October 5, 2018
Sorry about not updating earlier, but our Frontier DSL internet provider has had a lot of issues in this area and the Broughams' back in the woods are the furthest from the data hub. This all means that we are without internet more than we have internet. They seem to have our issue fixed for now, so lets get caught up.
Summer was hot and dry, in fact, record hot and record dry. Our weather station recorded a record 107 in mid July. Rainfall for most of the summer was nil-a grand total for June, July & August of just over 1". Our pond was at the lowest level it has ever been and we expect a large fish die-off in the spring. Apple trees barely blossomed and Bev's flowers even with daily watering did nothing as the hot sun dried them out soon after watering. Area corn & bean crops will in all likely hood be plowed under. Then, since mid-September, the rains came too late, but at least it was a reprieve.
Gary's big project was building a deck and walkway along the Rainy River. For not being a carpenter and with little cussing, it actually looks pretty nice. In his defense, the cussing was more about the bugs than the building. Gary calls it his "Mystery Spot" a reference to a long time tourist trap in the UP. Because the deck is built into the side of a slight hill, it looks like you are walking slightly up hill when you walk onto the deck. However if you put a level on the deck, it is perfectly level. "That is how they built the Mystery Spot," says the Math guy, "It is an illusion."
Visitors were sparse this year. We had our great granddaughter Brianna for four days in August and Gary's brother Tom and his wife Deb visited for a week in September. Gary and Tom don't get to see each other much and they really enjoyed each others company. They both have the same sports interests and political views, so it worked out well.
Bev is still retired, but not enjoying it nearly as much as Gary. However, she continues to receive job offers, but it is for full time work, in which she has no interest. Other than that, she is still active in the library and has other volunteer possibilities, but is pretty much content to wait for something that she is really interested in.
The summer was so hot and early summer was so buggy, that we only went camping twice. Once on the property and once at the lake. We figured if we had to sit inside, better in the house than a 20 ft camper. Speaking of the lake property, it was sold this September to a couple from downstate. So camping at the lake will no longer be an option. The buying couple were really nice and we were glad that they bought it because they have grandkids who can enjoy it as much as ours did. Gary had owned the property for over 30 years and shed a tear when it sold, but we now have a little extra money to do some updates to the house. We are in the progress of doing the kitchen now.
Gary's health issues are gradually getting straightened out and Bev refuses to go to a doctor so we don't know if she is healthy or not, but at the pace she keeps running with her sister-in-law Cora, we must assume that she is in good shape.
All for now
God's Blessings to you all
Bev and Gary
August 6, 2018
Well the record heat continued during July. Temperatures in the High 80s to high 90s with only about 0.8 inches of rain since the first week of June. Needless to say that everything is drying up. Except the weeds of course. All Bev's summer annuals have dried up or were eaten by the deer. We tried watering them nightly, but it wasn't enough as the blistering sun soon withered them during the day. Towards the end of July, even the weeds were dying. The pond is at the lowest level that Gary can remember since moving here, which does not bode well for the fish. Less water means less oxygen for the fish and the warmer water promotes disease. We shall see how this unfolds.
On the good side, the hot dry weather finally stopped the mosquito hatching and we are relatively bug free, except for hornets and yellow jackets. Seems like Gary every evening is looking for a new nest to destroy. We haven't had a chance to camp in our new camper. We just can't get good camping weather. I has been so hot and humid, we would rather be in the house in the air conditioner rather than either eaten by bugs outside the camper or sitting in the ac in the camper. That was our choice, though so we can't blame the weather or the bugs. We are just getting older and require a narrower range of environmental conditions in which to enjoy "the great outdoors".
Gary enjoyed a visit with a college classmate, Dave Ryzak, during Dave's trip home from Idaho to visit family in Fenton. They met in Grayling for lunch and had a nice visit remembering good ole college days. It will probably be their last get together as Dave's Parkinson's disease is progressing more rapidly and probably won't be able to travel much longer. Dave is about the only college friend that stays in touch so he will be missed. Bev is keeping busy more or less puttering, visiting friends and grandkids and hasn't been missing work as much as during the winter. She seems to be always on the go and she really likes that.
Not much more to say, so til' next time,
Bev and Gary
Only one word needed to describe June-Hot. We are getting late July early August temps here. If you look at the weather for Onaway, MI, don't believe it. The official temperatures for here are actually 25 miles away in Rogers City on Lake Huron. Our personal weather station reached a high of 107 in the sun and our thermometer in the shade reached a high of 102. We didn't hit triple digits just once, but several times during the month. They are continuing into July. Our place sits in a small meadow in the woods, so their is very little wind to stir the air and mix cooler air with warmer air. Consequently, we bake. The AC has been on almost constantly for 3 weeks. Very unusual for this time of year. We tried getting relief by camping at our lake property and we did find some relief there, but the hot humid air eventually found us again. Problem with the lake when it gets humid is that the flies start biting and they are plentiful and annoying. The find you even in the Kayaks. Summer is here, but it is anything but a typical Michigan Summer. We also didn't get hardly any rain in June, so all Bev's hard work planting flowers went for naught. We tried hand watering, but the extreme hit quickly undid our efforts. However, deer enjoyed Bev's flowers whether they were dry or healthy.
On a different subject, Our Grandson Brian came up for a short visit and brought his family. It is always nice to see Brian and family and they are about the only visitors we get anymore. There is a new addition to Brian's family, a Golden Doodle puppy. Cute as can be, but seeing all the work that goes into training, makes us realize that no matter how much we miss Beegle, we don't really want another dog.
Not much else going on here. The Broughams are healthy and glad that summer is here. They just wish it was a Michigan summer, not an Alabama summer.
Take Care & God's Blessings to you all
Bev and Gary