will be all hands on deck first thing tomorrow to get the drywall inside and out of the weather. Once the rough-ins for the electrical and plumbing is done, then the drywall can go up on the ceilings and the sprayfoam insulation can be done and the crew will no longer have to work in the cold while outside. Although the siding is on site too and they seem to be kind of anxious to get that done too.

It seems hard to believe that in just 3 months we will be living there! Every time I try and imagine it, I just have a hard time picturing it. This place will have so many things new to me/us, it’s just going to be like a dream. It will be the first time I will have a spot in the garage to keep my vehicle since Nora moved up. It will be the first time the garage is heated in all the time I have lived in the UP! There will be heated garage space for the Golf Cart in the summer and Big Red in the winter. The back porch will have a dedicated spot for the grill and smoker, complete with exhaust hood. Down the road, there will likely be come countertops and cabinets by the grills and maybe even a little fridge to either keep what is to be grilled in, or perhaps some sodas or hockey pops.

We all feel so fortunate to be able to be doing what we are doing. Even a bit guilty to a degree. Others have so much less in life, how did we get some blessed? One thing is for sure, both Nora and I plan to have lots of get togethers with family and friends. Plus out of towners will have their own apartment here were we currently live to stay at and enjoy!

Well, I guess that about covers it for this one.

Good Night from the Keweenaw!!