Thursday, June 3, 2010
We’re here at our place west of Manistique on Lake Michigan.
We arrived about 4:00. Lovely weather… mid-70′s.
A pair of white swans were in the water in front of our place. Lovely!
I should explain that the place is a 1960′s 50 x 12 mobile home. It is sufficient for our needs: two small bedrooms, a kitchen-living room and a bathroom with full sized tub and shower. We added on an extra pole-barn-style roof a few years ago. We had it off-set it in such a way that we could add a large deck toward the water. The raised deck is about 10 x 24 with a fabulous Lake Michigan view.
We hadn’t been here since August, 2008, so we didn’t know what to expect. Surprisingly, the place was in remarkably good condition for having been vacant so long. Dusty and dirty.. yes!
We spent several hours making it habitable, but other than dust and a musty smell, it was fine. Dead flies and lady bugs in the windows, and a few (but not many) mouse droppings. We swept, scrubbed and dusted. It still could stand lots more cleaning but we’ll get by.
A clean mattress pad, clean bedding on the bed and clean dishes make the place feel acceptable.
We forgot a few things (a vacuum cleaner, small electric heater, some folding lawn chairs, the outdoor carpet we use on the deck, dish cloths and some extra cleaning products) but we’ll get by.
The beach is down a path about 150 ft from the deck. The water looks a lot better than it did a couple years ago. Smelly seaweed has washed up at the waters edge, but this year the cattails are fewer and the water looked clear and inviting.
The tall grasses had grown in the pathway we take to the beach. By the time we got back, we were liberally covered with wood ticks. We hate ‘em. They are ugly parasites that seem to be waiting to latch onto you. They don’t immediately burrow under your skin, but they do settle in after a few hours and leave ugly infection if you don’t get them off you. They’re about 1/8 inch around with lots of legs, sort of dark reddish brown.
I wore white long pants so I could spot them easily and sure enough there were dozens on me. I removed my slacks and turned them inside out. One of the wood ticks had managed to work his way up to the highest point of where the legs joined. This was in five minutes or less and while I was wearing them!
We looked each over and found all that we had dozens of the crawly critters.
This is not my idea of a good time.
Tomorrow and for the next couple of days it’s supposed to rainy and cool. Monday it should be fairly nice.
Oh, and to top things off, we have no TV and my internet connection isn’t working. (I didn’t expect that it would.) Oh, well…
Tonight we enjoyed a glass of wine and danced to a country tune playing on the radio. Life could be lots worse, but I wish we were home.
Saturday, June 5th
We went into town yesterday. Stopped at a couple re-sale shops. I bought a lot of books for later reading and a folding umbrella (which I immediatly put to use because it was pouring outside.) We also got a coffee maker. On our way back, we stopped at the Moose Lodge for an excellent dinner.
It was cold tonight (as was last night) so we headed to bed early.
Today it’s semi-sunny and a little warmer (low 60′s). John’s been trying to mow the grass. It’s a large area. He used his chain saw and cut up a tree which had come down where we often park. The driveway still needs to be cleared but the place looks surprisingly good.
Monday, June 7th – 9:30 p.m.
We’ve decided that we’ll head home Wednesday. Today it was in the low to mid-60′s, tomorrow it should be a tad warmer. We figure that we will leave Wednesday because there’s a rain front moving in for Wednesday, plus we have an appointment on Thursday.
I’m listening to John play “Take Five” in 5/4 time. It’s not an easy jazzy tune to play on any instrument. John’s playing it on sax.
Sax is not his primary instrument.
Why is he struggling to play “Take Five”? Because it’s a good exercise for his deteriorating lungs. When you have Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis, you do what you can to help your lungs. John’s efforts include playing the sax
He’s made this place look very nice. He’s mowed, trimmed, and even painted. We called a realtor today about selling this place. I don’t know what we’ll do. It’s not the best time to sell, but we should divest ourselves of some of our property. It’s too much work!
Wednesday, June 9th – 11:15 a.m.
We’re headed home. Still in the Upper Peninsula. We should make it home by 4:00 or so this afternoon.
The weather during our stay hasn’t been very pleasant. The first day we had temps in the 70′s and that was grand, but since then, we haven’t gotten past the mid-60′s. Nights were in the 40′s (although one night it was near freezing).
Yesterday the sun was out, so I decided to go for a walk. I walked toward the lake, then went parallel to the shoreline in a southerly direction. I was curious about a couple lovely lovely places which have been built within the past five or so years. One is landscaped with a rolling lawn. I decided to cut through their yard, go up their driveway, and then take the road back to our place (so I went in a circle). But when I cut through from the beach area to their yard, I had to go through a fairly tightly packed row of spruce trees. I looked down at my legs and saw I was “covered” with wood ticks. Dozens had hopped on me. It took a while to pick them all off and continue on my way back to our place. Once home, I gave myself a total inspection and discovered another tick. A couple hours later, I was combing my hair and realized I had a couple that had gotten in my hair!
That experience left me feeling “crawly.” I still have the sensation that something is on me. Can’t wait to get home so I can wash my hair and rid myself of the phantom feeling of “bugs.”
No, it hasn’t been a wonderful trip. John loves it in the wilderness, but it’s not my idea of fun. Staying on the deck and looking at the water from a distance was the most pleasant part of the visit. Each time I walked to the beach meant I picked up ticks.
I became a fan of Dr. Laura, who did a talk radio show each morning.
I’ll be glad to get back to civilization where I can check my email.
But during our stay, I did accomplish quite a bit: I was able to type pages 2-11 of the dulcimer festival’s workshop program. I still need to finish up the back and front covers of the program, but that’s easy compared to what I’ve already done.
Last night we went to bed early (about 10:00). A storm with a heavy wind and a lot of rain hit us from about 10:30 until about 2:00 or 3:00 a.m. It blew so hard, that it was difficult to “shut out the noise” and sleep. Everything was really wet this morning so it made packing the truck for home a little more difficult.
So we’re headed back to “civilization.” It’ll be nice to be “home.”