FOR SOME REASON I was thinking of "Little House on the Prairie" last night as I sat in the Tahoe. I just got back to the cabin from town. I had gone in to pick up fluids at Ma and Pa’s Grocery Store. "Picking up fluids" is a term used here to mean we were in need of something to drink. Milk, juice and a couple of bottles of soda or pop depending on what you called it when you grew up. The ride into town was cool as it was taking awhile for the Tahoe to warm up. It has a good heater but there is a lot of space there. I used to drive the Dodge pickup a lot in the winter because it had a great heater and not nearly as much space to heat. Trouble there is as the bottom of the doors started to rust away I was losing most of my heat, still a good summer truck as now the rusted doors let in the air like a poor mans air conditioner.
So I pulled into my parking space and I turned the Tahoe off and sat for awhile. I figured I had spent sometime heating the inside of the Tahoe up so I might as well enjoy it. Of course once I turned the key off the power to my heated seat went off and I figured as soon as my backside started to cool off I would gather up my fluids and carry them inside. It was dark but not the same kind of dark that you get in the middle of summer out here in the country. When I pulled in the floodlights clicked on to lite up the path to the cabin but after five minutes they blinked out. Light bleeding out from the cabin window's lite up a circle around the cabin. The snow reflected the light and as I sat my eyes adjusted and I could actually see pretty clearly. Of course my mind already knew where everything was or should be.
I could make out the orange extension cord plugged into the wood shop and the end resting in the handle of a broken snow shovel. When I get out I will plug the Tahoe in as tonight and the next couple of nights are forecasted to be cold cold. The long tube wind chime hanging by the back door was ringing softly, just a soft bong, bong that I may or may not have been really hearing. Icicles hang from the north roof and I made a note to myself I just go knock them down before they get too big. The brown end of the wood tarp hangs over the wood pile, six inches of snow resting on top keeping it from flapping. The one single swing hangs from its chains still in the night. No foot prints going to it as the granddaughters have not been swinging for awhile. The big maple reaches skyward naked. Not even any snow on its branches and it does not look like Edd and Eddie the squirrels are home tonight, Smoke curls from the chimney and heads out over the lake, It just looks cold out to me.
I pull my hat down over my ears and tug my gloves snug. I make sure the keys are in my pocket and I open the door and it is as cold as it looks out. Bags in hand I head to the cabin and the deck flood light blinks on and I see Duncan in the kitchen window, He barks once and disappears only to reappear at the deck door. I let myself in and stomp my feet lightly to get some snow off that I can’t see but I am sure is there. The wife takes the bags and I reach down and give the brown dog a couple of big dog pats on his side. The wife as she walks away to the kitchen asks what I was doing out there and I just tell here "I was just enjoying a moment here at Lake Iwanttobethere"
SOME SNOW FALLING here at Lake Iwanttobethere today. I found this out early as Duncan was let outside by the wife and when he was let back in he came and jumped in bed with me. I found out about the snow because there was a layer of it, the snow on Duncan’s back. Duncan rolled against me to get the snow off and I got a fresh start to the day. I got up and got dressed and made my way to the kitchen just in time to hear the phone ring and the wife pick up. I gave her a look and she cover the mouth piece to tell me it was her mother calling, she was telling the wife she did not win the power ball last night and here she had bought TWO tickets, Hmmm, go figure.
I did make it to the Lodge yesterday, Chuck came over and we installed the replacement battery in the Tahoe and I guess I was in need of a battery for awhile. The new one sure spins the starter now. It did however cost me an entire apple pie as when Chuck came into the cabin the wife met him and just gave him a whole pie, no questions asked. I sat down at the kitchen table and discussed with the wife the art of the trade and the value a apple pie has, fresh out of the oven in the dead of winter. Here at Lake Iwanttobethere an apple pie is worth as much as two boxes of girl scout cookies late in the fall. We were interrupted by a knock on the deck door, I got up to answer it and found Elmer standing there with his nose a sniffing, He asked if I had an apple pie and I told him "Chuck just left here with one and he was saying he was going to invite you over, he is probably calling your place right now!" And with that Elmer headed off to Chucks before the wife could offer him any of my pie.
Yesterday was cold but already this afternoon it is in the middle twenties. Some snow flakes are falling and they are the real light fluffy kind that just makes everything look clean again. I could go get the leaf blower out and use it to clean the deck off but I that just sounds like make work to me. Duncan went down already and picked up the mail, and now is when I should be getting seed catalogs and when I don’t get any I am a little disappointed. I did get a fishing catalog and I called up Chuck and we talked fishing for awhile. A quick check of the calendar shows me that we are only 116 days away from opener. Matter of fact I think we are close enough that I will start adding the number of days left at the end of my posts, that way anyone reading this will be able to keep track.
It being the dead of winter neither one of us really have a lot of pressing things that need to be done around the home front. Usually this time of the year we just sit back in our den chairs and talk on the phone about fishing, lakes we should go to, maybe buy some new lures or get out some old ones. We talk until the phone batteries start to beep telling us the phone is going dead, sometimes the conversation can be a few hours long. Today we made it past fishing and started to talk about gardening, not flowers but food gardening. Growing the right kind of baking potatoes to eat with porterhouse steaks was today’s topic. As you can see we invest our time wisely planning the perfect fall supper here in January. So we are only 116 days till fishing here at Lake Iwanttobethere
AWESOME, HILARIOUS, KARDASHIAN I find that if I see any article on the Internet that has any of these three words in the title that if I skip the story I save myself a lot of time. Kardashian now makes the list for the second year in a row. The big city doctor had recommend that I spent less time at the keyboard and more time moving around and I agree. By the way I got my first doctor’s bill from the big city specialist and now I see how she can afford two different kinds of coffee, herbal tea and dark chocolates in candy dishes in her waiting room. Of course to look at it another way I think I would rather go see her then go to a place that has a popcorn machine.
Tahoe is not yet running but the problem has been solved. The battery was bad as my neighbor Chuck came over and we did some trouble shooting. Even though the battery said it was charged and the meter did to we popped open the battery covers and could see some slush, frozen battery. I was in and out of the cabin spending just short trips outside and I did find my 5/16th wrench. Turning it wearing gloves on was interesting but the connection proved not to be the problem. Chuck got his truck started and as long as it was warm we went to town and bought a new battery. On closer inspection of the old battery I found out it was ten years old. So I got my money out of it. Today is a little warmer then yesterday and the sun is shinning. A dusting of snow fell overnight so I am going to wait till the afternoon before I put the new battery in. I don’t think I can ever remember replacing a battery when it was nice out, like in the middle of summer.
The brown dog watched me work from a kitchen chair that is by the window. He sat on the chair and watched as I came and went. From time to time he would bark at me and since I speak lab I knew what he was saying. Mostly encouragement and how cold I looked out their fiddling with pliers and wrenches. Every time I came in he would get off the chair and come to the door and greet me and would go to the door again when it was time for me to go back out. That is as far as he went as he had no intention of going outside, he would rather sit on his chair and stay warm in the cabin. I did look back and see him through the window chewing on something, when I came in I found cookie crumbs on the floor and both the brown dog and my wife both looked at me and just said "What"
The wife took two apple pies from the freezer out and she is going to bake them. I thought we had no pies but somehow a couple have appeared. I figure after they are cooked I will give Chuck a call and tell him I have pie and maybe after we get the battery in the Tahoe we should eat pie and maybe have a glass or two of the hard apple cider he brewed. If the sun stays out I might even go in the greenhouse and take in some solar heat. I think I may just sit in my chair and watch Duncan run around in the cold and snow here at Lake Iwanttobethere
I HATE WINTER of the four season actually five if you count the white sale season after Christmas I rate Winter on the bottom of my list. Last two morning have been downright cold, middle teens below zero when I got up in the morning. Of course I have seen colder temperatures but with the mild winter we have had so far suddenly going from thirty above too almost twenty below seems a little cruel to me. I won’t even talk about the wind as that had to show up with the colder temperatures. The snow has a hard crust on it and you can hear it under your boots as you walk to the wood pile. I was getting along just fine bring wood to the cabin when I wanted to instead of now when I have to.
This morning I let Duncan out the door he made a quick figure eight in the yard and came back on the deck making a carrier landing. That is where he jumps on the deck and slides till his nails catch some wood to stop his forward motion. He came to a halt just short of the door and by the look on his face I could see he was telling me he was good. The bass thermometer on the wall said minus 17 so I totally agreed with him. After breakfast I was going to run into the Lodge for awhile. Got out the winter coat and went out to the Tahoe to warm it up. Put the key in the ignition and got a click but no start. Kind of quiet in the dead of winter when it is cold out and your truck don’t start. I of course tried the key again and nothing. Pop the hood and checked the battery. Connection could be tighter but I was getting cold. Back in the cabin I went.
Boots went on and I got out a hat, warmer gloves and I zipped up my coat and went back outside. Duncan stood at the door, he was not going to follow me. Tried to start the Tahoe again, no go. Fiddled with the battery connections and they were lose so I went in search of a small wrench to tighten the bolt. Got sidetracked in the wood shop and came back in the cabin to warm up. Sat down at the computer and checked the log to see that the battery in the Tahoe is over six years old. Might just be time to replace it and not mess around with it. Taking the battery out of the Tahoe would exceed my lifting restriction so we are on to plan B. Spent some time looking around for a battery tester, found it and checked the battery, could defiantly use some time on the changer so I hooked up a cord and put the charger on and also plugged it the tank heater. Goal is to get it started then drive down to Dug’s and get a new battery installed. Well at least that is the plan.
Got side tracked in the cabin as I was sitting at the desk when my neighbor Chucked called. We talked of cold batteries and trucks that will not start. He went out this morning and his truck did not start either. He has the tank heater now plugged in and I told him of my problem and he told me of his. If I need a ride into town he will give me a lift, just as soon as he gets his truck started. With our call done I ate some breakfast and got dressed to go outside. Warmer out as it is above zero so I am confident I will get the Tahoe started, I just need to find that right size little wrench to tighten up that little positive battery screw. I stepped out onto the deck just in time to hear a not so positive shout come from Chuck’s place, funny how when it is cold out sound travels so well here at Lake Iwanttobethere
SNOW FELL OVERNIGHT yesterday and I spent the day making short trips outside cleaning it away. Listening to the forecast from Sunshine Ray the cold is on its way and if you have outside work to do yesterday was the day. So I pushed back snow from the deck and got the sidewalks clean. The deicer I bought the other day was transferred to a couple of coffee cans and I had to fill them a couple of times till I got enough spread. Duncan has learned a new trick while I was cabin bound. The wife has taught him how to go get the mail. I am not going to make a big deal out of it as I don’t want her, the wife to get a big head. All Duncan does is run down to the mailbox when Mark the mailman shows up. He takes our mail and puts it inside the plastic bag that the paper comes in and holds it out for Duncan. Duncan then runs it up to the cabin and is rewarded with a biscuit, I tell her my training of Duncan to fetch wood from the pile is more impressive. I was going to go down to the mailbox this morning when Duncan ran past me and I stood and watched as he got the mail and brought it back up, OK, it is a pretty cool trick.
Cabin has been a busy place the past few days. The daughter and son in law took their three girls down to the big big city for a long weekend. Their dogs Mia and Buster are here and it is nice to have three dogs running around. It is like a sleep over for Duncan as he and Mia the Austrian Shepherd are never more then a few feet away from each other as they run the cabin and have been told by the wife several times to "Take it outside." Buster is the old man of the group and at twelve he is very comfortable just following me around and sleeping at my feet. I have been taking care of him since he was a pup so this is pretty much his second home. Several times I have made the comment about it being nice having the sound of paws running on the wood floors again and the wife would just give me a glare over the top of her glasses. But I did catch her feeding all the dogs some cookies that she said were old.
Today I have made a few trips outside but I have a hat on and my coat is zipped up. Not real cold out but you can tell the difference between the high thirties and the middle teens. Tonight will be ice making weather for sure as it will be well below zero. Matter of fact in town the outdoor thermometers have been switched back to Fahrenheit from Celsius, it is now cold enough we don’t have to fake it for the tourist. Wife was just in here showing me that she had washed my winter coat and just took it out of the dryer. She asked if I wanted it by the back door or back in the front closet. I told her to toss it on the chair and five minutes later one of the tom cats was sleeping on the still warm coat.
Just got a laff here as Duncan and Mia were let out the door and took off to the edge of the property. I was watching as Duncan was looking a little birdie. I was just going to call out to the wife to look out the window when a grouse blew up out of a snow drift and I could almost hear it take to wing inside the cabin. I snorted a little juice in my noise as I saw Mia jump back as the grouse rattled the city dog. Like a little kid she then acted tough and showed Duncan she was not scared of some bird and strutted some. Duncan just gave her a look and I am sure he just shook his head at her and walked away here at Lake Iwanttobethere
BACK IN MY own bed sounds like a good opening line for an after the first of the year story. If I was young there might be a story in that of maybe having a little to much to drink, to much partying and finding myself in someone else bed. Unfortunately none of that is true as it is really just a line explaining I am out of the hospital and back at the cabin. Actually I was only in for a day but I had a bed rest order and was not allowed to drive for a few days and also a lifting requirement imposed. There are sure a lot of things that you take for granted that weigh more then ten pounds. I was able to cruise the web sites with my tablet but it is a real pain to post when you are as long winded as I am. Today I got the lap top back and nurse Ratched aka the wife said I can use it.
I could write a long story about my hospital stay as there is sure a lot to write about but I won’t. I will mention that I was in for some testing that involved a very very long needle stuck in my back to do some core sampling. It went well as just before they stuck the first needle in they put some stuff in my IV that brought be back to the seventies for a few minutes, the rest was a blur. Thumbs up to the hospital staff, I have no complaints other then they would not let be look over the wine list at dinner. By ten thirty that night I was on the way back home with the wife driving and I think she hit every pothole and a few curbs.
The brown dog thought this laying in bed for a couple of days was something he could get used to. As every time I woke up he was right there next to me. I even got to order my meals although there was a few menu changes from the when the order was placed to what I actually got. Lucky for me the daughter brought me in a cheeseburger that was hand delivered to me by my two year old grand daughter. I heard her coming in the bedroom so I hid under the covers, big mistake as she launched herself on top of me landing on my incision. You would think I would learn as you should always expect the unexpected from little kids.
Drove into town this afternoon, first thing I had to do is adjust the seat and steering wheel and all the mirrors since the wife has been driving the Tahoe and not her Jeep, something about her Jeep not having heated seats. Didn’t really have a reason to go to town just had to get out of the bed and out of the cabin for awhile. Went to the General Store and bought a bag of ice melt, before I could pick it up Big Earl had one of his carry out boys pick it up and toss it in the back of the Tahoe. The wife had already called ahead and told him I might be stopping by. I went to adjust the bag in the back of the Tahoe and felt a little twinge in my back and that was the end of that. I nodded to Big Earl and was on my way. Took my time driving home and to my surprise I reached into the console expecting to find an empty cigar case only to find three cigars in it. I pulled off to the side of the road and lit a cigar and rolled the window down a tad to let the smoke out and the cool air in. I arrived at home and looked at the bag of salt and let it sit where it was. By the time I made the walk into the cabin I was ready for a nap. Think I am going to pay attention to the DOC and take it easy for awhile here at Lake Iwanttobethere
JANUARY FIRST 2016 where did 2015 go? Last night we had the gala New Years Eve Ball at the Lodge. The membership just calls it a party but the Woman’s Auxiliary makes big things out of everything so it has to be referred to as a Ball. I spent the evening looking for Cinderella to appear but she must have missed her ride. I spent most of the evening sitting at the table by the fireplace along with all the other husbands that had colds but had to come to the Ball. We figured we were safe being by ourselves and not spreading our colds to others. Glenn mentioned that we had a pretty good chance that all of us had the same strain. We waved Dock Burriem over but he refused to come close, yelled at us he didn’t get to be old by being around sick people.
We had the good blue and red checker tablecloths out and every table had a one of them hurricane lamps with a lit candle inside. Christmas lights hung from the rafters and the fireplace had decorative burning logs a blazing. We could not just burn some maple in there we had to have fire logs that put out fancy colors, according to Doris. Our table was pretty much avoided by others, could be because of the boxes of tissues on the table and most of our drinks all had orange juice in them. Might also had to do with the yellow caution tape that Gus had strung around us. So most people kept their distance from us and just gave us waves or shouted HIYA.
I made it all the way through last winter without getting a real good hard-core cold but not this season. I am on day five so I hope I am on the way to healing. After my first screwdriver last night I spent the rest of the night just sipping on straight orange juice, If I wanted a buzz all I had to do was stand up fast. I can’t really tell you much about the gala Ball since I was confined to my seat but it looked like everyone was enjoying themselves. Pretty good turn out as we had a good view of the main door so we could see people coming and going. A lot of people just came in to say HIYA and then went on their way. I don’t think they left it is just there was free hay rides and we have enough ice on the lake that a few of the guys were down fishing in portables. The hay ride was pretty popular as they had a couple of wine flasks filled with blackberry wine that were passed around but someone had slipped in flask of blackberry brandy which had a more serious effect on some of the tee totters.
MonsterMoose was there with his pup Finn and he attracted a crowd, not of young ladies like you would think but of fellow duck hunters. Legalmusky was there along with Leach and Leachlake, Lee and Nytelighter. Hope and Anyfish were dancing up a storm and Dotch was over on the couch talking old cars with Elmer. Wellesy and Vermillionfox were trading walleye spots. Big Earl was there of course along with my neighbor Chuck and his wife Sam. Tess was dancing with Hammering Hank and Skinny had his arm around some tall slender woman I have never seen before. Balloon drop went off without a hitch and I was home tucked away in bed before one. This morning I found my wife sitting in the kitchen with breakfast in front of her but she was not eating. I poured myself some juice and told her she must have had to much of the blackberry brandy, she blew her nose and looked at me over the top of her glasses and said "No, I think I have your cold!" Happy New Year from here at Lake Iwanttobethere
FOUND A LETTER in my mailbox this morning from my doctor down in the big city. Letter was to inform me that he is closing his practice and moving to a small town in Wisconsin, I always knew he was a Packer fan. He is not leaving till April so it was nice of him to give me a decent heads up but now I have to go find myself another doctor to break in. I have given this some thought and the twenty-one years I have been his patient is my second longest relationship. The wife of course is first. I am not counting friendships just relationships where money has been exchanged.
Well glad he told me so I can start looking, I see my doctor more then I see some of my relatives. I do have Dock Burriem but he has been retired for awhile and is still good for advice but his days of doctoring are done. I have brushed on a few health issues I have as we all do as we get older. Matter of fact I have to go into the hospital after the first of the year for some poking and a closer look see at an issue. When I come out I am going to have to spend some bed time and get a weight restriction slapped on me. Wife has already told me the lap top is getting hid. I am more worried about what the brown dog will do to me when he finds me in bed. So when you don’t notice any stories for awhile that is why.
The second half of the forecasted snow never amounted to anything. We did get some strong winds there for about twenty-four hours that made it feel a lot colder then what it was. Snow on the ground and bare branches with no sunshine makes it look cold out when you look out the windows. The oldest son came over and took his snow thrower, I am once gain in need of one. He did go ahead and blow everything out so I didn’t have to. The last football game of the season is a must see and now they have moved it to Sunday night. Going to make for a short night for me as I go to the big city early the next morning, hope the DOC will not be to upset when his team loses and he takes it out on me, just kidding DOC, in case he really does read this.
I got a mess of books to read for Christmas so that is good and today yet another seed catalog was found in the mailbox. I am not making this up, the new years is not here but the catalogs are. Of course a master bass catalog also showed up and I have not looked in it yet but I am sure I will be able to pick out a few things that will be needed. Wife wants to take the Christmas tree down early, she knows I will not be able to help. I of course protest saying we have always had the tree up for the New Years. So far the tree is still up although Buff the cat has been doing a good job at the ornament removal. These are of course all plastic ornaments as the glass ones were broke years ago by Bud and Barney knocking over the tree chasing the cats when they were just pups and the cats were kittens.
New Years Eve party coming up at the Lodge, we are expecting a good turn out now that we have snow ands some ice. Hay rides will be offered from the public access up to the Lodge and the FELLOWS will be offering free Uber rides for those in need. Life goes on here at Lake Iwanttobethere
SOUND OF THE furnace running woke me up this morning, my first thought was that it must have gotten cold overnight. Rolled out of bed and got dressed and Duncan followed me into the living room. Just a few red coals looking at me from beneath ash in the fireplace. I pulled the screen back and added some kindling and a few sticks of birch then a chunk of maple on top of the ash. Before I could close the screen a few curls of smoke were rising from the kindling. I followed Duncan to the deck door and moving the rolled up rug from the bottom of the door I let the brown dog out onto the snow covered deck. I stood looking out the glass door at the bass thermometer hanging on the siding and the red needle looked like it was resting at about fifteen. I didn’t have my glasses on but I reckon that would be a pretty fair and accurate guess.
Seven inches of snow fell yesterday and it looks like nothing was added overnight. I know this because I had cleared the snow off of a section of railing and it was still clear as I looked at it this morning. No wind blowing as I looked at the top of the big maple and saw the limbs there heavy with snow but not moving. I watched Ed and Eddies nest looking for movement and I saw none. The two squirrels could be in another of their condos elsewhere I guess. Duncan reappeared at the deck door and I let him in, he gave me a quick thank you and heading back down the hall to someone’s warm bed. I sat down in the den and heard the furnace shut down but could now make out the crackling of fire in the fireplace and the quiet of a winter morning.
Next to my desk on the floor sits a cardboard box half full or hall empty depending on how you look at it of Christmas tree ornaments. Right on cue the daughter's cat Buff who thinks he is a retriever comes around the corner with a tree ornaments in his mouth and he is trying to meow with his mouth full. I take the ornament from him and drop it in the box along with the others. I then open up a little box I have on my desk and take out a cat treat. This I give to Buff who then leaves me. Wife and daughter can’t understand why Buff keeps raiding the tree and I just keep smiling to myself.
A typical snow storm in these parts is snow, then cold and then sunshine and then more snow. We got the snow and last night it got cold enough to kick the furnace on. This morning the sun is shinning and not a cloud in the sky. I think it has been over a month since we have had a day of sunshine. No football that I want to watch till later this afternoon so I am thinking maybe I will put off doing any shoveling and me and Duncan will take that walk out on the back trail. I am willing to bet that a few birds will be sunning themselves on the edge of the swamp and will be moving out away from the snow covered pines. Only have a week of bird hunting left and I have bagged a few birds this season but some pan fried Grouse would hit the spot here for supper tonight. Have to end this, the wife is up and she is yelling at me to come help her get the cat out of the Christmas tree here at Lake Iwanttobethere
DAY AFTER CHRISTMAS and of course now it decides to snow! Some light stuff fell over night and now here in mid afternoon it has started to really come down. Already the railings on the deck have about six inches on them and I have been out twice to shovel a path on the deck and clean the front stairs off. The wife just looks at me over her glasses as she sits at the kitchen table and asks why I just don't go and get the son's snow thrower out. I make myself some cocoa and tell her if I take the snow thrower out then I will have made a commitment to clean everything all up, and it is not done snowing.
I was kind of thinking about grabbing the shotgun and taking Duncan for a walk on the back trail but with it still snowing, the grouse will be hiding in the pines. I will wait and then Duncan and I will take a walk maybe tomorrow if the snow does not get too deep. Duncan and I did take a walk down to the mailbox, had to brush the snow off the box and inside I found a few late arriving cards and yet another seed catalog. This one I was actually looking forward to as it has the container corn seeds in it that I want to grow in my swimming pool grow bags this season. I followed Duncan’s paw prints back up the driveway and thought to myself how much distance does a dog travel. My brown dog goes no where in a straight line.
Walked right past the covered wood pile, we were good on that. The pile was starting to disappear under the snow matter of fact enough snow has fallen that all the grass is covered and even the raised beds in the garden have disappeared. I thought about clearing snow of the Tahoe but kept walking, I am not planning on driving anywhere for awhile. Been a busy week with Christmas Eve here at the cabin and the Lodge party the night before. Mother in law had all the family over for Christmas dinner and nothing unusual happen there. I was a little under the weather as I have a nice deep chest cold that I am blaming the granddaughter for passing it on to me. Not wanting to pass it on I stayed long enough to sample pie and left before the Tahoe got pinned in.
Christmas Eve morning the youngest daughter and I went and saw Star Wars at the local movie house. Place was pretty full and we were rewarded with a good movie. I bought the tickets and she bought the soda and popcorn, I think I got the better deal. We timed it just about right as no sooner did we get back home then the family started gathering for dinner and gift opening. Storm should blow itself out after dark tonight and I will have all day tomorrow to dig out and clean up. Might even get enough snow to make it worth it to dig out the snow thrower and push banks back some. I saw my neighbor Chuck and we waved at each other and he yelled something that the wind caught and took away before it could get to me. I yelled something back that I knew he would not hear and we waved again and went on our way. I went in the cabin and took my boots off and hung up my coat, I headed to the den with my seed catalog and the wife asked me what did Chuck want" I told her he said he will help clean snow up tomorrow, no sense is spending time outside now while it is still snowing, Merry Christmas and I’ll take at ya later, here at Lake Iwanttobethere
BEEN A BUSY week here at Lake Iwanttobethere, matter of fact I have only sat down at the computer a couple of times this last week. Granddaughter number two was here for several days as she is on Christmas vacation and she likes coming here as part of her vacation. The other grand kids all made appearances as their parents went Christmas shopping. I don’t consider the time with the grand kids as baby-sitting but more like free labor. That is what my wife says. While the kids were here they shoveled the deck off of ice and filled the fire wood racks. I got the wood shop swept and even the fire ring cleaned. The china hutch was dusted along with the wife’s collection of bells that cover the little shelf’s over the top of the doorways. I had brought in the small scaffold inside the cabin and it was easy to convince the kids to take turns dusting stuff as they were pushed around on top of the scaffold. Their grandma was not around to see this happen. Also got all the ceiling fan blades clean and the light globes washed..
For some reason they will not do this kind of work at home but here at the cabin it is fun to wipe down my duck collection and look over the old reels that hang on the wall. The den walls are covered in 8x10 fishing pictures and the kids take extra care in cleaning up photos with them in them. One afternoon the granddaughter and I went shopping, mostly because I was trying to find out what she wanted but also I had to buy a few things. The wife and I take turns each Christmas doing the gift buying and this year it is her turn. But I still have to pick up things for a few friends and of course there is always the gift exchange at the Lodge. Speaking of the Lodge the gala Christmas Eve party is tonight and also our gift exchange. I am here at the Lodge right now and the place looks good, it will look even better tonight when we just have the Christmas lights on and a few drinks in me.
OK so back to shopping, the granddaughter and I went out and shopped, I like going out with her because shopping with a nine year old brings a different perspective. Adults tend to buy things practical where as kids tend to buy more fun things. I am of the school that a present should not be something you need but rather something you would never buy for yourself. You won’t see socks and neckties or gift cards from me. With our shopping done we took stuff back to the cabin and I wrapped while she made handmade gift tags. All done we admired our work with some hot cocoa and some cookies she had baked with her grandma. Her parents were going to pick her up in a half hour and she started putting her stuff into her back pack. That is when she told me she "Could really use another tackle box" I told her, "You can never have enough tackle boxes" and in my mind I was already shopping for a new tackle box.
Snowy, rainy weather in the forecast for today, already it is thirty-six out and with the overcast sky it is going to get even messier. What snow we have is piled up alongside the roadways with a dirty layer of dirt on top of it. I was going to stop at the car wash on my way into the Lodge this morning but when I came by there was a line out to Main Street. Seems everyone has the same idea. With the luggage rack on top of the Tahoe the ice/snow is trapped on the roof and with no sunshine it is not going anywhere till Spring at this rate. So I have the laptop open and it is quiet here at the bar. Drapes are pulled open but we have the Christmas lights all on. Vinny and Honey are going around checking lights to make sure everything is working for tonight’s gathering and Elmer is in the kitchen with Gus. They are taste testing a small batch of Eggnog before making the big batch for tonight. Guys have been coming in making quick stops to put presents under the big tree and to go down to the basement lockers to add or subtract presents hidden there. Stormy Clearweather is forecasting it will get cooler and we will get snow. We still have a few days before Christmas here at Lake Iwanttobethere
WELL MY DRIVEWAY is a snow covered ice crusty frozen mess, didn’t take long for Mother Nature to put her take on things. Had to run into the Lodge this morning but first I had to get into the Tahoe. All the doors were froze from the wet snow that turned to rain and then back to snow and then froze overnight. Foolish me I just ran out to the truck with keys in hand and when I found the doors stuck I had to come back in the cabin for a proper coat and some gloves. The wife was looking over her cookbook at me and said that she had a bottle of that deicer stuff in her Jeep. I just kind of gave her a blank stare and we looked at each other like that for awhile until she said "I suppose the Jeep doors are froze to" I just nodded and shook my head.
Properly dressed I went back outside with Duncan ahead of me. I tried the driver's door but didn’t not try to hard. Nothing worse then breaking the handle on the driver's door because of a frozen door, been there done that. I did get the back door open and then had to climb between the front seats. Key in ignition I started the truck turned the heat on high and climbed back out. Duncan and I then walked down the drive to get the morning paper and mail. Couple of bills and a couple of Christmas cards and another seed catalog. Spring must really be coming early this next year I am thinking.
Made a detour to the wood pile and putting the mail in my pocket I loaded up an arm full of wood and Duncan dragged a chunk of birch back to the cabin. I just carried the wood right inside but Duncan got his chunk stuck in the door and I had to help him. I took off my coat and Duncan was patiently waiting by the biscuit box for his reward. We had a brief talk as I told him one piece of wood does not equal one biscuit, then I went ahead and gave him one anyway. Drank some OJ and looked at the bills then put my coat back on and back to the Tahoe, doors opened easy as a blast of hot air came out. Took my time driving down to the Lodge, Roads were in pretty bad shape, lots of ice and I saw a few tire tracks that were close to going into the ditch.
Well the good news is we got some snow and now we will have a white Christmas. I drove by the General Store and Big Earl was out front with his broom brushing off a monster of a snow blower parked right out front. He waved at me and I waved back, he knows I am still in the market for a snow blower but he does not know that my son stored his at my place and I am not going to let it go, at least not yet. At the Lodge the walkways are clear and as I drove up I could see smoke curling out of the main chimney. The sun was peaking out from behind some fast moving clouds and I stopped and watched, been awhile since we have had sunshine. A minute later and it, the sun was gone again so I went inside the Lodge.
We have ice making weather and snow on the ground, I know some people were hoping for it to stay brown for a while longer but I guess we are way past due. Have to admit the Christmas tree does look better with some snow in the background. A week from Christmas here at Lake Iwanttobethere
WINTER MAY BE here at Lake Iwanttobethere. This morning when I went to the bathroom I noticed it was darker then usual, that is because the skylight was covered in snow. I got dressed and made my way to the deck door to let Duncan out. I had to hold the door open for a few extra seconds as he was tentatively checking out the snow with his front paw. He decided it was OK and then put it in four wheel paw and took off across the deck and out into the yard. It was soon apparent that his goal was to leave a paw print on every square foot of the property. I put on a hat and jacket and took out the gloves from inside the pocket and stepped out onto the deck. I could feel the snow go "Squish" under my shoes and before I even lifted the shovel that was leaning up against the cabin I knew it was that heavy, wet, heart attack snow.
I tried to push a shovel wide path of snow across the deck but only made it half way. I had to lift the shovel and start on the other side of the pile I had built up. One nice thing about first snow I was able to push the snow on the shovel right under the railing and out into the yard. A few snowfalls from now and the snow will be up even with the deck and I will have to lift or take the snow blower out and toss the snow out over the railings. I took several breaks just resting on my shovel and watched the brown dog crisscross the fresh clean snow like a destroyer hunting a sub. I jokingly shouted out that he missed a spot and he glanced at me and changed course a few points to run directly over the spot I had pointed at. I shook my head and went back to shoveling.
Good snow for making a snowman I thought as I lifted the heavy sticky snow off to the side of the sidewalk, too bad the grand kids are all in school. With the shoveling all done or at least as much as I was going to shovel I open a bag of deicer and filled a couple of coffee cans. I took one can and tossed some deicer on the steps and in front of the doors. It was misting out and I stopped and turned my face up and watched small rain drops falling. Not good I was thinking and I tossed a few more handfuls of the deicer. Shoveling done I put the shovel back up against the side of the cabin and kicked my shoes up against the side of the cabin to knock the snow off. I was about to call for Duncan but he was standing right behind me. I let him in and he stopped and waited for me to take off my coat and grab a towel to give him his rub down.
Made my way to the den sat in my chair and made a note on the daily to do list that I shoveled snow. Then I checked it off. No sooner did I lean back in my chair and swivel it to look out the big window then the drizzle turned into snowflakes. Big Snowflakes the size of quarters that take awhile to fall and so many of them that I can no longer see across the lake. The first shoveling of the season is not going to last very long the way the snow is coming down I thought. Duncan is whining at the back door, I can see him looking out as the snow covers up all his hard work. I get up and walk over and pat him on the back and tell him I know exactly how he feels, here at Lake Iwanttobethere
WHAT WOULD WE do without Flannel? I was out and about with the wife this morning. We had some errands to do and instead of taking both trucks into town we took mine. I was sitting outside of Ma and Pa’s Grocery waiting. I had the truck running and the heater on high, seat was also on high and the vents on the dash were blowing hot air directly into my face with a Beach Boys CD in the player. Some ice pellets were ticking off the windshield and as I watched the thermometer on the rear view mirror dropped another degree. I think we are in for a change of weather as the ice pellets started to turn into snow flakes and were melting on the hood of the Tahoe.
I was debating on going into my stash and lighting up a cigar but I figure I would hold off. I did notice a lot of people on Main Street, shopping. Flashing lights in windows and various Christmas scenes painted on store front windows. I also noticed flannel just about everywhere. Had not really noticed it before until I started looking for someone who was not wearing flannel. Then I started counting, flannel was number one and number two was flannel over a hoodie, number three was a brown work coat and number four was some kind of Christmas sweater. Baseball caps were also a common sight and still a few orange caps were on heads. Did not see much skin though. I think we are done seeing a ladies naked ankle for several months. Of course this is just the menfolk the ladies have a uniform all of their own. Ski jackets with those stretch pants and hair harden into helmets from to much hairspray.
Wind was still blowing and from time to time a gust would shake the Tahoe some. The falling snow would swirl and roll down the street because it was not snowing hard it was just snowing enough. The wife came out of Ma and Pa’s chatting with Dorothy and she opened the door and held it open as she continued to talk. The door was deflecting the cold air into the Tahoe and my hot air was leaving me. I finally had to speak up and told her to stop heating Main Street and she made her third good-bye to Dorothy and got in and pulled the door closed. Before I could even complain about losing my heat she started in with ‘That women can sure talk, I was just waiting for you to say something so I could get away" I just closed my mouth, not even going to try and say anything.
Next stop was the drugstore where the wife had a coop-on for wrapping paper. She headed into the store and I sat back in my seat waiting for the heat to catch up. More flannel's jackets on the street and now I am stuck seeing nothing but flannel every where I look. Kind of like when someone buys a new truck and then all you notice is trucks just like that. I tried to distract myself by looking for pickups with snow plows but all the drivers were wearing flannel. The temperature dropped another degree and I noticed on the bank sign they were flashing CD rates and their temperature was in Celsius it said 0. A little shiver went down my back as not even the hot air blowing in my face and the Beach Boys singing about A Little Duce Coupe is going to keep winter away here at Lake Iwanttobethere
Dear Santa Claus,
Do you know Norman the gnome? Or my elf on the shelf that’s name is Emily ? Does she really fly to you every night to tell you if I was naughty or nice? Thank you for the present. Do you know the Tooth Fairy or the Easter Bunny ? How did you become Santa Claus ? Are you and Saint Nick the same person or are you brothers ? Do you have any sisters ? It was very nice of you to send me that box of stuff. Please tell Mrs. Claus thank you for the sugar cookies recipe. What’s your favorite holiday besides Christmas ? How old are you ? How do you know what to get all the nice chidden ? How did you get all of your reindeers? Where does the coal come from?
My nine year old granddaughter was over last night and today while I was busy in the kitchen acting as her short order cook she asked if she could work on the computer some. I set her up and showed her how to use the spell check. Being nine and growing up in a modern world she is pretty savvy already and soon I could hear her clicking away and asking my ECHO that sits on the desk how to spell things she is not sure of. When breakfast was ready she came to eat and then we got distracted, something that nine year olds and old guys seem to do a lot. Of course our distraction today was to go and cut down two perfect Christmas trees.
After her parents picked her and her perfect tree up I wandered back into the den and found her letter on the screen, I saved it for her to finish on her next visit. So just now I sat down here at the desk and opened up the writing program and read her letter. I am sharing it with you untouched and unedited as a peek into a nine year olds imagination.
She is a smart girl as are all of our grand kids and she takes after me in a few ways. She already is a big reader and is a couple of years ahead of her age group and it now appears she has a knack for writing. Maybe she will become a hard writing reporter it sure looks like she has some questions for Santa that need to be answered. She is at the age where she no longer really believes in Santa but she is also at the age that she wants to believe in Christmas. Some people stop believing in Santa and don’t sing Christmas songs or decorate with lights and bake Gingerbread men. She has two younger sisters at home only one and two years old. To them they have many Christmas’s ahead of them and she is going to enjoy sharing Santa with them. My wife is one of those kind of people as soon as the tree came into the cabin she was already waiting with her boxes of decorations. The granddaughter helped and I just stood back taste testing cookies from the cookie exchange. As I look over this I am starting to wonder, well where does Santa get his coal? We don’t have a mine here at Lake Iwanttobethere
SECOND FRIDAY IN December and it is still warm, there is no snow on the ground and it is cloudy enough that people around the lake have their Christmas lights on. A couple of things did happen today. The founding fathers did cancel the Ice House Fling as we have no ice and no snow on the hill. This of course means we will not have the ice shanty town on the ice in time for Christmas. Even the skating rink needs some cold weather other wise when Christmas break comes the kids will be shooting hoops outdoors and playing broom ball on the grass. I was notified by phone by Gus that the founding fathers have requested that the Lodge along with other business in town to only display the outdoor temperature in Celsius. This way it will at least look like we are cold in any pictures. By the way it is forty out right now which means it is 5c
I did along with the wife and many other parents and grandparents attend the Lake Iwanttobethere grade school Christmas show. Here at the Lake we still call it a Christmas show and not a holiday pageant. With four grand kids in school I have them scattered through out the show. Back in the day they would start with the kindergartens and work their way up through the grades but then people would leave as soon as their kid performed. Now they have them, the grades scattered and you no longer get a program till the show is done. This way you stay confused which is a normal state of mind for a lot of the older grandparents.
Several laundry carts were outside the main auditorium doors when you come in. Our two paper bags of shredded paper now confetti were dumped into the laundry cart which was decorated with red tinsel but still had the bold PROPERTY OF LAKE IWANTTOBETHERE SCHOOL DISTRICT stenciled on the side. The school janitor, I forget his name was not looking too happy as he dumped the confetti into the cart. My mother in law was in front of us and she had brought in three bags, I think she knew the janitor as he told her the note said two and no more. We had no trouble parking today so I could not use the dropping the wife and mother in law off at the door so I can find parking trick. Nope there was a spot real close and I parked and we all walked in together, carrying our bags of paper confetti.
We even found seats in the second row, dead center. I was getting a feeling that something was up as I noticed the place was pretty packed but yet sparse in the front. Even with some seats open parents were standing in the back and along the walls. I hunkered down in my seat and made myself kind of comfortable. I started to fidget some till the wife leaned into me and said "If you can sit in a deer stand you can sit on a wood seat" I was about to say something when my mother in law put her finger to her lips and gave me a hush…
The show started and it was not bad, sitting in the front has it advantages as I could actually hear what the kids were singing. My two grandsons made me smile as they are in the fourth and third grades and as one class came off the risers the other class went on. The two brothers passed each other and slugged each other in the shoulders. Teachers rolled their eyes at the two of them but nothing was broke, no one fell off the risers so no harm no foul. Granddaughter number two had a two line solo and she sang it well. Granddaughter number one was on the drums and she was playing a 4-4 or a 3-4 time, either way it takes a lot of practice to be able to go back and forth like she did. The confetti was saved for the last song, White Christmas and on cue pails of the stuff were thrown from the stage to land on, you guessed it… Everyone in the first few rows here at Lake Iwanttobethere
SITTING AT THE Resort this afternoon, Duncan is on the floor next to me his head resting on my boot. The idea was to go take a walk out back and see if we can kick up a bird or two from the corn patch. Not going to happen as I am sitting in booth number one watching it rain. Been a long time since I can remember it raining in December, to tell the truth I really don’t remember it and even Elmer was scratching his head when asked. No snow on the ground, not even a little white under the deck or along the shop wall where snow usually gathers and stays till June. The jumping deer on the wall thermometer says it is forty out and with no wind it would be a nice day, except for the rain.
Resort has been quiet, with no snow we have no riders coming in for lunch and with no ice we have no fishermen. The bait room lights are off, no reason to go in there and we have just the one minnow tank bubbling. Just a few minnows swimming around and Vic checks on them several times a day and has started to name some of them. Had a short morning at the Lodge as I had already penciled myself in for the afternoon off. I was gone before lunch and I drove up to the Resort taking my time. No sleds on trailers and most driveways held their ice houses on snow less ground. Christmas lights were on, guess it is dark enough for them. Big Earl at the General Store says he is almost all sold out as with the mild weather people have had time to hang lights and add lights. Even here at the Resort Vic has strung lights along the railings and Hammering Hank says when it stops raining he will get a ladder out and hang some along the edge of the porch roof.
Saturday the number two granddaughter and I will head to the tree farm and harvest a tree for her and a tree for me. The mother in law went to the guy out on the highway and bought a tree from him but not until she made him stand just about everyone of them up for an inspection. The wife drove the tree to her mother's house tied on top of the Jeep as I had made myself scarce. The Lodge is decorated as on Saturday the Woman’s Auxiliary decorated the place. Honey Sauce butted heads with the president, Doris over what should go where. I was not there and Gus stepped out back. A couple of guys were taking advantage of the day to shoot a round of skeet and Gus said you could hardly hear the shouting between the shotguns going off.
Tomorrow is the Lake Iwanttobethere grade school Christmas show and I will be attending. Parking should not be an issue as there will be no snow banks to steal parking spaces. The grand kids tell me they have a really Big Show planned. I saw the note asking parents and grandparents to please bring a bag of confetti to the show. I think because we have no snow they want the paper for something, that should be interesting for the janitor. Tomorrow will also be decision time about this years Ice House Fling, I don’t think there is a person with in fifty miles of Lake Iwanttobethere that would bet that the fling is going to happen on Saturday. Yet the founding fathers will hold off to the last minute to announce the cancellation or more likely just the postponement of the event.
So for now I am sitting in the booth watching rain fall and hearing the drips outside of the window. Marv is baking cookies so it does smell good in here, matter of fact he just brought out some test sample Ginger bread men. I took one off the plate and Duncan sat up. Me with a cookie had caught his attention. I took a bite and chewed, pretty tasty I said and then Marv asked me " What does a gingerbread man put on his bed at night? Chewing on another bite of the cookie I shook my head from side to side that I didn’t know. Marv with a smile on his face said "A cookie Sheet" I gave him a little groan and gave Duncan the rest of the cookie as Marv headed back to the kitchen here at Lake Iwanttobethere
WOKE UP THIS morning with a hacking cough and a runny nose. Found a box of the soft tissue in the kitchen and a platter of fudge and like Charlie Brown’s Linus I dragged a blanket with me to the den. Before I even looked at my e-mail I decided I should jot down a few things from yesterday. A couple of weeks ago during my check up I had some flags pop up on some blood work. Dock Burriem acting like the DOC Burriem of old told me I should go down and see a friend of his in the big city and so I did. Yesterday I had to go down again as the flags were confirmed and now sometime after the holiday’s I am going to have to get a real looking over. I think a few of my lifetime warranty parts are failing. I did get to the doctor's office early so I had time to sample the candy bowls which I was told by the receptionist held only healthy dark chocolate. Hearing that I put a few extra ones in my coat pocket.
My visit with the DOC was neither long nor short and I had to wait on some tests to get processed. Gave me time to check out some herbal tea and look over the novels in the waiting room. I found one book that looked interesting and had a couple of book marks in it. The receptionist told me that I could go ahead and start it if I wanted to and he gave me a bookmark that I could mark my spot. Next time I come back I can pick up reading from where I left off. That was my first clue I will be coming back to this waiting room. I had to sign some paper work and will be getting a call for my next visit sometime after the holidays. To say I was not a happy camper would be putting it lightly, but not a lot I can do. With blood tests I can’t even go back home and study.
As long as was in the big city and it was getting to be supper time I drove off thinking I should treat myself to dinner. I drove around some but nothing really caught my eye so I headed to the local Al-mart for some shopping. I wandered around some but I guess I was not really in a shopping mood so I picked up a big box of biscuits for Duncan and headed to the check outs. The express lane only had a couple of people and I got in line. It was slow because there was an older clerk that was trying to engage customers in small talk. I figure they are trained to do this to try and give customers that friendly old fashion service vibe. When it was my turn I gave her my best smile and figured I would do my best to engage her in conversation.
Welcome to Al-Mart, did you find everything all right today?
Yes, I did as a matter of fact I did and also a few other things to.
Yes, I certainly do like coming and shopping here, the cashiers are so friendly!
She laughed some and started to ring up my box of dog biscuits.
So do you have anything special going on tonight? I asked
She looked at me and "Hey that is my line!"
I nodded my head because I had heard her say it to the two customers before me. I then said "We sure could use some snow"
Before she could say anything an older gent behind me pitched in with "without snow it is not going to feel like Christmas this year" and then the clerk stopped and turned to the older gent and gave him a little wink and said something about making Christmas cookies. I was going to say something but the two were now going down memory lane about some kind of Christmas cookie. A lady behind the old gent rested some powder sugar and marshmallows on the counter and the clerk said "Are we making fudge?" The old guy turned around and laid the charm on the lady behind him and just said "Fudge, did I hear you make home made fudge?"
I watched as the three of them starting to talk about double boilers as the old guy said he likes making home made toffee. Kind of out of the loop of the conversation I grabbed a bag if beef jerky from the impulse rack and put it down on the counter. The clerk running on auto pilot rang up the jerky and made change never looking back at me. I walked away and when I got to the door I turned back to now see the front end manager patting the old guy on the back and they looked to be exchanging recipes and the express lane was backed up. I had a smile on my face and I felt a little better, I also had the hankering for fudge here at Lake Iwanttobethere
THE LAND IS still at least that is how the past few days have felt. I have been busy but if you ask me what I have been doing I could not tell you. During the day the red needle on the bass thermometer has been bouncing around the forty degree mark and that is above zero! I am not complaining at all, I think I have had only to go out and start the Tahoe early twice to melt the frost off the windows. I know I could have used a scrapper but with gas down at the Gas N Go at buck ninety-eight I feel I can splurge and run the truck. I did the other day hear the front brake squealers making noise and my son had the brake tools laying out in the garage, exactly where he left them so I ordered up parts and had his ma invite him over for lunch. He fell for it and I sat in a chair and watched as he changed my brakes. I then checked that off my To Do List.
Have been going into the Lodge early and leaving before noon. I am out the door before the lunch crowd gets there. The snow less winter is letting some people actual finish up their yard work as I saw one of my neighbors down the road using his snow blower to move leaves, I would not have thought about doing it that way. I had to stop by Nells Kitting and Knots Shop, the wife had order a couple of bundles of yarn and since I was in town I picked them up. Nell herself is a little bundle and around these parts she may just be the best steelhead fisher person. Owning a knitting shop she has first crack at all the different yard colors and patters and when things are slow she is always tying something up. Not a very tall gal as she uses knee boots as hip boots and has to have custom waders made for her.
On my way to Nells I went pass the school bus barn, for being bus drivers them guys sure don’t know how to park. The kids parking their cars at the High School parking lot do a better job, at least they try and get part of the car between the yellow lines. Only one short trip out bird hunting with Duncan, Have been waiting for some sunshine but it has been cloudy just about all day every day, One day we were locked in with fog which can make driving slippery but the county is stocked with sand and they were just looking for a reason to spread some of it. Thing is a couple of hours later the street sweeper was cleaning it all back up
We are not making any ice on Lake Iwanttobethere, about the only ice I see is in the ditches and the holding pond down by Dug’s garage that he uses to test outboard motors in. My neighbor Chuck like me has been using his furnace instead of burning wood to keep the chill out of the cabin. My wood rack on the porch is full and there is a pile in front of it where Duncan wanting to play has been bring wood down from the big pile. Chuck did come over and pick up the row boat and it is now up by the wood shop. I have been waiting on sticking it inside because I know as soon as I do I will need the wood shop for something. So I guess I don’t really have anything exciting to chit chat about, The days are still getting shorter, no snow on the ground and no ice on the lake. I have gotten a couple of seed catalogs already so maybe just maybe it might not be all that bad of a winter here at Lake Iwanttobethere
BEEN QUIET HERE nothing to really write about so I have kept the laptop closed. The snow that I wrote of a few days ago only fell for an hour and it was all melted by yesterday. The son came over to change the brakes on the front of his car because changing brakes is something you never do in the middle of summer when it is warm out. Nope brakes wear out in the dead of winter but all he had to do was shovel some snow and he had a place to work. Of course he did break the shovel, again. Today sometime I will have to take a long lunch break and head over to the General Store and buy a new shovel and maybe do some gift browsing. I have not done any real gift shopping as of yet mostly because I have not found anything to buy for anyone.
I have two big black tom cats and one of them is actually the daughters, when she is home the cat, Buff is never too far away. The cat has a thing for these little cat treats that you buy in a bag. He has to get his "Fix" of treats several times a day and if he does not he meows and meows till he does. The daughter brought home a cat toy that kind of looks like a plastic mouse with slots cut into the sides. You put treats inside the plastic mouse then the cat has to roll the mouse in order to get the treats out. Cat is not too happy about having to now work for his treats but he is at least quiet. The rolling of the plastic mouse across the wood floors and having it bang off the baseboards can get a little old though. Last night I watched as the cat was following Duncan through the cabin. Made me get up from my chair and follow because usually it is Duncan chasing after the cat. I followed the two of them into the kitchen where I saw Duncan open his mouth and let the plastic mouse fall from his mouth into his water bowl, I think someone else was done hearing the mouse roll on the hardwood floor.
Sunshine Ray is out of town so this morning Stormy Clearweather has weather duties. She is calling for a high today of forty and an even warmer forty-two for tomorrow. Yesterday some of the Ice House Fling committee members were in for lunch and they are starting to waver on the date for when this years fling will be held or if it will be held at all. What ice we have on the lake is thin and not safe and we are not in for any real cold ice making weather. Matter of fact I saw a couple of guy's shore casting the open water off Mystery River when I went home yesterday. The lack of ice and snow has not stopped people from putting up their Christmas lights. It might be just me but there sure seems to be a lot of lights out this year.
Honey Sauce and Gus have been acting a little weird around me this morning ever since I told them about going out for a long lunch. Gus has been hinting maybe I should just take the afternoon off and go grouse hunting. With the sun shinning through the deck windows here at the Lodge that is actually a pretty good idea. I also know that Honey has been in the basement digging in the Christmas decorations. I am sure the minute I drive out of the lot the two of them will be hauling stuff up. I think they want to get a head start on the Women’s Auxiliary who will be in on Saturday morning and have taken over decorating duties. Come Saturday night me and the guys will go ahead and decorate our own tree, complete with coasters, straws and burnt popcorn, here at Lake Iwanttobethere
DRIVE INTO THE Lodge was a wet one this morning. I woke expecting to see some snow on the ground but as I let Duncan out he made his morning trip quick, it was raining. I left Duncan at home, I would have brought him with but he had already climbed back into bed with the wife, I could hear her yelling about his wet feet as I closed the cabin door shut behind me. I had to wait at the end of the drive as the garbage was being picked up then headed to town. I had to stop again for the school bus, lights flashing and I saw the bus had its snow plow mounted, maybe we are going to get some snow I thought. Everyone was driving with their lights on as the rain continued to fall all the way to town. Well almost everyone, there are always a few who never turn their lights on saving them for something.
I drove past the Gas N Go and I see the price of gas has fallen a few more cents, below two dollars and it has been awhile since we have seen that. A few pick up trucks with plows are parked in the lot. Guys leaning on hoods with steam coming up from coffee cups looking upwards for snow. Parked in my spot at the Lodge and came in the back door. Shook off my cap and hug it and my coat on the back of the office door. Exchanged HIYA’s with Gus who was just rolling the yellow bucket and mop to the main door. If it keeps raining like this the entrance rug will soon be soaked.
Members came in one at a time and took up spaces on the stools at the bar or the tables by the fire. Drapes were pulled back and the deck door was cracked just wide enough that you could hear the rain coming off the roof to splatter on the deck before slipping between the cracks in the boards to fall to the ground to run down the hill to empty into the lake. Public access below the Lodge was empty except for a county plow truck idling away. The truck looked heavy sitting there with a big plow resting on the ground and a full load of sand in the back. The Lodge was pretty quiet, it gets this way this time of the year. Most of the guys don’t come in to late afternoon and it is just the regulars here till the lunch hour. I get most of my work done in the morning so I didn’t even notice till someone said something.
It was snowing! I happen to glance at the neon clock on the wall and the old black hands on the clock were pointed at ten-thirty. For some reason it stuck in my head as I walked around the bar to join a few of the guys who were standing up close to the big deck windows. Their noses pressed up against the glass like little kids. I pulled the deck door to the side opening it up and stepped out onto the deck, The rain had been replaced with big heavy snow flakes that were falling from the sky. Not the little flakes or the big fluffy flakes that fall like a maple leafs these guys were heavy and if Elmer had his hearing aid turned up he would say he could hear them hit the railin. It only took a few minutes but soon everything had a layer of fresh white snow. I looked at the wall thermometer and it said thirty-four I guess Mother Nature had enough of this waiting and snow and maybe winter has arrived here at Lake Iwanttobethere
SUNDAY MORNING FOUND me simmering in a bed of sleep under a mound of quilts. The only reason I got out of bed was because Duncan found a way to work his way under the covers and stick his damp nose on my neck. Football day and I watched the game and then went over to my neighbor’s Chuck to just pass the time. He was putting gas in the snow thrower and had the tractor pointed in the right direction. Snow is supposed to start falling here soon but today we are still waiting. Red needle on the jumping bass almost hit forty and even now well after dark it is still to warm for snow. Of course tomorrow morning I may wake up and it will be white out but I don’t think it is going to last. I have this feeling that most of it will melt during the next week.
I was thinking of doing some grouse hunting tomorrow but with the snow coming I will instead go to work down at the Lodge and get some time in. Sunshine Ray is forecasting some sun later in the week and I think I will use it to my advantage by taking Duncan out for a few walks and also it is time to start doing some scouting for this years Christmas tree. I will not be bring a tree home just yet and I will not mention that I am going tree hunting other wise the Mother in law will put in an order for a tree and will tell my aunts that I am going tree hunting and before you know it I will be looking for trees and not for birds. I know this for a fact as it has happen before.
I will keep it on the down low so the relatives will give up on me and instead go down and see Big Earl at the General Store and buy one of his fresh cut trees. There are a couple of smaller trees up at the Resort that will make good Christmas trees. I have talked to the daughter and she has to check with her husband but it looks like I will take out the granddaughter to cut her family tree down. Just something about a nine year old swinging a ax makes a grandpa swell up with pride and the granddaughter's parents very nervous. I feel it is part of my job as a grand parent to let my kids feel a little nervous like I did when their grandpa took them out on adventures. Of course we could just go shoot a tree but I don’t think the granddaughter is ready for that and it would take a long time as she is only allowed to use a pellet rife right now.
I watched a little TV tonight and have been working on my Christmas list. Even though each year the wife and I take turns doing the Christmas shopping and it is the wife’s year there are a few people that I have on my list. Guys down at the Lodge and of course the Granddaughter, last year I found the biggest bear I could find, it was almost six feet tall and I already told her that she will be no longer getting any more bears. Her mother told me that she has no more room for teddy bears as that was number nine. Now I have to find something else to make her Christmas which is going to be hard as she will not tell me what she wants.
Just about time to call it a day, wind is coming up some as I sit in the den here I can hear the sound of the wind chimes banging lightly away. Wife is sitting in the living room watching TV and working on some knitting. Duncan is fast asleep alongside of her on the couch, feet sticking straight up in the air as he lays on his back with his head on a throw pillow. Some snow would make it feel like winter and maybe a tree may come home earlier then planned but then again I am not much for plans here at Lake Iwanttobethere
MAKING ICE HERE at Lake Iwanttobethere. Got pretty cold here last night at least colder then what it has been this fall. Winter is still officially a few more weeks away but as far as I am concern as soon as we start making ice we are in winter. When I let the dogs out this morning I saw that the deck was covered in frost, dogs took off running and ended up sliding off the end of the deck. I put the light jacket back on the clothes hook and took out the heavier one next to it. I walked around the yard as the dogs did their thing inspecting as I went. For a Saturday morning it was quiet, I went down to the dock and looked out over the lake. Could hear a crow squawking and I searched the sky looking for it. No clouds in the sky and I had to cover my eyes with my hand to block out the bright sunlight.
The old wood boat rests on the shore flipped upside down. I lightly kick at it a little to see if it was frozen to the ground or not. Talking with my neighbor Chuck he has offered to come over with the tractor and pick up the old boat and bring it up to the wood shop. I had it in the back of my mind that maybe this winter I would clean the old boat up and give it a couple of coats of paint come spring. Daughter will be picking up her dogs this afternoon but till then I have them here. The old lab walks at my side as we both move a little slower these days. The Austrian Shepherd is a ball of energy as she is off running with Duncan. The past several days have been like a doggie play date for him.
This morning over breakfast I asked the wife how shopping on Black Friday was. That is all I had to say as I buttered my toast and put some home made apple jelly on. The wife started ticking off who she bought presents for and where she went. I asked her if she noticed anything different this year then last and she told me "The lack of cars" Drinking some of my juice I said "How so?" I think my mother noticed it first, she said. There were hardy any cars in the parking lots. It seems everyone in town now drives a big pickup or an SUV shopping. Conversation then turned to winter is almost here and everyone has four wheel drive, could be that gas is now under two bucks at the Gas N Go so the big trucks can come back out and play. The wife nodded her head in agreement but how do I explain Mrs. Gervivs with her walker trying to climb up into her son’s monster truck? And she was driving..
I didn’t have an answer for that other then the fact that some people with big trucks enjoy parking up on the curb. During the winter here there is always someone who has to park their truck on top of a snow bank. With the dogs back inside and all in the kitchen, the wife is baking. I headed to the den and sat back in my sun heated chair. As winter grows closer the sun is lower and now I have to tilt my head some to keep the sun light out of my eyes as I type. A few days short of a month before Christmas and it is kind of a quiet time here at the lake. Normally we would have snow on the ground and I would be shoveling and looking for things buried under it. Not this year and Sunshine Ray’s forecast is calling for no real snow and above average temperatures for the next week. It is cold enough at night to make ice so winter is still coming, he is just sneaking in this year here at Lake Iwanttobethere
THE DOC SAYS I need to exercise more, easy for him to say. He is one of them five foot sixish guys who weighs about a hundred and forty pounds soaking wet. Ran cross country in college and can still eat anything he wants to. I am at the Resort this Black Friday and I am thinking very little about exercise. Not after the pie and turkey I had yesterday and the future pie and turkey leftovers I plan on having today. The wife has been hinting that maybe she will buy me one of the Fitbit things as a Christmas gift. I don’t see it as a gift I see it as a way for the warden to see if I am working out or not.
Today I am sitting in booth number one here at the Resort and sunshine is pouring in through the clean glass of the big windows. I have been outside a few times letting the dogs get some air and keeping an eye on them. A new place for the daughter's dogs to explore and Duncan is playing guide. Showing the other dog's things that he thinks are interesting or smell good. No snow on the ground and for almost the end of November it is looking like a fair winter. Days continue to grow shorter but it will not be that long and we will start adding minutes of daylight again. As I took the short walks with the dogs I grabbed a couple of chunks of firewood and brought them inside. Duncan of course brought in one each trip but the daughter's dogs don’t have a clue. I gave the black lab one to carry in and all he did was lay down and start chewing on it.
Back inside the dogs find spots where the sun has been shinning to lay down and with eyes close they nap and dream of what ever dogs dream of. When someone comes or goes from the Great Room they open and eye or if they are really interested they will lift their heads off the warm wood floor to watch for a few seconds. As soon as they know there is no food for them involved they drop their heads and drift off back to sleep. Elmer and Vic are over by the potbelly stove, playing cribbage. They have the round wood table between them and a couple of rocking chairs. A old pitcher holds some hard apple cider that they top their glasses off after every game. They rock back and forth and when they are close to the table they lay cards down and peg on the fish shaped cribbage board. I have a little interest in the game as I have my step counter attached to the handle of Vic’s chair. I’ll show the wife how busy I was today.
Marv is in the kitchen baking bread for lunch. Of course turkey sandwiches will be served either hot or cold. I am looking forward to an open face turkey and gravy sandwich with some stuffing on the side and a little cranberry sauce. Nice glass of ice cold milk and pie to finish it off. I see a nap in the big over stuffed chair that should be preheated by the sun by then. I did make a promise to Duncan to take a walk up to the garden and do a little grouse hunting. We will get the old guys to watch the daughters’ dogs. I have the single shot in the Tahoe and my vest, I know there are a couple of birds up there and maybe Duncan and I can catch them out sunning. Right now though I see turkey and pie and a nap here on a Friday at Lake Iwanttobethere
WOKE UP TO some snow on the deck this morning, kind of a surprise because it was not in Sunshine Rays forecast. Then again a lot of things are not in Sunshine Rays forecasts. On this Thanksgiving the family is scattered, one son is trying to make it to the mother in laws house for dinner tonight but last I heard he was two states away. Daughter found a good deal on a cabin rental and took my granddaughters and her husband for a much needed break. Her husband is a steel worker and has been working ten hour six days a week for most of the summer and almost all of the fall. In the trades you have to work when you can work as you don’t get to choose too much. Of course having said that the steel workers up this way are having no problem finding work. The son in law told me he is going to spend three days in front of a roaring fire and spend quality time with his girls.
The other daughter and son will be at the mother in laws but I will be at the Lodge where I am now. Something new for my neighbor Chuck as his family this holiday as they have rented out the community center in town and have invited every relative they can find to a huge pot luck Thanksgiving. As noted in a previous story Vic will be having a big turkey dinner at the Resort and Elmer and Gus and Tess and Marv and Hammering Hank along with Skinny will be there. I am sure some of the FELLOWS will also drop by since Marv will be baking pies. Vic is roasting not one but two turkeys as he likes turkey leftovers.
I have the daughters two dogs with me along with Duncan here at the Lodge. The daughter’s dogs are super friendly and of course Duncan is known by all the members. The dogs have found places to lay down and be out of the way but do get up to greet lodge members coming in and of course will accept any and all pats on the sides. We are not the only ones open in town, Gas N Go is open as people still need gas and Ma and Pa’s grocery is also open. I know this because all day we have had lodge members stop off at Ma and Pa’s and then come to the Lodge to made a donations for dinner. We have some members here that just don’t have any relatives close enough to get to so they come here for dinner and we also have some older couples who find it hard to make the big meal so we do it for them. As the day goes on lodge members will come and go either to drop some goodies off or to see if Gus needs any help in the kitchen.
A few will sit at the cherry bar for a short one and exchange HIYA’s with members. Some members will come in to kill time on their way to other places. A couple of guys came in having spent the morning grouse hunting and they were successful. Duncan took special interest in sniffing their boots. Here we have the drapes pulled wide open, a good fire going in the fireplace and the TV has the football game on. Honey Sauce has some soft music on and every so often she comes out from the kitchen with a platter of hot cookies which don’t last long once they are set down on the bar. Smell of turkey and pumpkin pie and laughter is in the air. A donated jug of hard cider sits on the bar next to the coffee urn. Those who sample the cider squeeze their eyes tight for a moment before claiming that the cider "Hits the spot"
I will be here for awhile then will make the rounds before going home. Me and the dogs will stop off at the community center then swing by the mother in laws. The dogs will of course chase her cats when we arrive ( I am counting on that ) and after a piece of apple pie I will be on my way. Me and the dogs will next head to the Resort for a turkey sandwich and maybe the last half of the football game. Tomorrow is Black Friday and it is best if we just hide out at the Resort while the wife heads out shopping. I have never gone shopping on Black Friday as I refer to the crazy day as "Thunderdome" two must enter but only one leaves shopping here at Lake Iwanttobethere