Some Words on Wednesday

Spring might be in the air, but winter is still on the ground. I pretended it wasn’t yesterday morning, and took Petey on his walk in running shoes. I even ran for a couple minutes at my new cadence. It wasn’t fun – it feels like I’m Velma Dinkley with a tiny stride. But it fits my short legs better, so I’ll incur less joint damage and therefore less pain this way.

We had some errands to run yesterday, and we knew we’d want to walk around town, so we let Pete be a wild man at Hickory Meadows.

Actually, we let him roam off leash until other dogs and their owners approached, and then we on-leashed him until we got the go-ahead. Petey can come on a little strong, and not everyone responds well to that. I just wished they realized that having their dogs unleashed and uncontrolled kind of drives our dog nuts (which is not the same as doughnuts). Anyway, that’s neither here nor there.


Petey had a big time with several new canine pals, and ended up panting despite the 50-degrees with a breeze and mushy snow pack. In fact, he got so toasty that he tunneled through the snow, and wallowed around like a pig in that stuff pigs like to roll in. I’ll post a video later on Instagram (you don’t have to be on Instagram to view photos or videos in my stream) or on Facebook if you want to see his shenanigans.


The upshot of all this was that we enjoyed one of the most laid back walks through downtown Traverse City that we’ve ever had. Petey was mellower even than our sunset, and we felt absolutely at peace. Except for the chill creeping in, because as I said – it’s still winter on the ground even if it is melting away.

Avoiding Cabin Fever

I’ve mentioned before how cabin fever sets in quickly for me. We have a very cold (I haven’t heard anyone trot out the now-infamous “polar vortex” terminology, but it’s that cold again) week, with very little by way of direct sunlight. I’m not sure what we’re going to do to avoid my rapid-onset cabin fever. Perhaps some variation of the weekend.

We didn’t do anything extravagant, beyond making excuses to eat Polish food. But if you’ve had good Polish food, you’ll understand that even though it takes an hour in the car to get there, it doesn’t take a strong excuse to pull us away from home. This time, we tacked shopping for Petey onto the to-do list, and headed north.

I’m not sure why Traverse City doesn’t have a specialty pet shop. It has a PetSmart, but you’d think that there’d be a shop here with hand-dyed organic fiber dog clothes and vegan treats. Or something. But we had to go to Petoskey for such a treasure. And yes, I’m making fun of a place that I’m grateful exists. Because we got Petey a winter coat at PetSmart, and I’ve already had to use fabric glue to hold it together, and he only uses it on tame leash-walks. So. New coat from the very nice folks (seriously, the owner fed Petey a treat that he was holding between his teeth!) at a snooty pet shop – check 🙂

Being that the food and coat were the sole items on outhe long walkr agenda, we aimed back home after a brief walk about town. On our way, we stopped at the north end of Torch Lake to check out the ice – plenty of it, but it’s not frozen over yet. And since there’s that whole cabin fever thing, we drove across the street the other way to check out the beach at the end of Traverse Bay road.

The plowed portion of the road ended abruptly and the rest was passable only for foot traffic and snowmobiles. We hitched up our pants and decided to give Petey’s new threads a spin. Half a mile later and we were at the beach. Or “beach,” since the shore is a chain of ice mountains and ice volcanoes, and even the occasional iceberg. But, I am happy to report, this beach – a rock hound’s dream – boasted some exposed stones, including a few petoskeys.

It also boasted an inordinate number of crawfish parts along with a dead bird or so tossed in for variety. Petey couldn’t care less about the blue exoskeletons, but he was mesmerized by the gull remains – which we of course wouldn’t let him explore. He probably thought I was far too into the little crabby things. Fair’s fair.

The sun knifed its way through a split in the clouds, adding some drama to an otherwise flat landscape. And though it was brief, it was a pleasant reminder that the sun is still up there, behind all those snow-making clouds.

Traverse Bay winter beach panorama

Yesterday was a similar story. We lazed around the house until after lunch, and then made the trek into Traverse City for groceries and a dinner date with a friend. We padded along the icy pier at Clinch Marina, again grateful for a sun that we never actually saw.
Clinch Marina - Traverse City

Clinch Marina - Traverse City-2

Isn’t it interesting that even in the winter the beach can be so restorative? We didn’t spend much time at the water’s edge, but felt refreshed for having visited. And doesn’t Petey look dashing digging in his new coat? 😉

Finally Some Rain

The I-75 corridor, from south of Atlanta up through northern Ohio, has been drenched in daily storms – a constant barrage of dreary showers lasting these past 412 days (if my mother-in-law is to be believed 😉 ). The long line of storms has repeatedly dried up somewhere in mid-Michigan, leaving us Up North with crispy lawns – and yes, lots of beachy weather. We have been requesting the weather gnomes to drop some of that unwanted precipitation up here, and much to our well’s delight, they finally caved.

In the Clinch Marina area in Traverse City a couple of nights ago, following the day’s soaking rains

Learning to fly?

Already the grass is less brown and more supple. Next thing you know it’ll be growing again, and we’ll have to break out the mower.

Both ends of a broken rainbow, after some more storms passed through last evening

In the meantime, we’re enjoying the fresh air. It’s quite windy out, so we’re postponing kayaking until tomorrow, but there are still long walks on quiet country roads to enjoy.

I think something’s eating my sand cherry shrub

What do you do to get outside in between spells of rain?

Calm Before the Storm

This is it – the last few hours of our simple life before our schedule explodes into busy-ness. Since things are about to get hectic around here, we’ve been taking it easy. Last night we caught a serene sunset over West Bay in Traverse City. To say “sunset” might be stretching it – there was a tiny hint of pink in the sky, but the clouds were awesome, so there you go.

If you’re thinking it looks stormy, you’re right. We had a lovely lightning show last night 🙂

Having spent a good part of today freeing our guest rooms from pollen, I rewarded myself with a brief stroll down our road tonight. As I neared one neighbor’s yard, I watched a chipmunk dart behind some freshly shorn grass, I’m sure thinking that if he couldn’t see me, then I couldn’t see him. A trio of deer farther in the distance patiently awaited my approach, measuring my character. The local beagle howled the alarm, and the deer scattered,  having been made aware of my predatory nature. The birds, though, were unfazed, and continued to serenade one another with lilting chatter.

our resident chipmunk – not the one I spotted tonight

Tomorrow we shall make final preparations for our guests, and perhaps sneak in a kayak trip or some beach time. Just a quick preview, so you have an idea of what Casa de Higham will be like this summer (and perhaps why we’ll try to go easier next summer?). Here’s the remainder of our June calendar: Friends and daughter visiting Monday 11th – Thursday 14th or Friday 15th. Trip to Atlanta 17th – 21st.  Friends house-sitting/visiting 17th – 24th. Coworker visiting 24th – 27th.  Maybe you understand why we’re enjoying our “Serenity Now.” 😉

Serenity for you 🙂