We’re home! Ventured across the water last week and came into a warm house, with running water and everything! Our grandson Mike came ahead of us, slogging through snow and mud to work out all the kinks. The week before we thought we would be back, our nephew Randy scooped out the driveway and did the walkways with the snowblower, only to wake up one morning to another foot of snow!
Between the two of them they pumped out a ton of wet stuff in the crawlspace and Mike put on the waders and got the tap water running. It’s always a crapshoot when we come back from a winter away. This year, in spite of the late snow, opening up was relatively easy.
Mother Nature is not kind to unheated cabins in the north country. Walls crack, floors warp, and musty, sour smells tell us we’re bad, bad people, abandoning our home to animals and moisture and who knows what else?
When we leave we shut everything down. We pack away canned goods and empty the fridge, drain the water from pipes, and pull the plugs on everything electrical. We’ve learned the hard way that that’s how it has to be done. We came home once to pounds of pork and chicken rotted and stinking IN THE FREEZER. Some time during the winter too many days and nights below zero overwhelmed the sensors and they shut down. We didn’t do that again!
We’ve come home to broken pipes more than once, so now we drain them almost dry and fill the elbows and low spots with RV antifreeze. All of this takes time but it’s worth it not to come home to unpleasant surprises.
Ed lays a fire in the woodstove before we leave so it’s simply a matter of lighting a match when we get here. Our propane furnace is an ancient behemoth of a thing and if it starts up the first time we push the magic button, it’s a miracle. We’d rather have a cozy fire, anyway, and it’s nice to have it warm when the furnace guy comes to fix the beast.
The amount of snow in the yard this year was startling, considering it’s MAY, but it’s almost all gone now.
The bay was frozen solid last week but it’s breaking up, too. A fox and a band of deer ventured out onto the ice last week but now we have mergansers and goldeneyes swimming around in what little open water they can find.
Spring comes late to the north woods, but our skies are electric blue, our days are getting longer, and the chickadees, the woodpeckers, the loons, the cranes are making joyous noise.
All’s right in our little corner of the world.
At least for now.