Personal Note: Loved reading back over this post, although some of it is bittersweet. When this post was first written, Cadotte was lined with those old, beautiful, 65′ trees, all of which were lost to disease. But Grand Hotel replanted and the new trees are growing fast and are already so beautiful in the fall. I know Ted and I won’t be around when these reach 65′, but others will. Life goes on, trees are lost, replanted, and grow tall once more. ______________________________________________________________________
First Published 9/30/09
Almost 11 a.m. Tuesday morning. The wind is surging through the trees and whistling around the corners of the condo. We have all the windows closed for the first time since we arrived in May, but all the shades are up as far as they will go, because I love watching changing weather.
I’m even a big fan of storms – the “thunder booming, lightning flashing, strong winds, heavy rains” kind of storms. If it was storming when I was a little girl, my mom used to sit curled up on the couch praying for it to end as soon as possible. I would be standing at the window watching it all with sparkling eyes (I had to go to my bedroom to do this – mom wouldn’t have let me near a window in the room where she was). To me, storms have always been a real-life, technicolor, block-buster extravaganza of nature – much better than watching movies or TV – no matter how great a surround sound system you have.
From the deck this morning, the dark clouds hung low and brooding over Lake Huron, and the temperature was hoovering in the low 40’s. I noticed for the first time that the bushes in front of the horse corral at the end of our yard have shed enough leaves to lay bare the fence. Soon we will be able to see the horses once again when they are turned out each night.
I do admit to having no desire to actually be outside in all that wind. While Ted took Maddie and Bear out this morning, I snuggled in under the down comforter I had added to the bed this weekend. I knew, sooner or later, my turn would come to go out with them, so I didn’t feel the least bit guilty. More later.
6:36 p.m. late Tuesday afternoon. The wind has died down, but the temperature has started down also. It’s 47 right now, with the low Wednesday morning forecast for 30. So instead of a very windy trip to Cheboygan with Bear today, I’ve opted to take him tomorrow on the coldest morning we’ve had. The trip down the hill at 8:30 a.m. to catch the 9 a.m. ferry is not going to be fun, but at least there won’t be wind, and the sun will be shining!
I had not planned to go to town at all today – just too windy. But I was already two weeks late getting Blake his birthday present mailed to China, and I finally got everything in the mail yesterday that I wanted to send him.
I spent half the morning getting all the forms filled out that must accompany a box halfway around the world. The post office was busy, and everyone was talking about the weather. The few people I spoke with who had taken the boat over this morning said it was a very bumpy ride. I stopped by for cookies at Marc’s Double Oven, saw Jill at the bookstore and bought a book she suggested (The Master Butchers Singing Club), and started for home.
I followed several ladies up Grand Hill, whose clothes and actions made a perfect picture of what the weather was like.
As I crossed the street before getting to the Grand, I noticed our neighbor Duck taking pictures of something on the side of the road. It was only then that I saw that one of the old, old trees along Grand Hill was missing. I stopped to ask Duck what had happened, and he told me the wind in the storm last night had split the tree down the middle. This morning it had been determined that the whole tree was compromised, so it had to be cut down.
What was amazing was what they found inside the tree! At some point in the tree’s life, it had obviously been split before. When the chain saw got to a certain point this morning, it struck something solid that the saw couldn’t penetrate. What they have determined is that cement had been poured into the split when it occurred, and the tree had continued to grow around it. And there it was – a solid, hard as stone, concrete post. The tree, like all those on Grand Hill was around 65 feet tall, and Duck estimated around 125 years old. It made me wonder how many others on either side of that hill have been patched up over the decades. They are all so healthy looking and so beautiful. This one is a great loss.
Continuing on up the hill, I met a dray coming down. Don’t know if this recliner was being delivered to someone’s home, or was being taken off the island. Either way, it was being enjoyed!
I took my turn out in the cold with Maddie and Bear before dinner. How trees can change so much over two days is amazing, but this one in the yard of the Carriage Museum had turned two shades more golden since Sunday. Bear, standing in the leaves, looks so pretty – smelly, but pretty. Can’t wait for him to get his bath tomorrow!
The number of horses in the corral below our condo has roughly been cut in half. Most of them now have shaved manes, which mean they soon will be heading for Pickford and a winter of rest and play in wide open fields.
It seems everyone I talked to downtown today asked if we were staying over the winter. We’ve had offers of snowmobiles, snowshoes, and cross county skis. We’ve had offers to pick us up at the airport in Pellston, or at the airport here on the island. I have to shake my head “no” to every question and every offer of help. Maybe Ted is right, and I would find it too cold and too desolate and too brutal. Maybe struggling with the dogs in wet snow would be a great big pain. Maybe being isolated on an island until the ice bridge freezes over would be too confining. But, maybe it wouldn’t.