Copper Harbor Lighthouse

Copper Harbor Lighthouse

Monday, December 31, 2012

Dashing Through The Snow

All we were missing is the one-horse open sleigh when we drove over the hills to and from Copper Harbor on Friday night. They put on quite a nice Christmas light display with about 40 trees decorated in the park next to the community center. We've both been a bit under the weather, but we didn't want to miss it, so we ventured out. It was snowing lightly as we left Calumet, and we met some snowmobiles hopping off the trail at the end of our street.

By the time we made it to our road in Keweenaw County, the flakes were getting larger.

We headed down our road to meet up with Hwy. 26. We wanted to follow the lake from Eagle Harbor to Copper Harbor.

By the time we got onto Hwy. 26, it was really too dark to see much of Lake Superior, but that road is always fun anyway. We did see a few deer, but they were kind enough to stay out of our way. It was almost 6:00 p.m. when we drove into Copper Harbor. The town was hopping--a typical Friday evening in the Keweenaw.

Yep, that's Hwy. 41-- the main drag through town! We forgot our thermos of cocoa, so we stopped at the general store for a couple of 20 oz. pops. Steve told the guy behind the counter that we drove up to see the Christmas lights. "Oh, are they on?" he asked as he stretched his neck to look out the door. Steve got the impression that he would have switched them on for us if they had been off. Here's a photo of the Copper Harbor Community Center.

The park between the community center and the one-room school is where they have the large display. I took some photos for you.

Copper Harbor's motto is, "It's worth the trip." Well said. We decided to take Hwy. 41 out of Copper Harbor on our way home. The first stretch is often called "The Covered Road," as there is very little shoulder and the branches of the trees literally cover the road. It's beautiful any time of year, but it was spectacular to drive this road in the wintertime darkness. Snow was falling in big flakes and snow was hanging on the branches over the road. It was so lovely, but I wasn't able to capture it on film without getting out of the car.

You can see the effect a bit more on the video I shot, but it's not nearly as dramatic as it was in person.  What a peaceful drive.  We also wanted to see the little church in Phoenix that's decorated each year.  As we came down the hill, we spotted these two trees next to the church first.

Then, we pulled in front of the building, and I snapped another photo for you--a lovely setting.

As we made our way back into Calumet, I took a few more photos of some of the beautifully decorated store windows on Fifth Street. They have a yearly window decorating contest for the shop owners. Here are two of the windows in Copper World.

We had such a pleasant evening, but it's always nice to see our own front door again.

All is well in the Keweenaw!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Snow has been falling softly all day; the house is warm; our tummies are full; and we're sitting in the living room in the soft glow of Christmas lights.  It's a perfectly lovely evening in Calumet.
All is well in the Keweenaw!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Whiter Than Snow

Many of you are getting a real good taste of winter right now.  We're getting snow here, but they're only predicting about 5-7" for the Keweenaw.  That's typical winter weather for us - nothing to be concerned about.

When we look out our windows and see the way the snow has renewed our yard (covering Cocoa's previous tracks), we can't help but think about Psalm 51:7, "Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow."  The snow gives us a beautiful picture of God's forgiveness. 

Remember some of the words in the old hymn, "Whiter Than Snow?" 

Lord Jesus, I long to be perfectly whole;
I want Thee forever to live in my soul.
Break down every idol, cast out every foe
Now wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.
   Whiter than snow, yes, whiter than snow
   Now wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.
Lord Jesus, before You I patiently wait;
Come now and within me a new heart create.
To those who have sought You, You never said "No."
Now wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.
   Whiter than snow, yes, whiter than snow
   Now wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.

All is well in the Keweenaw!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Christmas Dog

What do you do when your daughter-in-law, Beth, sends you a Christmas outfit for your dog?  You put it on the dog and ask your wife to take a picture!

Cocoa was a good sport about it.  She wasn't nearly as humiliated as Beth's cat was when we put reindeer antlers on her in August.

All is well in the Keweenaw.

Friday, November 23, 2012

White Friday on Black Friday

Happy Thanksgiving!  It was 57° in the Keweenaw yesterday.  The smell of turkey was wafting out the open window above the kitchen sink.  Here's the view out the same window today.

It's a white Friday in the Keweenaw:  25° and snowing and blowing.  Yep, we're having a good old-fashioned winter storm!  Let it snow.  The house is nice and toasty, the refrigerator is fully stocked with Thanksgiving leftovers and Cocoa has nestled herself into the cedar chips in her doghouse.

All is well in the snowy Keweenaw!

Monday, November 12, 2012


Just one more thing tonight.  Here's the view of downtown Calumet on the local webcam this evening.

All is well (and peaceful) in the Keweenaw.

3 to 5 Inches

This was the view out the kitchen window about 1-1/2 hours ago:

The forecast says we may end up with 3-5 inches by tomorrow morning.  Wouldn't you know it?  We have to travel to Marquette for an appointment tomorrow morning.  Oh well, the Traverse is good on snowy roads.  We're supposed to have temps in the 40's for most of this week, so this snow won't last either. 

I must apologize again for not posting very often these last two months.  I've been having a spell of bad headaches, and I haven't felt like writing much.  No need to worry; migraines are just part of my life.  Firearm deer season opens on Thursday, so I'll try to do some writing while Steve is out in the woods waiting for Bambi's father to wander by.

Hmmm, looks like the bird feeder needs to be filled.

All is well in the Keweenaw.

P.S.  My mom's birthday is tomorrow.  Happy Birthday, Mom!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Thinking Back

We're thinking back to 5 years ago.  Today was the day we lost Allen.  We'll never stop missing him, but we're so thankful for the knowledge that we'll see him again in heaven one day.

We're also thinking back to 9 days ago.  Here was the view out the kitchen window on October 22.

Here's the view today.

We may have a little snow here in the Keweenaw Peninsula, but it's nothing compared to parts of West Virginia today.  We don't have to worry about hurricanes, tornadoes, floods or earthquakes here either.  So. . . all is well in the Keweenaw.

P.S. Did you notice the Chickadee on the bird feeder?

Friday, October 19, 2012

One Year Ago

October 7, 2011 - Our move to the U.P. was less than 2 weeks away.  Steve was going to make one last trip to the U.P. with Butch's trailer full of stuff that the moving company wasn't going to haul for us.  Randy Yackel helped us load the freezer onto the back of the truck.

Steve apparently wanted some company on the long drive.  The rest of his buddies were in the trailer.

October 18, 2011 - Everything was packed, and the movers arrived to load our belongings.

October 19, 2011 - We made the trip to the U.P. with Cocoa and her doghouse in the back of our pickup.  We arrived in Calumet after dark, ate Whoppers from Burger King and slept on the floor in the living room.

October 20, 2011 - The moving truck arrived, and the furniture was unloaded without a hitch.  We took the moving men to dinner at The Hut and got a good night's sleep in our own bed.

Today - One Year Later - The wonderful smell of homemade bread is wafting from the kitchen.  Although we're not yet living on our property near Eagle Harbor. . .

we still get to enjoy the beauty of this area.

We absolutely love it here, and Cocoa loves it, too.

Thank you, Lord.  All is well in the Keweenaw.

Saturday, October 6, 2012


I don't have time today to write a long post, but I wanted to share some highlights of the last 5 days.

Tuesday - Cocoa's Color Tour on Cliff Drive.

Wednesday - Cocoa lounging on our property.  She loves the truck.

Steve wants you to know that his tail light cover will be fixed on the next trip to Saginaw - apparently just some broken clips.  The light still works.  Another use for duct tape!

Friday - First Snow!  Don't worry; it didn't last long.

Today - More SNOW this morning!  Again, gone a short time later - sunny now.

All is well in the Keweenaw!

Monday, October 1, 2012

7th Anniversary

It was a bit hazy and about 10 degrees cooler today than it was 7 years ago, but it was still a beautiful day in the Keweenaw.  We took the Vette out of the nursery and drove further up into the peninsula for our annual Keweenaw Color Tour.  The tip of the peninsula and the areas closer to Lake Superior don't change as quickly, so the colors are actually more vibrant south of us right now.  We always like to document the view on Brockway Mountain on October 1st, so here it is.

The card Steve gave me today said,

"I love looking back to where we began, seeing us as we were at the beginning, then thinking about all the memories we've made to bring us to where we are today. . .
I love anticipating the days ahead of us, wondering what we'll find in each other and in ourselves before another year has slipped away. . .
But, best of all, I love being with you where we are today - together writing the pages we'll remember tomorrow."

Didn't know he was so romantic, did you?  Thanks, honey, for 7 wonderful years!

All is well in the Keweenaw!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

A Beautiful Journey

It's really impossible to imagine a more beautiful way to leave this earth than the way my grandmother passed on Tuesday evening.  Her two surviving daughters were with her until the end.  They were touching her and telling her they loved her as her heart stopped beating and she took her last breaths.  Like I said. . . Beautiful.

My grandmother wasn't a traditional "chocolate chip cookie" grandma.  I've never tasted a cookie or a cake baked in her oven. I've never eaten a meal at her house. She had difficulty talking about emotional subjects, yet I always knew she loved me. I'm sure losing her own mother when she was just 20 months old and being raised by her elderly grandmother had a lot to do with that.  Grandma made my dress when I graduated from high school, she made me a quilt for my college dorm room, and she made me another quilt when I got married.  That was how she showed her love.

Grandma was a bundler.  She really bundled up when she left the house.  I know it drove her crazy that her daughter and granddaughter walked around outdoors with their coats unbuttoned, their ears uncovered, no gloves and no scarves wrapped several times around their necks.  Sorry, Grandma.  She liked coats and purses with a multitude of pockets, spoon rings, birds, flowers, and she had a bit of a sweet tooth.

My grandmother never wore makeup, and she never colored her hair.  She would get very offended if anyone ever hinted that she used hair dye.  She was blessed with good hair genes.  It was very thick and still probably 50% black.  She never wore black or dark navy blue.  Apparently, those were the major colors of her wardrobe as a child and she rebelled against them when she became an adult.  She preferred pastels.

Grandma never had a lot of money, but she was always content.  That's a good biblical lesson.  She kept her hands busy and her mind active.  She wrote poetry after she retired, and she loved game shows and puzzle books.  Her active mind was sharp right up until the end.  That's a comforting thought as I age.

She often said she prayed that the Lord would allow her to live long enough to see the turn of the century. After she surpassed that by many years, I started joking that the Lord must have thought she meant she wanted to live long enough to see herself turn a century!  Well, she almost made it.  She was 95-1/2.

Thelma Esther (Hoyt) Hall

Thelma Esther Hall, 95, passed away at the home of her daughter in Bessemer, Michigan on Tuesday, September 18, 2012.  Thelma was born in Cleveland, Ohio on March 21, 1917, to Cleo May (Dykes) and Clifford James Hoyt.

Thelma's mother died in the 1918 flu epidemic, and she lived in Cleveland until the age of seven when she moved to Brooklyn, Wisconsin to live with her paternal grandmother, Ellen (Devoll) Hoyt.  Thelma married Charles Robert Hall in Rockford, Illinois on January 25, 1936 and they first settled in Brooklyn, Wisconsin, where she graduated from high school.  Thelma and Charles moved to Fitchburg, Wisconsin in 1946 and to London, Wisconsin in 1955.  She continued living in the small community of London near Cambridge until just over 3 years ago when she went to live with her daughter, Edith, in Bessemer, Michigan. 

Thelma began working at the Cambridge Cleaners as a seamstress in 1960 and later worked at Schweiger's Furniture Co. in Jefferson sewing cushion covers for upholstered furniture.  She next worked at Hamlin's in Lake Mills for 6 years, first in the electroplating room and then running a computer.  By the time of her retirement, she was working as a keypunch operator for a business on the south side of Madison.  Thelma always felt it was important to keep both her mind and hands active.  She enjoyed game shows, puzzles of all kinds, writing poetry, embroidery, crocheting, knitting, sewing and quilting.  She loved flowers and birds and was especially fascinated by the colors found in nature.  She enjoyed traveling by Amtrak train, and visits to family gave her the opportunity to see much of the United States from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean and from Lake Superior to the Gulf of Mexico.  She was also a past secretary of the Women's Fellowship at the London Moravian Church.

Thelma was preceded in death by her husband, Charles in 1983; her daughter, Martha Sorenson in 1994; and her son, Dr. Clifford Hall in 2008.  She was also preceded in death by her three half-sisters, Geneva Schular (1987), Evelyn Reeder (2000) and Dorothy Couch (2012).  Surviving are two daughters and one son, Edith (Randy) Jablonic, Bessemer, MI; Thelma Mae Hall, Calumet, MI; and Charles (Marie) Hall, Albuquerque, NM; many grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Friday, September 7, 2012

End of Days

I'm sorry I haven't been posting again lately.  My 95-year-old grandmother is facing the end of her days on earth.  She has certainly lived a long life, but it's still sad to realize that her time here is almost up.  It could literally happen at any moment, so please continue to be patient with the lack of blog posts for now.  In the meantime, here is a photo showing the end of a recent Keweenaw day.

The Lord is control, so all is well in the Keweenaw.

Monday, August 27, 2012


We interrupt the Bonner Visit posts with this important message:

Changes are happening up on our property.  The excavator has been working again.

The thimbleberries are done.  (Most of them made it to the freezer waiting for a good jam-making day.)

Guess what's happening up in the trees?

Yes.  Leaves are beginning to change.  Can't complain, though.  The summer has been beautiful.

All is well in the Keweenaw!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

A Bonner Visit

Whew, the last month has been busy indeed!  We put a lot of miles on our vehicles, but we had a lot of fun in the process.  I guess we should tell you about the July visit with good friends from downstate, Marty and Donna Bonner.  They brought along their youngest son, Luke, and his girlfriend, Allyson Mendham.  We've watched Luke and Ally grow up, and it was great to have them visit with us, too.  Marty, Donna and Luke have been to the Keweenaw many times, but this was a first for Ally.

Marty and Donna left the Saginaw area very early on July 26th, so we had some time to spend together sightseeing that evening.  We took them to a spot just off Hwy. 26 outside of Phoenix.  Most tourists never stop here, but it's a nice narrow, rocky area of the Eagle River.  The gurgling water winds its way around and over the rocks in numerous tiny waterfalls as it descends toward Lake Superior. 

Able-bodied young people enjoy hopping across the rocks, and it's a great place for a photo op. 

We piled back into our Traverse and followed the road until we came to the town of Eagle River.  We showed Ally the picturesque Keweenaw County Courthouse and the Sheriff's Department before stopping to photograph the Eagle River Falls.

It's amazing to see how little water is flowing here compared to late Spring. When we were at this same spot again last week, there was even less.  We then continued on just a bit further and stopped at Jacob's Falls.

Eagle Harbor was next on the tour.  We took the Marina Road to another good spot for photos where you can get a good look at the Eagle Harbor Lighthouse.

It was almost 9:00 p.m. by that point, so we decided to head back to Calumet.  Our visitors had already put in a very full day, and we had lots of activity planned for the next day.

All is well in the Keweenaw.

P.S.  Happy Birthday, Dale - August 22!    Happy Birthday, Cocoa - Today!

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Taming of the Shrew

We're confident the shrew thought he was quite clever when he somehow managed to enter the dryer exhaust vent.  However, it didn't turn out to be such a shrewd decision, as he was incapable of exiting the same way he entered.

The title of this post should have been, "The Death of the Shrew."  We're not sure of the exact cause of death.  It may have been starvation; it may have been heat stroke; or it may have been decapitation.  No photos attached this time.  No unpleasant odor attached either!

All is now well again in the Keweenaw.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


We've been kind of quiet again.  We were in Saginaw/St. Charles last week.  We're back in the U.P. now, but we brought a guest along. . . granddaughter Grace!!!!!

Here's Grandpa and Grace when we were at the beach in Eagle River yesterday.

We went home to get Cocoa later, and we ended up at the Calumet Waterworks beach for the sunset where I got a nice photo of the Sunset Girl.

The weather looks like it will be pretty good most of the week, so I don't think we'll be home very much.

All is well in the Keweenaw!