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Sunday, February 17, 2013


Sunday.  8:00 AM.  Happy Birthday Joan!  You look fabulous!  0 degrees F up the bluff, colder lower down at lake level.  Wind WSW, calm.  The sky is clear except for a few gossamer clouds.  The barometer is steady at 30.16 in. and the humidity is 84%.  It is a sparkling, quiet morning except for two small woodpeckers tapping out messages in Morse code to one another up the hill, and a raven quothing something to somebody deeper in the woods.
    Last night was frigid, mostly clear and star-studded, with a waxing half moon. Orion was visible in the southern sky, the Big Dipper obscured by clouds in the north. 
    We went to the Legendary Waters Casino at Red Cliff yesterday evening for Joan’s birthday dinner.  The food was excellent, especially the prime rib.  The buffet dinner was $15 each.  A drink for each of us brought the bill to $40 and a 10% Senior Discount reduced it to $36.  With tip the final bill was $41, a very good deal indeed.  The experience still has a few rough edges (no soup spoons or steak knives, paper napkins instead of cloth) but on the whole pleasant enough, and all the food was good and all you can eat.  We will go back, that’s for sure.
    Last night was the annual Book Across The Bay, a six mile hike across the ice from Ashland to Washburn. It is a benefit for local libraries. Ten years ago I thought about doing it but didn’t.  Now I don’t even think about doing it, but hundreds of people make the trek every year. The trail across the snow covered ice is candle-lit and it is by all accounts a great experience, and would have been spectacular last night.
There was a real tragedy several years ago, however, when a Northland College student was killed by a hit-and-run teenage driver while walking back to Ashland on the ice. It was a senseless accident that ended one young life and probably ruined another, but that’s the way life goes, here as well as anywhere else.
This is the day that the Lord hath made, let us be glad, and rejoice in it!

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