Seeing Green

I wish I could report that Nora and I won the lottery. Of course, if we did, I think we would try our best to keep it under wraps. The green is not in our wallets, but rather on the ground. The lawn has been gradually turning green for the past month or so, but with the sporadic warmth we have had, along with some recent rains, it has finally achieved the warm season look.

I fully realize that for many of you reading this, that fact is probably about as exciting as watching it grow, but for those of us that have to wait until mid-May to see it green and then watch it gradually start turning brown in mid to late September, it is a welcomed sight. More welcomed will be when the trees begin leaf-out. The buds have burst on most and I think with the week ahead’s warmer weather, they will begin to fill out in earnest.

Not all of the grass is that green. The spot where the ice rink sat all winter is still in the process of rebounding. It is greening, so I am not worried about it filling back in. I am going to plant some seed where the vegetation is thin. I get a variety of grass seen that grows amazingly well here in the Keweenaw. So good, the local hardware store actually calls it the “Keweenaw Blend”. I planted it in the ground that was torn up during the construction of the shop and septic system last autumn. It was already too cold for the seeds to sprout, but after spending about 5 months under snow (that sat on top of straw I put on the ground after seeding), they were still viable. So I am very happy to know that I will not have to re-seed all of that ground.

The weather this past week? Well, it was OK. Nothing too stellar and nothing too bad. We had a gradual warming trend, with a high last Sunday of only 39. Then we worked through the 40’s Monday and Tuesday, with a high of 52 on Wednesday. A front and it’s rains kept us in the 40’s Thursday and then we shot to 58 for Friday. Yesterday was pretty pleasant during the day, but then clouds hit and an east wind picked up and those are the two ingredients needed to make conditions chilly or even downright cold here in Jacobsville. We have a LOT of lake to the east of us and this time of the year, that lake is COLD (about 38 degrees) and puts a real chill on the air. I suppose it will be nice in the heat of summer, but right now, it makes for a very raw cold.

Interestingly, the surface temps are nearly identical to the bottom temps as well. I do not know if the entire profile of the lake is 38 degrees, but right now, the top is the same as the bottom. Hopefully not to last too long, Grace is just itching to swim. We told her that the next 60 degree day she could. I have no doubts that she will!

None the less, Huck and I took a nice little walk on Thursday, heading down the road a bit and then heading up the peaceful two track to the chapel. Good old Huck is still getting around very well for his age and all of the joint issues he has. Sometimes it is painful to watch him get up from laying down, or when he gets knocked to the ground playing with Bleau, but he makes no sound and does not seem to be phased by the lack of strength in his hind quarters. I sure to miss the way he and Millie used to chase each other through the woods, full speed, jumping over logs and rocks and smashing through the brush.

Anyway, we made it to the chapel and no matter the weather or the look of things elsewhere in the neighborhood, the chapel always looks beautiful. As you likely noticed, it is still all boarded up, but we have hopes that Sunday evening services will resume for this summer. Nora and Grace made the trek down from Mohawk every week last summer and I joined them when I felt I had enough energy to not be a wreck the next morning for work. Now we can just stroll over to the chapel and I even have plans to make a foot path through the woods to it. There are already trails leading about 1/2 way and it would not take much doing to finish the last half.

Things are still very quiet as far as the virus goes up here. Keweenaw County has yet to report a case and Houghton County has only reported 2. The first when things first started to get serious in the states and the other just over a month ago. Both made full recoveries. So our family has loosened up our own personal restrictions some. In addition to hanging out with others in Jacobsville that have been fairly well separated from the rest of the public, we are getting together with some others. Nora’s brother and his wife came up and spent last week working on their camp near by and we fished, ate dinner with them and also just hung out with them freely. They are from downstate MI. 

Last night we had a bonfire in the new pit. It was actually the 3rd or 4th, but had the biggest gathering to date and despite the looks on the faces of most in that picture, we had a lot of fun. Everyone there are great people and enjoy each other’s company. The Jacobsville was a very tight nit community in the 60’s and 70’s and then many of it’s long time residents passed on. A re-birth of the community is underway and it is so nice to have folks that we can not only socialize with, but count on to help each other out without even having to ask. Most likely very similar to the “old days”.

Last week I spent some time in the shop and built two chairs for the bonfire pit. Since Nora is a full-on Norwegian, I built them in the style of the Viking Camp chair style. Just two boards, one passing through the other and able to be taken apart simply and transported. They are actually first edition builds, as I plan to make more with some modifications. They are actually pretty comfortable and I sat in that one all through last night’s get together. The finish is actually Japanese. I take a flame to the wood and char it, that makes the wood weather/rot-resistant and add a layer of wipe-on oil-varnish. Doing this to cedar is called Shou Sugi Ban and is nearly weather/rot-proof.

That about covers it for this one. The final bit of news is an update on my finger. It is healing very good. There is still a bit of ulceration at the tip, but no more thick scabbing. It is still very sensitive to cold and creates it’s own pain because the blood flow is still poor to it and thus it gets cold quickly and thus hurts quite a bit of the time. I can get by just fine and will warm it up by breathing on it for a minute or two. It is still a bit sensitive to bumps, but not nearly as bad as it was. So I am thankful that the healing process is going well and looks like I am pretty much out of the woods as far as any complications go.

Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend everyone, I will be writing on Monday rather than Sunday to give me two full day’s off next weekend!

Good Night from the Keweenaw..