Houghton Swamp Lake

swampThat’s not our yard at Houghton Swamp Lake. It’s a few cabins down the way. I’ve seen our yard when it was that flooded. The inside of the old cabin used to flood too. In fact, even when it wasn’t flooded, it almost always felt damp inside. Moldy and mildewy. Moe-skee-toes used to breed behind the couch. Everything article of clothing we took up there for a weekend had to be washed when we got home, whether it had been worn or not. Just to get that good old Houghton Lake smell out. Do *not* get me wrong! I loved that musty old place. It was what it was and I have more happy memories of it than otherwise.

Once when Lizard Breath was a small toddler, we arrived on a rainy, blustery fall evening to find several inches of water sloshing around in front of the kitchen counter and stove. Not a particularly ideal environment for a toddler or for the tired old moominmama who had to carry her around everywhere so she wouldn’t get wet. I think it was dry enough in the living room that she could actually walk around a bit. The Uncliest Uncle was also expected to arrive that night but when he hadn’t arrived by 11 o’clock or so, we went upstairs to bed. No sooner did we get settled in upstairs than we heard him come in the door, walk across the kitchen and then… Splash! Sh*t! He had dropped his pillow.

Nowadays, the old place is gone. I sometimes jokingly call the new place a McMansion. It isn’t. But it is probably bigger than the Landfill. It is new and beautiful and our own beloved white tornadoes — those who avoided the musty old cabin like poison — keep it scrupulously clean and dust-free. Did I mention it has TWO bathrooms?? Yer fav-o-rite blahgger blatherer is livin’ large when she is at Houghton Lake these days!

This weekend? How many different ways can you say rain? I had to break into the Beautiful Gay’s vee-hickle to steal an umbrella for my walk this morning. Puddles? Everywhere. We had some significant puddles in our yard but they weren’t anywhere near as spectacular as the ones in the photo, which was just a few doors down.

Have we solved the flooding problem? Hmmm…. We thought so. When the Courtois sibs rebuilt, they made sure that the land was filled in and built up underneath and around the cabin. There is a crawl space underneath the place and you have to walk five steps up to get to the main floor. Dry? Yes, for those of us on the main or second floors. Yes, water is seeping into the crawl space. I wonder if it is even possible to solve that problem completely…

Anyway, it was a rainy weekend. It was gorgeous! The swamp was filled with water and ducks were courting everywhere. One of the reasons I love this time of year in the north is because it usually isn’t very busy. I love tourists. The economy of our northcountry depends on them. But it’s nice to have some quiet days to enjoy some of the crappier weather the Great White North can throw at us too. And it was quiet. But not as quiet as we expected. Why? I’m not totally sure, but one local storekeeper expressed the opinion that this weekend opened the walleye season and that this seemed like an especially successful opener.

So. Fisherfolks, hikers, kayakers, bi-cyclers, campers, er, powerboat captains and jet-skiers too, Michigan’s Great White North is open for summer business. Bring it on!! And you can click here or on the pic for photos of a very wet walk today.

4 Responses to “Houghton Swamp Lake”

  1. Fran Says:

    Your stream of pictures as spring advances are absolutely beautiful. Especially trees, other plants and beasties!


  2. Margaret Says:

    Water everywhere! It reminds me of here…at times. Right now we’re in a sunny period, but that’s supposed to change!

  3. Dog Mom Says:

    Drain tile. With a “clean-out” easily accessible for those once-every-year/two years roto-rootings to keep the crawlspace dry.

  4. grandmothertrucker Says:

    ahhhh… memories…… can we paint drylock on the inside of the crawl space??? I remember Gumper lining up boards on bricks for us to walk on in the kitchen of the old cabin…. it was crazy….. it was fun… the kids didn’t mind, boys love that stuff ….. I miss my dad……