Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Life between the lakes, part 11



Today, Mother Nature smacked Deer Park with her wet, frozen mitten and the word of the day was “snow.”

Snow has been falling lightly for the past 36 hours. Yesterday morning there were four fresh inches on the ground, but when I took the dogs out for a walk this morning there were an additional four inches.

If that wasn’t enough, another 3-4 inches accumulated within two hours and the latest advisory says this won’t stop until after midnight. Right now we are knee deep.

The plow operator stopped to chat and he informed me that three miles down the road the skies were clear.  Considering I am 30 miles from town, I find it quite impressive that they’ve been by three times since 6AM today to clear it. That’s how they roll up here.

I’ve had the snow blower out a couple times and lucky for me there is a kind soul just down the road who has been coming to clear the massive mound that builds up at the foot of the driveway once the plow passes. Having good neighbors in the UP is a blessing; that’s how people roll up here.

If you see a car stuck up here, there is an unwritten obligation bestowed upon you to stop and check on them. Sometimes they are just tourists who pulled off to the side to walk into the woods, but it can also be someone who is stuck, out of gas and afraid.

It happened to me about a dozen years ago when I blew a U turn and became part of a snow bank. I'm guessing the guy who eventually helped me, heard the tapestry of obscenities I was hurling into the woods before he stopped. Or maybe it was just the way people like to pay it forward up here.

The dogs are resting peacefully after their day in the snow. Two walks, a little play and hearty dinner of hot ground beef and kibble have made them content and I share in their satisfaction of what we did today.


Friday, December 25, 2020

Life between the lakes, part 10

This morning the snow gently fell; snow on snow on snow.

The flakes danced, swirled and hovered between where I sit and 30 feet away where the frozen lake holds steadfast under a fresh white, Christmas blanket. It is almost as if these snowflakes didn't want to land.

I’m listening to my favorite Christmas album, a little known gem by Dan Fogelberg titled “The First Christmas Morning.” I don’t know why but can only listen to it on Christmas. It contains the most beautiful version of “In the bleak midwinter” that I have ever heard.

People have asked if I get bored up here or if it’s hard being so isolated and the answer is no. Not once this Christmas season did I have to put up with the lunacy and bad behavior that is found in metropolitan areas during the holidays.

The worst thing that happened was I arrived at the post office 5 minutes late yesterday and couldn’t mail a book to a friend and my pastie couldn’t be scanned at the grocery store and I had to wait a whole three minutes! 

I am desperate to get my creativity and inspiration back and right now I have the opportunity to reflect on what has transpired in my life these last few years, put it behind me, get focused again and write again. I’ve already surpassed my total word count of the last two years and it has not yet been three weeks of work.

I am getting as much of this in as I can and while I continue to look for a house in town because it will be different when I get back into the working world.

Tonight I’m splurging with a New York strip and a few shrimp for dinner. After our walk, Jack and Needa had hot ground beef and scrambled eggs on top of their kibble. They are both resting at my feet right now. It was a good Christmas indeed.

Look up Fogelberg’s album if you want a real treat and remember the reason we celebrate this day.

The First Christmas Morning

Away in the east shines a star in the sky

That leads us to where He is born

And bearing good tidings and gifts we shall give

To Him on this first Christmas morning

Holy our journey and holy our love

That takes us to find and adore Him

And blessed the baby that sleeps in his bed

And wakes on this first Christmas morning


The Lord in His wisdom, the Lord in His grace

Has given to man a redeemer

To save us from sin and to show us the light

That shines on this first Christmas morning

And will shine ever each Christmas morning

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Life between the lakes, part 9


We woke to a strong north wind this morning along with a new dusting of snow. All day long maverick snow squalls moved across the frozen lake, like tumbleweeds in the Wild West. The sky was muted by clouds most of the afternoon but briefly opened up revealing this patch of sun and blue sky.


Even the slightest cover of new snow is like Mother Nature pushing a reset button as it erases the old animal tracks and makes the new ones more prevalent.


Earlier this week we saw what I believe was a Coywolf; a mix of coyote and wolf. He was about 20 yards down the road and I got a good look at him for about 10 seconds. Needa made eye contact, growled, and then he trotted off into the woods.


The wind has died down and a light snow is falling right now. It is gathering in the trees, like a Currier and Ives Christmas card. The dogs have been walked and fed and are enjoying their food coma in our warm, cozy slice of heaven.


Merry Christmas everyone.