Mission and Adventure

A mission accomplished and another adventure at the Mason Tract.

Also: Progress at the New Luxurious Courtois Cabin continues and now the garage is drywalled and has some fancy new windows and doors. It is beautiful! However, being as accustomed as I am to crappy, moldy, dusty old dwellings, I can’t help but get a little nostalgic for the old days.

The last time my brother the engineer visited the Courtois Cabin (it was the moldy old one), he pronounced the garage to be an engineer’s dream. Over the years, it housed boats and snowmobiles and lawnmowers and engines and more engines and gas tanks and tools and all kinds of little valuable pieces of flotsam and jetsam and cosmic debris. Grandpa Garth was in his element keeping old motors going and managing all of that stuff, inventing new tools when the need arose. He told me one time that at any given moment, he couldn’t find 10% of his stuff, an everchanging 10%.

Once, we spent a whole weekend tinkering with one of the lawnmowers. We? Some of y’all are thinking, “hey, Evil Blahg Lady, you do not know the first thing about motors!” Well, maybe not, but I had a very important role in that particular project. The weather pattern that weekend was a persistent intermittent drizzle. It would drizzle for a while and then it would stop for a while and then it would drizzle for a while again. And stop. Repeat ad nauseam. My job was to help The Gumper lift the lawnmower up onto the picnic table every time it stopped raining and then help him lift it down when it started again. After about ten rounds of that I got pretty bored and I finally said that a “$100-an-hour guy” like him could just go out and buy a *new* lawnmower and then he’d have time to do something more fun. He thought about that for a minute and finally he said, with a little twinkle in his eye, “I could go fishing.” He enjoyed fishing a lot but I’m not sure it ranked above tinkering with old motors.

Another time, I pulled the POC into the yard at Houghton Lake and The Gumper was waiting for me by the garage. “This is yours!” he said, proudly pointing to a used refrigerator in the garage. Say what? For a fraction of a second I was on the verge of feeling a little insulted. Relegated to using an old refrigerator in the garage? Indeed! But almost immediately, I realized that this was a *good* thing. Visitors to the cabin, including us, had a habit of leaving food behind when they returned home and random leftovers were always hard for Grandpa to deal with. I sort of understood why then and I definitely understand why now that my own beloved children come home and sometimes leave me with food. An additional refrigerator provided more space, helped keep the food separate and, for some odd reason, I kind of enjoyed walking out to the garage to use the refrigerator. I dunno, maybe it reminded me of the *really* old days of outhouses on the shores of Gitchee Gumee.

Ranking up there among the best times I have ever spent at Houghton Lake is the night the GG and I watched the spider. I think Grandpa was dead by then. It was a warm kind of drizzly night and there was a spider spinning a web in the door of the garage. We stood there by the open garage door, with all of the cosmic debris behind us, for hours, listening to Prairie Home Companion and other Saturday night radio, sipping a little bourbon now and then and watching that spider. Yeah, I know, sometimes it doesn’t take much, does it?

Anyway, this is what the garage looks like now. It is beautiful and “my” refrigerator is still there 🙂

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