Was there the whole time.

I have to confess, I would be a perfect case study for instant gratification. All one has to do is take a look around our property and see the tools and toys to know that I am not a penny pincher at al. I suppose I do have at least a bit of an excuse in the fact that I have faced many do-or-die situations in my life. At current count there have been 14. I even keep a list on my phone of the instances (all medical) that I have been in a situation where I needed that medical procedure or treatment, or I was dead There are even two instances where I was not “clinically” alive anymore and was brought back. Sorry, I have no “tunnel with a light at the end stories, but I do believe the folks that speak of them.

Some might think that it is morbid or depressing to keep such a list. I do it to remind me of what I have had to fight through and survived. It helps me to have the confidence to face new challenges, be they medical or otherwise and also reminds me of how blessed I am to still be here.

The point is, I have a hard time holding back on things that I think would be fun or useful in my life. I am by no means a financially wealthy man, so there are times when I cannot act on my impulses and Nora is good about keeping me from throwing us into bankruptcy! So there are times I have to wait to make the purchase or make an improvement to the house.

I think a lot of you reading this can identify with what I have said, but what about having to wait for something to come that is inevitable? Like a baby to be born, or to be released from the hospital, or sunrise on the opening day of firearm deer season, or…this will hit home with A LOT of you…the first snowmobile trip of the season? Seems like it will never get here! Especially when you see pictures or watch videos of others playing in the snow before you get to.

Delayed joy. A very difficult thing to deal with for a lot of us. Why do we have to wait, especially while others are having the time of their life? Sure it can put a smile on our face to see a sled riding down a pristine trail or through snow so deep that it flows over the windshield and cakes onto the rider who is standing up while riding. But there is also a tinge of jealousy behind that smile. I know I have dealt with it, the year I broke my leg in early February and watched it snow nearly every day I was laid up. Or the past 4-5 years when my health kept me from doing much riding at all. It’s been a difficult pill to swallow.

I do have some tricks I have learned over the years and a big one is to stop focusing on the things you don’t have and focus on the things you do. No matter what your situation is, there is always joy to be found. This autumn as I have been driving to and from town, I have watched the trees turn from deep green to pale green to shades of orange, yellow and red. I know I go on and on about the magnificence of the color change up here, so I will spare you the tourism pep talk. However, I never grow tired of the change and am amazed every year. So as I drove down Jacobsville road today, admiring the colors about 70% changed, it hit me that those colors are ALWAYS there. At least while the leaves are on the trees and growing. It’s the death of the leaves that causes the dominate green color from the chlorophyll to go away and reveal the beautiful colors lying in wait for their turn to shine.

I have known this fact for many, many years, so it is not an earth shattering revelation for me. However the fact that the beauty is always there and I just need to be patient and it will always show is now a new reminder for me to be patient. That things will change, if I just am patient. 

As for the color change, I have not been all over this great peninsula, but I have seen pictures and gotten reports that much of the inland areas south of Houghton hit peak this weekend. Sunday was a very rainy day up here, but without a lot of strong wind, so my guess is that the leaves have not yet been stripped from their branches, but if you want to see the colors there, best not wait very long at all. I have been to Houghton/Hancock and Calumet today. The colors there are nearing peak, but I would say that this Thursday through the weekend will be their peak. Some areas will be a little later than that. The Jacobsville area being one of them, although, when I say Jacobsville, I mean the immediate Jacobsville area. Go north just 4-5 miles and the peak will be the same as Houghton, Hancock and Calumet. Probably areas like Mohawk north as well.

The upcoming weekend look kinda wet, but hopefully that will change. Tomorrow through Thursday looks to be very nice up here and that is when I plan to take my color tour. My mom is visiting us for a few weeks and the last time she saw our color show was when Nora and I were married 17 years ago!

In last weeks entry, I talked about the coming changes to the website. One of them was an upgrade to a better forum software for the discussion board. That migration will be taking place this Friday, so the board will be shut down while that takes place. The good news is that I did find someone that has done this type of migration many, many times. So odds are quite good that it will go off without issue. All user profiles and posts will also be transferred. I hope to move the AL Cam this week as well. Still not even a hint of snow in the forecast. In fact we are suppose to be in the 70’s for the rest of the week. I am formulating my ideas for the seasonal outlook and plan to have it out late next week.

That just about covers it for this one, but I do have one last item to share with you. That being John Dee is getting a new sled! Yep, that’s right. I’m sure many of you are now thinking of the instant gratification theme I was on earlier in this entry. However, the sled currently in my stable is a 2012 model. It runs fine and only hs 2004 miles on it, but is extremely difficult for me to start when the engine is cold and would be impossible for me to pull start when the engine is cold in the winter. So a sled with electric start was a must. So what about a used sled? Well, as anyone who has looked has seen, prices for used sleds and just about anything outdoor recreation related are very high. So high that when they do correct themselves (I have no idea when), any used sled will instantly lose 10-20 percent of it’s value. So to be buying new makes more sense. Sure a brand new sled loses some value the minute it is used, but that is nothing out of the norm. The prices of used are. The final selling point was the ergos of the sled itself. I will get to that in a second, but first, I introduce to you my new ride for this season, and likely many to come! For those of you not into snowmobiling, that is an Arctic Cat Riox X. The think that sold me on it most was the fact that is has a single slide rail on the rear suspension, rather than two. That makes leaning the sled over to one side or the other in soft snow much easier. At this point in my riding career, easier is better for me. I am feeling much better than I was the past several seasons, but am still not strong enough to be carving all day long on a traditional suspension. I have asked several people that have them and the answer was unanimous that they would be a good fit for me. Last but not least was the fact that I got an absolute, huge deal on the sled. My good friends at Rt 12 Arctic Cat in Arlington Heights came through in a BIG way and made the decision to get that sled from them a no-brainer. If you recall, they were the same folks that let me ride a sled of theirs for many, many seasons. So if you are in the Chicago area and looking for a great group of guys to work with, head there! I CAN”T WAIT FOR IT TO SNOW!!!

Now, I guess that covers it for this week. Have a great one and I will talk to you all next week.

Good Night From the Keweenaw..