And the road goes on forever...

Friday, September 22, 2023

The Island


Across from us almost directly on the far side of the lake is a small island. It’s an interesting place with an interesting history, of which I need to research more of. But the reason I mention it this day, is in sitting outside on my wonderful property perch, I watch its pontoon boat go slowly back and forth to its east side boat house, like a ferry off the San Juan Islands. It hauls the owners, their friends and families to the island for their allotted weekend vacation time. I met one of the owners last year and he says they bought it during the height of the Great Recession when the previous owner just wanted out so gave them, kit and caboodle, the entire island, home, and all its contents for a song. 

The story has it that the house dates from the later 1800s and was built by one of the local lumber barons. At one time it was full of gorgeous wood walls but not so much anymore. There is an electrical cable underwater which comes from the resort to the west (five cabins) and a telephone line to the east which comes from a neighboring house there. The boat house on the eastern side of the lake, which also houses the small runabout motorboat, is on a separate little segment of land with a driveway which allows them to park as many cars as they need. They are attorneys and live somewhere near to the Mississippi, St. Croix I think he said. 

I’ve often wondered if there is a septic as I think I’ve spotted an outhouse (legal in this county) at the far end of the island, or a well—or if they just pump water from the lake. Maybe if I can find a history of the house I will know more. We conjecture that it might have been built in the winter when they could walk across the ice rather than in summer, when it would have had to have every piece barged across. Locals say there was a terrible wind sheer storm in 1977 which practically knocked down every tree on the island; the house stood and now the island is thick with growth which conceals the house almost entirely.

Fall is rapidly approaching this year after our warm, dry summer. We’re entering countdown season to leaving, yet, as always, I don’t want to go. My heart is here; I want to live here all the time, yet it is totally impractical for several reasons. Meanwhile, I’ll revel in the seasonal changes and am thankful for this that I own for a moment in history’s time; just like that lumber baron of yore must have done as he sat on his island looking out at the lake. All of life is illusionary, for all is transitory.

Sunday, September 10, 2023

The No-Good Prize


There’s a local lakeside restaurant in town which features several events during the year and one we attended last year, the Treasure Hunt, over Labor Day holiday, was so much fun we decided we wanted to do it again this year. To add to the fun, my best friend from college years and all these years for that matter, came out to visit for six days so was able to join us. 

The closest airport is about two hours away so Marc returned with Paulette in the evening hours after her 4 o’clock arrival. After dinner, we were able to gather outside under the rope lights, start the fire in the new fire pit and enjoy another glass of wine as we caught up. It was a magical evening and I was well pleased with the area I had made, with the lake disappearing in the background darkness.

We had quite a few plans which were unfortunately foiled by much higher-than-normal temps for this time of year but the weather for the Treasure Hunt was perfect. There was a total of 14 boats competing, with the idea being that spread across the chain of three lakes, there are hidden eight booties of treasure gems hung on a board with a boat number. You are to find the treasures (in bars, on islands, on private docks), take them from the board and at the end turn yours in. Last year we only managed to find three, but this year with the help of eagle-eyed Paulette, we ended up with seven out of the eight, a great haul! Part of the fun is also dressing participants and your boat in costume, which we haven’t done, but the best prizes are for the costumes. Finding the gems earns you a draw from the bags with no good prizes—in our case, a squeaky dog toy which we’ll proudly hang on our pontoon somewhere.

It was Marc & I’s anniversary and the next day Paulette’s birthday, so we enjoyed good food and the camaraderie of having known each other for so many years. I gifted Paulette with the last one of my mother’s quilts and it brought tears to her eyes. Mom would love knowing Paulette has it. Paulette’s visit drew to a close; I dropped her back at the airport and then went on home to attend to the laundry, yard chores and mowing. It was a relief even after a couple of days to return to the woods, the peace and quiet and my spot of heaven. 



Friday, August 25, 2023



Last update we were pretty much dead in the water, but serendipity happened when the young excavator fellow and a friend offered to help Marc out with the garage roof install. Unfortunately, we came up short a couple of pieces (which had to be ordered) but even getting this far along felt like a miracle. Even if he has to rent a lift, Marc should now be able to complete both the roof and siding on his own by season’s end.

Marc made a quick trip to Waupaca to pick up the new RV and it was great seeing it here, although it then had to sit for a couple weeks while the roofing was done. I guess Marc finally felt sorry for me, lamenting that I likely wouldn’t even get to move into it this season, because after I had returned from a trip home, he had it moved and was setting it up for occupancy. It took him a day just to do all the cement blocking underneath to level it. Since we plan to move this at the end of the year, under the RV cover storage, I suggested he may want to install some trailer jacks, which would certainly make the process much easier each year. He also plans to do some cement pads for the wheels since our site is sloped at a fair downhill angle which makes leveling tough.

It was thrilling to move in finally and the extra space feels amazing. The furniture (RV furniture is never good) is so-so and even though with the opposing slides in the living room we have tons of room, there really isn’t a good layout for the placement of anything. The previous owner left some small tables but they are awkward and flimsy and don’t really hold anything well without the chance of tipping over. Currently, there’s two sleeper sofas, each in a slide, and attached recliners/loveseat which faces the fireplace. We certainly don’t anticipate ever needing seating for six so we’ve decided one of the sofas and the recliner/loveseat will be moved out and we’ll be purchasing single-seating residential recliners and end tables. That will still leave seating for four but will then accommodate a roomier layout with functional furniture where we at least have space to set a drink or computer. One of the best parts, is that the view side to the lake is practically all windows (7 large ones plus a slider) so you feel as though you are almost adrift on the lake. Once we get some more trees cleared out and the deck built, it should be truly special as an RV parking site!

To that end, I’ve continued my work on enhancing the outdoor seating area. I did more to the rock wall, got the fire pit built and sifted out some soil for a small planting area. My BFF is coming to visit over Labor Day holiday and I’m so excited to finally share our hardworking efforts. These gloves I’ve used for the past two years tell the whole story I think.

Signing off with just a few other shots…


Thursday, July 27, 2023

We're Stuck


Things were going well until Marc tried doing the roofing by himself. The roof sheathing and paper had been done by his contractor friend, who then became busy with his business, so Marc figured he’d give it a go. And go he almost did…right off the edge of the pitched roof if not for his safety rope. I told him no way did I want to see him plunge to his death and that was enough of that; we’d hire it done! 

Of course, the primary person we’re depending upon for that is the contractor friend, whose schedule is so loaded up that time keeps passing and the roof doesn’t get done. That has stopped other stuff as well; the finalization of siding and being able to get into the area around the garage for the dirt work necessary for placement of the new RV. Marc did make the decision to make the run to Waupaca to retrieve it after we finished more road work, loads of gravel, and the extraction of many large tree stumps by the excavator guy. He should arrive back shortly, although I suspect it will be many weeks before we can occupy it.

All of this “processing” of trees took us many days of more backbreaking labor and a near-constant fire lasting five days. We’re in another no burn cycle, so now the limbs and brush are just piled awaiting the next chance to torch them.


road before

I’ve been spending off time making more rope baskets and coasters for the upcoming shelter auction, as my arthritic hands allow.

Overall, our weather has been comfortable as compared to many other areas of the U.S. We’ve received less rain this summer but only a few days above 90; most are 70’s to low 80’s. The Canadian wildfire smoke has often invaded our skies however, which makes things ugly and miserable.

That’s it for now from the lake….