Making Progress


It’s cherry time in northern Michigan

The family property has been keeping Don and I busy while we await my father’s impending heart surgery. Projects that are long overdue are finally being tackled.


The view from our rear window one rainy afternoon



The bulk of the property is still in its original heavily wooded state since only the front few acres house living quarters and out buildings. However, a hiking trail was blazed through the back acreage many, many years ago that leads to a two track allowing access to state owned land. My father has long enjoyed taking his terrier Max on golf cart rides on the trail while looking for signs of wildlife. He hasn’t been able to do that the past two years due to downed trees on the trail. Don had wanted to make the path accessible once again so he and dad worked together at cutting and clearing away the downed trees. This worked out nicely for stockpiling campfire wood. Although, once that chore was done Don realized that the blackberry bushes had taken over the back end of the trail since no traffic had kept it worn down so between wielding his machete and the gas powered weed whacker, dad now has access all the way to the two track and beyond.

Dad's "new" fishing boat

Dad’s “new” boat

Another undertaking of Don’s was the cleaning out and organizing (somewhat) of dad’s garage and wood working shed. I’m convinced the garage has never looked as tidy in all the 20 years (probably more) it’s been around. It took Don an entire week to tackle both projects. The trailer is loaded with debris to be hauled to the county dump and I have already carted away a truckload of items to the local Goodwill. But what a difference! I wish I’d have taken before and after photos of the place.

Loons on Bear Lake

Mother Loon with her chicks at dusk on Bear Lake

With that chore completed Don decided to build a table top for Beau’s dog cage. The cage is an added piece of furniture we didn’t originally start traveling with. It’s situated in the only place available, between my recliner and the dining table/ desk combo. Adding it meant losing my end table, something I’ve dearly missed. He had intended to use a solid piece of oak for the table top because the Suite Pea’s interior is oak but after pricing it out he promptly changed his mind. Dad suggested using pine boards joined together, then stained with an oak finish. Don was hesitant to do so but pop showed him how to use “biscuits” to keep the boards securely together. I am extremely pleased with the finished product. I now have a place to set my drink and reading material again, and it’s attractive too.

We’ve also tackled some much needed yard work. The overgrowth has been cleared from my grandmother’s grave and hostas and other shade loving flowering perennials have been planted in their stead. I also removed the old statuary (except for one) from the grave site. I’m itching to do away with the one that’s left as well but not wanting to make waves with my father for the time being, I’ll let it remain (for now.)


There’s still a few around!

I weeded out my stepmom’s flower beds and cleared it of leaves, dead plants, and damaged garden decorations. I planted more flowers here as well but it’s still a work in progress. With the decorations gone, I’ve added more rocks to help cut down on weed growth. Still, more are needed, which means Don and I have more foraging to do on the state forest fire lanes.


The state is clear cutting the pine forest behind the property


I do understand the reasons for clear cutting BUT I hate the way the area looks afterward

I’ve been meaning to weed around the community cabin as well but the weather has been uncooperative. We can’t recall a previous Michigan summer ever being as wet and damp as this one.


I did accomplish one chore that’s been an irritant to me for some time. It seems to be the custom here that items that should be hauled away to the dump are just pitched to the side and left wherever they happen to land. I cannot abide laziness. Never could. What’s the sense in having something if you’re not going to take care of it? So, since the trailer was already heading for the dump with stuff from the garage, it was the opportune time for me to add to it. I had Don follow me around with it in tow while I unceremoniously tossed items in. I was able to clear out most of junk but had to stop as the trailer was overflowing.


Granddaughters Maddy & Gabby with Maddy’s best bud Jake


Don & Kristi kayak the AuSable River



On another note, we were elated to have our oldest daughter, 3 of our granddaughters, and our granddaughter’s friend drive up from Indiana for a 4 day visit. They were able to spend some time with their cousins who were in town too. Don and Kristi planned a daddy-daughter kayaking outing, which our granddaughter’s friend Jake tagged along on. While the 3 of them paddled the AuSable River I took the girls to the Butterfly House and Bug Zoo in Traverse City. Afterwards we grabbed a bite to eat then drove out to Old Mission Point.



The only other excitement we had was while being visited once again by our local black bear. This time he clawed holes into the trash can, then ripped the cover off our stainless steel grill. Don wasn’t overly disappointed about it, as he’d  been caught eyeballing the new grills at Lowe’s recently. Perhaps he and the bear were in cahoots.


Old Mission Point, Grand Traverse Bay, Lake Michigan

As for my father, his new surgery date is the 18th. We’ll have a better idea what our future plans will be afterwards. Until then,

here’s lookin’ at you kid…….


Categories: Uncategorized | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Making Progress

  1. Sounds like you 2 have been super busy…good thing you don’t have your own yard to take care of…love the kayaking pictures…looks so pieceful…we were in Michigan last year when the cherries were getting ripe and bought a few pounds…they were so good!!
    I will be praying for your Dad and his surgery that all goes well!!

    • One thing’s for certain Sue, from all the activity we’ve had no problem falling to sleep at night. Don does miss the old yard with all the flower gardens, he tells me that regularly. Truth be told, I miss them too, but not the work. Thank you for the your prayers, they were certainly answered. Dad came through the surgery with flying colors. We hope to have him back home again by week’s end.

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