Storm Approaches
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Winter Storm Approaches

"...when we don't live with birds or weather or waves we lose the opportunity to think hard about ourselves, to discover from nature important facts about human nature."
(excerpted from Nancy Lord's, Fishcamp)

A Not So Good Day.

October 26, 1998. I'm pausing as I begin this hunt and peck index finger play on the computer keyboard - not sure I want the words creeping across the monitor to truly convey the mood in my soul.

The wonderdog is sprawled on the fireside hearth across the room, oblivious to all but the warmth of the fire on her backside. She seems content. I, however, am unsettled. Made uneasy by the lifelessness of an early winter dawn invading my inner and outer space through the large windows that connect me to the nearby world of Keweenaw water and forest.

A passive mist is lifting as creeping morning light brings some relief from the oppressive dulling grays that often accompany the departure of fall. The few remaining streaks of rusty yellow fall leaf color are halfheartedly protruding above the shadowy spruce on the hills across the pewter tinted harbor waters. The color spectrum of our shortening days is quickly compressing to shades that evoke little enthusiasm. This, the hopefully short interval between the splendor of fall and the arrival of freshening snow, is my least favorite of the harbor seasons.

Perhaps my mood reflects the effects of a bad dose of the flu bug and the events of yesterday. I arrived at the Harbor in late afternoon, tired by a harrowing eight hour drive through intermittent rain showers in a van that tends to hydroplane. The flooded tire track grooves of the poorly maintained rural highways of northern Wisconsin and the western UP were as slick and unpredictable as black ice. My camp was a mess. The very strong winds of last weekend, clocked at 45 mph on my weather station, had torn several limbs from the trees that shelter my house, and strewn much of the laboriously twice stacked winter woodpile about the yard. Several not well-secured ladders and trashcans are missing. I'm sure I'll find them today in summer neighbors' shrubs and porches. The storms of fall are exciting to witness, but when you only experience the aftermath, it's not so great.

Then as some sense of outdoor order was finally restored, I found that a bug of some sort has apparently crept into my computer. None of an extensive collection of images (pictures) stored for the Harbor Web site can be accessed. I keep getting, "SHUT DOWN! Your computer is about to crash" messages whenever I attempt to access that file. Experience suggests just ignoring these warnings for a few days (computers have bad days too), but a couple hours searching for a "work around fix" might be a safer course. The problem is that you need to be on the top of your game when taking on a computer. They can be pretty foxy. I'm not sure today is the day.

The heck with it all! This is a day to lighten up. A day to do something mindless with the potential of delightful distraction. Substance be damned! I'll carve a pumpkin!

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