Copper Harbor Lighthouse

Copper Harbor Lighthouse

Thursday, October 31, 2013

We Miss You

When we noticed the bald eagle hovering over the mausoleum on the day we buried your earthly body, the Lord reminded us of this verse. It's been 6 years since you went to heaven, but we'll never stop missing you, Allen.

All is well in the Keweenaw.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sunday Reflections

Gratiot Lake, Keweenaw County

All is well in the Keweenaw.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Little Things

OK, maybe happiness isn't toast and jam to everyone, but it makes us happy. Steve has been spending long days on the property - often leaving very early and coming home for a late dinner. Something that brings us happiness is having a simple breakfast together - homemade bread toasted and slathered with butter and homemade thimbleberry jam. We haven't had a lot of time to do that lately, so when the opportunity arose last week, we enjoyed every moment of it. It's a little thing, but it means a lot to us.

Something happened that I didn't expect when I was doing laundry recently. After the washing machine was finished with a load of darks, I reached in to pull out the wet clothes. I was surprised to discover that a Kleenex (or two) had gone through the wash cycle and was now shredded in a hundred pieces that had adhered themselves to the wet clothes. Oh well, I figured the dryer would help the Kleenex shreds to separate themselves from the clothing, so I tossed everything into the dryer. Sure enough, most of the shreds ended up in the lint trap. I shook everything out as I folded, and all the remaining bits of Kleenex fell free. You may be chastising me right now. "Julie, you should know better at your age. Why didn't you check the pockets?" I have a simple answer. You see, my husband always empties his pockets before putting his clothes in the hamper. Then, how did this happen? Well, I had some extra room left when starting the load, so I grabbed his sweatpants at the last moment to add to the washer. My darling Steve would have checked the pockets before putting them in the hamper.

He also turns all his socks right side out. In fact, all of his clothes are always right side out before he puts them in the hamper - and he does put them in the hamper - never leaves them on the floor. I had to smile when I thought about those things that day. I've never instructed Steve in proper laundry procedures. Those are just little things he does that mean a lot to me.

When Steve is working on the property for the day, he'll call me at some point in the afternoon. He just wants to tell me what he's doing and what's happening on the house project. It takes a few minutes of his time, but it means a lot to me. If he's away overnight for some reason (even if he's deer hunting), he'll always call me every evening. We'll usually end up talking for at least 30 minutes. That's also a little thing that means a lot.
If Steve needs to leave early in the morning before I get up, he'll leave the pot of coffee on for me, and he'll put my coffee cup out on the counter next to it - a little thing that means a lot. He'll often leave a love note for me, too. That's another little thing that makes me smile.

What a blessing it is to have a husband who is so kind and considerate - even in the little things. He makes me very happy, and I'm incredibly thankful for him! 

All is well in the Keweenaw.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Wait 5 Minutes

You know what they say:  If you don't like the weather in Michigan, wait 5 minutes. It rained most of the night. It stopped raining mid-morning. Then, it hailed.

It hailed for several minutes. Then, it stopped.

 Then, it was dry for a little while.

Then, it snowed. If you look closely, you can see the snow in the next photo.

It snowed for a few minutes. Then, it stopped. I gave Cocoa a treat. She came to the kitchen window looking for another one.

Then, the sun came out. Steve drove out to the property and took the camera with him. Then, it rained a little more. Then, the sun came out. Then, it snowed again. Then, it stopped. Now, it's snowing again. Yep, this is Michigan!

I don't see any snow collecting on the road yet, but I can see snow on top of our Chevy Traverse right now.

All is well in the Keweenaw.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Friday, October 18, 2013

Family Fun - Part 5

After the Copper Harbor Lighthouse Tour, we headed up Brockway Mountain. Remember, this was Carrie's first trip to the Keweenaw, so we were giving her the grand tour. We stopped first at the overlook where you get a great view of Copper Harbor. You can even see the lighthouse we had just visited - way off in the distance on the left.

This is a popular spot for photos, so here they are!

I'm not sure if Grace is flying or surfing in the next shot.

We continued on to the top of Brockway Mountain for more fun. The next photo illustrates how it's often difficult to tell where Lake Superior ends and the sky begins.

I snapped a photo of Grandpa with Grace here last year, so I had to get one in the same spot that included Carrie this year.

It was time for dinner, so we called an end to our sightseeing after Brockway Mountain. We had just one more day before Carrie and Grace headed home, so we planned another full day on Wednesday.

The next day started at Copper Falls (just down the road from our property). Grace had already climbed the tower before Carrie made it to the Keweenaw, so we had to show Carrie what we discovered up there.

Steve's son and daughter-in-law (Steven and Beth) had visited us in July. When Grace and I first climbed the tower on August 10th, we discovered that Steven and Beth had left some graffiti behind in the Keweenaw. Grace added to it then, and now Carrie added to it.

Steven is a graduate of Michigan State, but Grace is a fan of U of M, so she had to put the Michigan "M" by her name just to tease her Uncle Steven. The tower gets repainted every few years, so I didn't feel too bad about the graffiti! The view is lovely, and you can see Lake Superior from there.

OK, time to head back down.

Steve pointed the vehicle to the East and we headed to the other side of the Keweenaw Peninsula. When we got there, we made a quick stop at the beach that has all the sandstone under the water. 

The water level has been very high there all summer. In fact, there's hardly any beach left.

Next stop:  Haven Falls.

Then, on to our favorite beach:  Bete Grise (with the singing sand).

Grace and Carrie worked on sand castles.

Grace destroyed the sand castles.

Time to eat! We drove the short distance to the Lac La Belle Lodge. Burgers for the adults; chicken strips for Grace. Everything was delicious, and Grandpa and Grace enjoyed looking at the taxidermy.

It was getting late in the afternoon, but we drove over to our property to check on the day's progress. We had a bit of fun in the vehicle along the way.

One of our main purposes in stopping by the property was to take a very special picture of Grace. When Steve was first starting the work on our property (years ago), Grace's late father, Geno, came along with him on one trip to help him cut down some trees. Steve took a picture of Geno posing with a chain saw, and Carrie has that photo on her refrigerator. We took a photo of Grace in a similar pose with the exact same chainsaw to surprise her mother.

We had talked about this ahead of time, and Grace was really excited to pose for this photo. Isn't she cute? 

Carrie and Grace went with us to the Wednesday evening Bible Study at church. Steve really wanted to buy ice cream for all of us after that, so we drove to Ahmeek for our cones. After that, Steve suggested we make a quick detour to see an interesting house on a nearby road. On the way home from that, we hit the deer. Oh well. The Traverse was in the shop for a while, but we got it back - good as new.

All good things must end, and this visit was no exception. Carrie and Grace packed up the next morning and headed back downstate.

We were really sorry to see them go, but Carrie says they plan to make a visit every summer. Yes! Can't wait until next year!

All is well in the Keweenaw.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Family Fun - Part 4

Warning! Lots of photos ahead! Tuesday, August 13th was the day for the Copper Harbor Lighthouse Tour with Carrie and Grace. The lighthouse is accessible by land, but it's located at the end of a private, very narrow unpaved road, so people are discouraged from using it. The boat ride to the lighthouse is so nice that it would be a shame to miss it anyway. We boarded the boat at the Copper Harbor State Harbor - located on the west end of Copper Harbor.

Captain Tim guided the boat away from the marina. . .

and we took the beautiful 15-minute ride over to the lighthouse. If you look at a map, the lighthouse is located northeast of the town of Copper Harbor - at the tip of the backward "C."

As we stepped off the boat, we were given a few moments to enjoy the scenery. . .

and we looked back at the land surrounding Copper Harbor.

Captain Tim was our tour guide on land as well. He told us about the many shipwrecks that had occurred in the area.

This is what remains of one of those ships.

Captain Tim also explained the purpose of the range lights and how important they were in helping the ships make it through the narrow gap in the reefs and safely into Copper Harbor.

The first building we came upon was the old light keeper's dwelling.

The interior is set up with displays and artifacts from the period. I thought this quote on one of the interior walls was interesting.

It was obviously a little chilly in there during the winter months.

Here's the original fireplace the marker in the last photo was speaking about. You can see the changes that were made to it.

I snapped this photo of the light keeper's dwelling from up by the lighthouse.

As we walked up the hill toward the lighthouse, we noticed the outhouse.

Pretty fancy, huh? It was a 2-holer.

The tour of the 1866 lighthouse was next. (The skeleton tower on the left was constructed in 1933 and now functions as the actual Copper Harbor light - an important navigational aid for ships on Lake Superior.)

It was interesting to tour this old lighthouse and think about the daily life of the keeper and his family.

Of course, this trip wouldn't have been complete without information about the copper in the area.

Can you see the copper in the next 3 photos?

Captain Tim allowed us some time to enjoy the scenery here.

I got a quick shot of Grace, Carrie and Steve.

Sigh. It was almost time to leave. I took a few more photos of the coastline before we boarded the boat, and I think this one successfully captured the beauty of the day.

Back on the boat, I snapped a few shots of the lighthouse as we headed back to the marina. I really love how this one turned out. The sky looks like a painting.

Mom and daughter enjoying the boat ride:

There's that face I love so much!

As we left the boat, most everyone thanked the captain for the tour. I thanked him for helping us make memories. It was a day we'll always remember.

If you would like to read more about the tour or the history of the lighthouse, click on the following link and explore their site:

Copper Harbor Lighthouse Tours

Stay tuned for Family Fun - Part 5.

All is well in the Keweenaw.