Tuesday, January 6, 2009

2009. . .Already??

Whew, I feel as though I've been caught up in a whirlwind and I've just now come back down to earth. The Holidays were wonderful, but enough is enough, already!

We closed up our cabin the week before Christmas and headed downstate to the city. (Which would have been a sorry trek but for the fact that nearly our entire family is there.) Packing for three months takes miles and miles of lists, two large suitcases, five plastic bins, and a couple of those vacuum bags you put your stuff in and suck all the air out of and they flatten like lumpy pancakes. They look great when you first do them, and they'll last for a few days, but by the time we get to our destination, they've puffed up into very large pillows. We've tried everything to get them to work. We've bought different brands. I've arranged and re-arranged the clothes inside many times to get lumps, bumps and air out of them, but they turn on us every time.

Closing up the cabin for the winter has gotten easier over the years, but it's still a job that takes days of planning and doing. My husband keeps a list that he checks off every year so he doesn't forget anything, and he's good at it. So far no major disasters. I keep lists, too, and my job, besides packing, is to contact the Post Office, DirecTV, the utilities, etc. I did good for the most part, but half way downstate I remembered that I forgot to open the refrigerator doors after I pulled the plug. I'm waiting for our nephew to go back up to his cabin nearby, but his father is sick and he's staying downstate for a while. It's been cold enough so far that it's not a problem, but if things warm up, I may have to call someone up there and get them to go in and do it. I don't know how much snow is on the ground now, so that could be trouble.
Oh, well, the sun is shining here and it's going to be in the 70s, so tomorrow is another day. . .

As I was packing, I spotted this little squirrel trying to make away with an apple half almost as big as he was. It was out there for the deer, but I didn't put a sign on it so I suppose it looked like squirrel food, too. In the second picture, he has actually grabbed onto it somehow and he's pushing it along. Maybe it's the same squirrel that was so good at stealing food out of the trap without triggering it!

My son must have gotten tired of my complaints about my clunky camera, which I dearly love but which is about the size of a pot roast. For Christmas, he bought me a nifty little Canon Powershot that--glory be--actually fits in my pocket! And if I wear it around my neck, it doesn't feel like some sort of penance. It's taking a while to get used to it, and it doesn't have the telephoto range that my other camera has, but I think I'm going to like it a lot. It has a great macro setting, which I'll use a lot for my Etsy store, but I'll probably still hang onto my Konica Minolta for some of my nature shots. My old camera had a tiny, tiny LCD screen, but this one is large enough to actually recognize things. I still use the view finder for most shots. It just seems more comfortable and camera-like.

We left Michigan on December 29 and arrived in South Carolina on New Year's Eve. We were so exhausted, we missed the midnight New Year arrival by about three hours. We caught up with it the next day, though.
I miss our cabin already, even though nobody forced me to leave it for the winter. I wish I wasn't such a baby about the cold and the too-short days. I used to have visions of me on skis or skates or on a sled or a toboggan, just whooshing along, enjoying all that fluffy white stuff, regarding that often cruel weather as a challenge I was up to.

No more, I'm sorry to say. I was born in Michigan's Keweenaw Peninsula, purportedly the snowiest place in the continental U.S, so I should be out there wallowing in that stuff. (Check out the Keweenaw Snow Thermometer here. Their record snowfall was 390.4 inches in the winter of 1978-79)

Half of me is Finnish, so any number of hardy Finns are probably ashamed of that half of me, but the other half is Italian and I must have inherited that Mediterranean blood, because I don't like to be COLD!

I'll be posting pictures of our cabin and other Michigan locations throughout the winter, but I'm planning on doing some posts on other people's cabins, too. I have a couple I'm working on already, and I'm hoping I'll be able to do a few more. I would love to do a piece on cabins in the south, too. I'll be on the lookout for some interesting ones while I'm here.

A wish for the best of the best in this new year. Make the most of it. It won't return again.



  1. Enjoy your time in warmer weather, I'd be farther south too if my life allowed it at this time. I'll be checking back frequently,....

  2. Mona -I love the snow but I do have my moments where I would like to escape (say January) to somewhere warm for a month. What are the average temps in S. Carolina at this time of year? Loved your squirrel photo - he must have thought he hit the motherload of treats. I hope you do post the cabins in your area - I think it would be very interesting to see!

  3. Shelly, we're on the coast, south of Myrtle Beach, and the Myrtle Beach C of C says average temp in January is 56, February is 60, and March is 68.

    So far, it's been in the 60s and low 70s. Last year's January was frosty. . .We kept our parkas close by--but hopefully this year will be closer to average.

    I'm really going to try to make connections with cabin owners down here. It'll be interesting to see how different cabin living is, compared to Up North.

  4. Regarding the problem you had with the vacuum storage bags.... I bought some at WalMart, stored towels & quilts in them from May 2008 to November 2008 - then put the packed bags into a large Rubbermaid tub - and never had a problem with any of them! Did you have the zipper completely closed? Did you check for holes? I swear by these - especially since we live in such a small home & need every inch of space we can get! Don't give up on them! :o)