I love northern Michigan weather. At home, when there’s a cool night and warm sunny day, B and I will look at each other, sigh and say “It’s Michigan weather.” Monday was warm, not hot, and it got windier as the day wore on. Monday night, really Tuesday morning, thunderstorms rolled through and brought with them a cloudy cool Tuesday morning. I actually slept late waking just before nine and made a lazy start to the day. It stayed cool windy and cloudy most of yesterday. Today it is cool, almost cold. The cottage thermometer read 46 and fog hugged the lake. The sky was mostly clear with a stray contrail, a few puffy clouds, and the last bit of the moon peeking through.
Summer is projects and relaxing, maybe not in that order, but this summer has been more about projects than previous summers. By this time last year, I had read several books and this summer I have read a paltry five books and one of them is a re-read, from fourth and fifth grade, when I read it again, so it’s really a re-re-read. But, that is another story among many other unwritten stories. We’ve been immersed in several projects at home: the basement, gardening, my closet (which hasn’t started), the new office space upstairs as a result of the basement. One thing always leads to another. The cottage isn’t any different. There is always something to do besides sip coffee, gaze out over the lake, read, cook, play in the water, and dream. This summer’s projects at the lake are the painting the deck, gardening (more like weeding), and new appliances – washer, dryer, and fridge.
The appliances were delivered last week and finally on Monday night the dryer became operational. The old dryer was gas and the new dryer is electric which meant having to have the electric upgraded. That was an electrician issue and quickly addressed with a phone call. That job was done before the appliances arrived. When the dryer was installed, we learned that the old vent pipe wouldn’t work and it was my job to move the vent pipe. I could do it, or so I thought, it would be easy. Parts were order to vent the dryer out the side, rather than the back, and they arrived Friday afternoon. After looking at the parts, the dryer, the crawl space – and the job overall, I decided I was over-matched and reached out and called a plumber. The plumber was supposed to show Saturday afternoon, but didn’t and rescheduled for Monday evening. It was nine thirty when the plumber finally arrived and by the time he left, almost two hours later, I had another project, the crawl space. The dryer worked, check.
The cottage’s deck faces west and the lake – it takes a beating from the sun. Every blessing has a flip-side, a trade-off. Our trade-off is that the deck needs painting more often than normal. We should have painted it last year, but we didn’t. At first, we tried stain, but that didn’t hold up. Then we switched to solid stain several years back and that’s where we stand. I remember painting the deck when O was a baby and W was younger – he played in the lake while we worked, this year, he’ll get to paint. Oh, the joy of getting older and gaining responsibility.
The first step is to clean the deck – that is this week, mostly likely today and tomorrow. Cleaning includes washing, scrubbing, power-washing, and sanding. Then letting the deck dry and then, painting. Paint, we needed paint.
Yesterday’s dilemma was that we needed paint and few other things. It was too cool and windy for the lake, so we took off for Traverse City and errands, and of course a little shopping. O and her friends came along for the ride. When we got to Traverse City, we learned we weren’t the only folks who thought the day would be a good day for a day-trip to TC. The traffic was awful and it made me grumpy and I am certain the kids were bored with the errands – paint store, pet shop, and Home Depot. But, they were good. We got our paint, some supplies, and the dog food; the kids played with puppies making the errands more fun. We finally ended up downtown along the lake and our final destination – dinner and some shopping.
Downtown TC is a gem. The old store fronts, classic lines, and few chain stores. Most of the shops are locally owned surviving and thriving on tourism. The kids went to the toy store – Toy Harbor and I found myself in the bookstore, another local gem, an indie bookstore with local authors and other interesting things. I found a book on card games, a couple of packs of Michigan themed playing cards, a few postcards, and a new book – the perks of being a wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. We had dinner at Poppycocks – a family favorite. We usually have lunch there, but it was late and they switched to dinner and even though the menu had changed, we survived. O order pasta and decided she didn’t care for it, so I traded her – my burger for her pasta. One of her friends had a burger and the other, chicken strips and everyone was happy. By the time we finished dinner, the skies were clear and it was sunny, chilly, and windy. Most of the shops were open and we walked the strip. Our last stop was Grand Traverse Pie Company for pie to take home. Their pies are amazing, especially the Cherry Crumb. We drove along the Lake Michigan shore, pointed the car east and home back to the cottage.
Ivy was excited to see me when I opened the door yipping, howling, jumping, licking, and carrying on to show how much she had missed us. That was last night, the pie was delicious, just as I remembered. Now, the sun is up and it’s a glorious northern Michigan morning, soon to be a fabulous day. It’s Michigan weather. B has left to pick up W, the Jamboree is over and he is on his way home. They’ll come back tomorrow afternoon. I have a list and I’d better get started, because it’s gonna be a great day. So, I had better jump up, jump in, and seize the day, or else. Making the Day Count, one day at a time, even with a list of projects that seemingly never ends.
What kind of weather, is your favorite weather?