Au revoir 2016

I figured I had better write something to bid farewell to 2016 and to let you all know I was still alive. I guess you could have made that assumption based on the fact that the rest of the site has been updated regularly, but best to hear it from the horses (or in this case, perhaps donkey’s) mouth. We slipped away for Christmas holiday and headed to my moms in S. WI. We actually left Wednesday around noon and did not return until Monday night. So yesterday was a bit hectic playing catch up and even today was pretty busy doing things like moving the snow that fell while we were gone and since we got back.

It was great to see my family and while the trip can be a bit stressful with the traveling, doing my work on the road, worrying about the pups while at Grandmas and assorted other things, it was well worth the trip to be able to take in moments like this. The two of them were nearly inseparable the whole time we were down there and I think both were pretty worn out by the time Monday came around!

Another part of the trip that was a heart tugger for me was Gracie playing Christmas songs on the piano at my aunts. When I was growing up, it was always a tradition to go to my grandma’s house in the woods for Christmas day with the family. Then when she passed, the baton was handed to my aunt and uncle. They hosted it at their place in the Chicago suburbs for many years and then built a beautiful home in the same woods that my grandmothers place was in. So we have been going there for about 13 years or so and this was the final year there, as my aunt is a widow and will be moving to a place where she does not need to worry about taking care of things. Anyway, for weeks, Gracie had been practicing daily and was really excited to play in front of all of her cousins, aunts, uncles and grandma. It was so neat to watch her there playing her songs. She probably played a dozen songs and after the first 2 or 3, her cousins all moved in for a front row view.

We left in a pretty healthy snow event that deposited 5″ of fresh in about 2 hours. It made the first hour or two a bit interesting, but then the weather and roads cleared by about the time we crossed the border into WI and the rest of the traveling for the trip was good. While we were gone, they got a bit of everything. Some snow and then Sunday night, snow, sleet and a bit of rain. The road crews did an awesome job and had things cleaned up by the time we got back. The temp was around 40 degrees as we rolled into town early Monday evening, but did not waste too much time dropping below freezing an hour or so later. Since we have been back, we have picked up around 5-6″ of fresh snow. Here is a shot of some of that fresh falling yesterday morning.

So the warmer temps and mixed precip really firmed up the snow and then it froze and we are putting fresh on top. The area is under a lake snow warning for as much as a foot of new snow tomorrow and tomorrow night. Then more snows Saturday and the potential for a pretty big snow later Monday into Tuesday. So if you are looking for snow, we got it! And will be getting a lot more!

One of the jobs for today was to clear our snow, the neighbors snow and then the snow at the ice rink near by. The snow at the rink had not been cleared since Monday the 19th of December, so there was over a foot of very solid/compacted snow on it and it really gave Big Red a challenge, but he faced the challenge and did a great job. Believe it or not, they still have not been able to flood the rink. We have gotten so much snow since it got cold enough a month ago, that it has been a case of too much snow to flood. Plus the snow has been insulating the slab and it still is warm enough to melt the snow in spots. I thought that clearing it this afternoon might give it enough time to finally freeze up and let them get a flood on it before the next snow, but I was wrong. I no sooner got home from clearing the rink and then putting Big Red back into the garage and it started snowing! We picked up around 1 1/2″ of snow and as much as I would like to get down there to clear it off, it looks like a bit more snow will fall tonight and then we get the lake effect tomorrow and tomorrow night. Pretty crazy to think that we have been fighting the snow for almost a month now, but I guess when you look at our total for December (which is closing in on 100″) it makes sense.

Well, I think that gets you all caught up on things. I do plan to write on New Years day, so have a wonderful entry into the New Year and…

Good night from the Keweenaw..