So now the wait.

Although there are still 4 days left in the month and 4 days left in the main firearm deer season, most of the hunters are likely pulling out of the woods and will be going back to work. Like a lot of activities we humans do, it’s always the build up and then start to the season that is most exciting. There will still be hunters in the woods for the remainder of the main season, but they will be much lower in numbers. Probably the ones that either still NEED to harvest a deer for their meat for the coming months, or those that let some go in hopes of the big one coming by, which did not happen and will harvest the one they feel suitable at this late stage. The other 75-80% of the hunters are either still staring at the pictures of them posing over their kill, or talking about the one that never came.

There is hunting done all of the month of December as well. Muzzleloading will go into mid-month and 2nd archery season will run right through the entire month, but the hunt that keeps everyone but hunters out of the woods will be drawing to a close in 4 days. That means for those of us that do not hunt, we can return to the woods and do our thing. Many of you reading this are hoping we have enough snow to come up next weekend and play in it, but unfortunately, we lost a good portion of our snow and little is seen through the upcoming week.

So the other waiting will commence…waiting for the white. As much as we all want waist deep snow by December first, the reality is, it is quite rare to have even knee deep snow on December first and in probably about 1/2 of the years, we do not even have enough snow to start grooming the snowmobile trails. That is probably little solace to those that were hoping to get up here next weekend to play in snow, but is just the way it goes. I still have not lost any hope that this will be an above average winter for snow and below for cold, just that we will have to wait out the next 5-7 days at least.

The good news is that despite the snow loss and rain on Friday, temps since have been cold and things continue to freeze up. The week ahead looks to see some daytime highs above freezing, but not way above and overnight lows will be falling into the 20’s, so overall, the freeze up will continue. Quite honestly, as much as I love snow and wish I was staring down the throat of a monster winter storm approaching us, the continue freeze up is what we probably need most at this point. I guess living in an area where the snow is a guarantee to come and can come in a big hurry also makes the wait a little easier.

It was a bummer to sit and watch it rain for most of the day on Friday. The rain was not exceptionally heavy, but with temps in the mid 40’s, it did put a pretty big dent in our snowcover. In some spots in the woods, there is bare ground showing and in some spots there is still several inches. One thing the rain and then freeze up did was to make an ice skating rink out of many parking lots, including ours. Yes, that is as slick as it looks. As you can see in that last shot, both vehicles are strategically parked in a manner where we do not have to get out and try and make it across the ice to get to the house! We are not alone in our ice skating rink for a parking lot. Here is the lot at the grocery store in Calumet. Yes, that is really ice covering the entire lot! I am actually a bit surprised it has been allowed to remain that way. It was very difficult for me to walk across, I can’t imagine what it was like for those older than I!

I still have not put the blower on Big Red. I am probably playing with fire, but have been pretty busy with other things and there has not been a need yet. Also, it is not a huge or time consuming job. None, the less, I think the time has come to get it ready and it is on my list of chores to do this week. Perhaps mother nature has been following my life and has been kind and is waiting to open fire with the snow guns once I am fully ready! Yea, and if you believe that, I have a bridge I can sell you!

With Thanksgiving past us, the Dee house has become a Christmas wonderland! Well, at least the inside. I actually got the tree up prior to Thanksgiving and then Nora, Grace and I decorated it last night. I sure do love our tree and I am glad that Nora shares my thoughts on how to decorate it. Almost all of the ornaments are of the “home made” variety. Most of them have not been made in our home or others, but have that look to them. Of course there are probably about a dozen ones that are home made and they are extra special. Gracie always has a fun time decorating the tree and last night was no different, only the time decorating the tree was shared with spontaneous periods of piano playing. Christmas songs to boot! She has really become a good piano player and can just sit down and open up a book and read the notes and play. Way further than I ever got in my career!

There is not much rhyme or reason to the tree decorating. We have a large plastic storage bin in which all the ornaments are kept and we all just take turns dipping into the bin, pulling out a few ornaments and then putting them on the tree. We also take turns climbing the ladder and putting them up high, but the one thing that is a tradition is for Gracie to put the “Texas” ornament up. She takes great pride in being born in Texas and while down there for the adoption, we picked up an ornament and she has put that one on the tree every year since…and will do so for as long as it gets put up. Gracie has also been the one to put the star on the top of the tree for many years. That was because it was easy for me to lift her up there to place it on top. She has gotten too big for that, so we both headed up the ladder and performed the jib crane maneuver, with me bracing myself with the stairs, holding onto her while she leaned out over the tree to place the star on top. She did not quite have the reach, so I ended up placing the star this year, but we will try again next year. Maybe a gantry crane would work better!

So I hope everyone’s Thanksgiving was wonderful. Mine/ours sure was. In fact, on the night of Thanksgiving eve, the whole family (dogs and all) were sitting in the living room while the fire was going. I was sitting in the “snow” chair, a chair that sits in the far corner of the living room and gives a great view of the front yard and any snow that would be falling at the moment. As I looked ahead of me and gazed upon the two beautiful girls cuddled up on the couch with the pups surrounding them on each side, fire casting an orange flicker on their faces, I could not help but feeling thankful for all I have. I really am a VERY lucky man.

Good night from the Keweenaw..