Sunday, January 31, 2010
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Monday, January 25, 2010
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Saturday, January 16, 2010
I’m a self-proclaimed optimist. With that said, I needed to find the silver lining in the warm weather. So on the bright side, I realized I didn’t have to look too hard to find it, and I found it three-fold.
Reason 1: Saves on wood. Was I worried about runnng out of split wood this winter? Not any more! I have to stoke the stove modestly two or three times a day. 43 degrees you’re predicting, Mr. Weatherman? I just might not stoke it at all!
Reason 2: Bike rides. I rode my two-wheeled apparatus to school twice this week. Why? Because I can. I don’t know if I do it more for the exercise or to hear the kids ask, “What? You rode your bike today?” They are both fun reasons. Highway 41 is really quite lovely for a ride right now. I bit on the splashy side, but at least I won’t slip on the ice and break my neck or get stuck in the, e-hem, snow.
Reason 3: Sunshine!!! I really can’t deny the sun to shine on my face any day of the winter. We see it so seldom that sometimes I think we forget it’s out there behind those thick, dark, constantly looming, gray clouds. Seeing the sun peek through for even a moment makes me rush outside and throw my hands and face to it. Man, does that feel good. And the, e-hem, warmer weather, makes it especially pleasant.
So there. I said it. I love the warm in January. Did you hear that, Snow? I don’t need your stinkin white fluffiness! I’ll just ride my bike and bask in the sunshine. Yeah. That’s what I’ll do all winter long if I have to. So just stay where ever you are and don’t worry about the Keweenaw.
Let’s see if my reverse psychology works. I sure didn’t get anywhere by begging earlier.
On a happy note, the other day I ran out to the sunshine, and the only spot I could be in it was on the ice shore. I call it an ice shore because I’m not really sure where the shore ends and where the ice sticking out over the water begins. But that was the first day the sun came out to say Hello, so I didn’t care if I had to run in the house with a wet boot. I was going to sit in the sun.
It was simply marvelous -- warming and healing. And what made it so wonderful that I could have died there happily, was that I got so sit next to a harbor full of floating ice pieces. They made the only sound I could hear: Swish, swash, swish, swash, swish, swash, splash, swash. And there I stood on the ice shore in the sunshine meditating on their breathing. It was simply another magic moment in da Harbor that I wish you could have been there for. I hope you could feel it just a little bit.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Monday, January 11, 2010
How have you been? I miss you. I know you have been briefly by in the form of flurries, but I really miss the times when you would stay longer. Sometimes you would come so big and thick that I couldn’t drive, and the plows would have a hard time keeping up with you. Isn’t that a fun game? Don’t you want to play it again?
Snowboarding at Bohemia is just not the same without your fluffy softness to turn on. Cross country skiing is not the same when I crunch over pine cones. Sledding is not the same on the ice. Snowshoeing isn’t even a challenge right now because I keep stomping through my old tracks.
But it’s not just me who noticed that you haven't been around lately, it’s the whole town! How are the snowmobilers supposed to get here and spend money if you don’t give them more snow? How are kids supposed to have fun at the terrain park without more snow? I know it’s a lot to ask right now. Maybe you’re busy in other parts of the world. Maybe I (and the rest of Keweenaw County) are just impatient and used to being spoiled.
Have we offended you in any way? Are you mad at this little jut of land in the middle of Lake Superior? What can I do to make it up to you? Does Jake need to do his snow dance? Maybe I should do a snow dance! What if I went for a long drive without mittens and a shovel? Would you come and bury me in the snow to make me learn a lesson? Do I really need to go to drastic measures to see you again?
I really am sorry to bother you like this, but it is winter. And I know this isn’t the worst winter we’ve had, and I should just be happy with what I have right now. But, gosh darn it, Snow, I really miss you, and everyone else here (well, almost everyone) misses you too. So maybe one day soon you can stay for a long visit, and I can be tired of shoveling. That will serve me right, won’t it?
Okay. Well, anyway, Snow, I just wanted you to know that someone down here is thinking about you. We hope to see you soon!
Lots of hexagonal love,
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
I’m pretty proud of myself. I’ve been getting out in the snow everyday for some sweat and fresh air. Snowshoe, snowboard, cross country ski, walk -- and one thing I realized I miss is riding my bike. I can’t quite say that each of these activities was worth writing to you about, but the story I have for you today takes place during the cross country ski.
I really didn’t want to go. You know how you just see gray day after day, and you start to think, “I really don’t want to do anything. I want to sleep.” Believe me, that’s how I felt. But then I looked Duce in the please-Mom-please-can-we-do-something-fun-today eyes and found the motivation to put my gear on.
So I pretended to ski down Woodland Road to the local trail system. I really had to work on my balance without any track set for my skis to glide in, but I figured I’d be in x-c ski heaven once I got to the tracks. It took me a few minutes of skiing on tracks until I realize that there were no tracks set by a groomer, just the skiers who came before me. No wonder I could never figure out which were the right tracks. (Hey, nobody ever gave me the ‘Brightest Crayon in the Box’ award.)
Long story short, I was free-skiing (which I don’t even know how to do) on the lovely snow in beat up skis. I don’t mean to sound like I was doing well because I wasn’t. Someone on snowshoes could have passed me.
But then it happened. I looked over at Lake Fanney Hooe, and she looked back at me with one of those “why don’t you come over and try me out?” stares. Before I thought about it, my skis were off and I was sliding my way down to the lake. It would be my first time this winter out on the ice of Fanny Hooe.
“I think people have already been out here,” I told Duce, just as eager as I was. I was hoping he’d go first. He did, but I weigh more than my dog, and when I got to the shore ice, it crunched under my feet. Oh, that’s not a healthy sound, I thought. But I think I see snowmobile tracks in the middle of the lake, and, you know how that ice next to the shore is so finicky... I convinced myself to forge ahead.
To spare you the drama, I made it to the middle, and what a wonderful middle it was! I could see a mile East and a mile West from where I was standing -- uninterrupted. Nothing grows on a frozen lake, you know, so it was like standing in the middle of a white sand desert. A very cold white sand desert, but that wondrous feeling came over me nonetheless.
This really is the only time of year when I can see Copper Habor from that perspective. The view seemed so fresh and new. The only sound I could hear was Interstate 41 whooshing by. Oh, no, wait. That was Lake Superior who sounds like a busy highway when she kicks up the waves. My mistake.
I wish you could have been there with me to take it all in. I honestly had to stay out there and take a few deep breaths of its majesty before I felt like I could leave. Besides that, Duce started digging the ice under my feet, so I knew it was time to go back to shore.
On the way back to shore, I noticed Duce peed in that boot track. And that one. And that one. Oh, boy, that wasn’t pee. It was the lake soaking up into the snow all around me. Okay... maybe I’ll wait a couple more days before going out there again.
Curious as to the ice conditions on the Harbor? Check out www.aviewfromthefield.com webcam!
Sunday, January 3, 2010
Happy New Year! I don’t know about you, but I’m excited about this one. I’m hoping to make this my best year yet. Why? Because I do that with every year.
In da Harbor, 2010 started out with at bang -- actually, lots of bangs and booms and pops. Eat your hear out, Time Square. Copper Harbor has the best New Year’s party around. Zik’s Bar, once again, had live music, hats, noise makers, champagne, kisses, whiskey and a balloon drop. Not bad for the end of the earth, hey? After this chaos at midnight we stepped out into the frosty air to watch the fireworks.
Fireworks again? Yes, fireworks again. This year’s show was quite spectacular. I didn’t expect anything too elaborate, but everytime I thought the show was over, boom, boom, boom came some more! It was more exciting than most places’ grand finale, and the whole show was lit off at a grand finale pace!
So not only did I get to watch fireworks for this grand occasion, but I got to watch them above the Christmasy lit up park. Colored lights above and colored lights below! Anyone on hallucinogens surely would have overloaded their senses. I wish I had evidence of this merriment, but once again, my lack of photography skills and remembering to bring a camera deny me any photos to share with you. But you know, they wouldn’t have done the scene justice anyway.
In the midst of my having a moment about how freakin awesome this is for a little town, I went around to others to make sure they were fully taking in this venue. “Have you ever seen fireworks over a park lit up with Christmas lights before?” Nobody had, but they sure were impressed.
And there I stood, bouncing and shivering next to people I didn’t necessarily know. But in a moment like that, I couldn’t help but feel that we were all brothers and sisters.