I don’t check the Houghton Lake webcam very often. Actually, I’m embarrassed to post that link because it is sooooo out of date. That is, the photos are up to date but the rest of the page sucks and that statement about one of the webcams being up on the St. Mary’s is just plain wrong. I do not know where we found that web designer or why we hired her. I hope we aren’t paying her anything [wink].
Other folks in the C-Fam watch the cam more often and this afternoon Gr8tgrty posted a note in the C-Fam facebook group: look at the webcam! And I did and here is what is going on in the front yard at the cabin. This isn’t exactly a new thing although it’s quite spectacular. Somewhere in the huge mishmash of photos here in the Landfill, I have photos of me walking around the Houghton Lake yard barefoot carrying my 1-year-old child through a flood something like this.
Back in those days, flooding in the yard usually meant flooding in the cabin. Nothing like sloshing around in a half-foot of [dirty] water in front of the sink. And stove, although I refused to cook at the cabin when it was like that. Probably the most memorable moment in Houghton Lake flooding history was the time that we met the UU up there for the weekend. We got there before the UU on a Friday night. The kitchen was partially flooded. Lizard Breath was very young and we were upstairs settling down to sleep at around 11 or so when the UU arrived. We heard “Splash! Shit!” from downstairs. He had walked through the kitchen and dropped his pillow in the water.
Flooding was a frequent occurrence and the place wasn’t exactly what you’d call clean, although most everyone tried. We all complained about it and some people avoided going there. It was Grandpa Garth’s cabin and that’s how it was there. He bought the place back in the 1960s and it provided his 10 kids, their cousins, and various Royal Joke neighborhood friends a place to escape to in the summer. I wish more kids had that kind of opportunity (I certainly did, in spades!). Although Garth sometimes entertained ideas about fixing the cabin or even replacing it with a more viable structure, I think he liked that place the way it was.
Grandpa Garth died in 2001 and after a few years of settling his estate and thinking carefully through what to do with the cabin, the C-Fam had the old place razed and a built a beautiful new chalet in its place. Some people were reluctant about this, even some of us out-laws (well, meeee). Lots of memories in that old place, even for an out-law like meeeee who didn’t hang around the place until 1980. (I could not have asked for a better father-in-law.)
The new place? It is wonderful! We can keep the heat on throughout the winter and just flip on the water heater, etc., when we get there. No more pumping water outside in the snow and hauling it in with buckets. No more flushing the toilets with buckets in the winter. No more heating water on the stove and pouring it into a rubber camping shower to get clean. Those were good times but… Now there are year-round flushy toilets and a washer and dryer and a dishwasher (that I don’t always use but appreciate) and and and… Always so many fun family members to hang out and have fun with.
The most important thing? The first floor of the new cabin is far enough off the ground I don’t think we could *ever* have water in the kitchen! Hopefully it will not seep in to the “basement”, which is a half-height area underneath the rest of the cabin…
But still, this view of the Houghton Lake yard is spectacular.