|Sunset over Chequamegon Bay, Lake Superior, from the Cabinette|
It’s one of those nights. Went to bed at a reasonable hour and slept hard until I woke up, at 3:30 AM. Now I sit here and wonder what to do. I don’t eat. I never eat until daylight. This is probably my best trait when it comes to dietary intake. I looked through some older writings and found a piece I wrote in the Fall of 2007. I’m going to repost it here today. The possibility does exist that I never did post it at all, but I might have done so, just four years ago.
The first day of Fall arrived officially at 5:51 AM on Sunday, September 22nd. Seems like Mother Nature knew it, because the rain and wind have blown most of the tree leaves to the ground already. I went to the outhouse early this morning and noticed the carnage of the yellow, red and amber leaves. I open the outhouse door and push the door all the way around. I sit there with a full view of the woods and Lake Superior instead of with the door closed. There are no neighbors, so I don’t have to be concerned with vanity. I watched the leaves fall and land on the ground in bunches.
This time of year, the weather, more than the date, dictates my feelings. It’s time for a sweatshirt, maybe the hooded one from South Dakota State, Vermillion. The one with the Coyote on it. I trade in the sandals for the Goretex lined light weight hikers. I wonder if the oil needs changing on anything. Should I have the kids come over after school and put all their toys under cover?
Everyone around here is sick with some kind of a cold. That’s another sure sign of Fall. School is back in session and they all get together and spread germs. Runny noses, coughs, mucus laden chests, wheezing and laziness abound. This morning, I’m better, but Mrs. Spadoman is down for the count. I’ll make the coffee today. Not ready to venture to the Black Cat.
Earlier on, a month or so ago, I wrote about New Mexico and our plans to take my friends RV down there and set it up for most of the winter. I was so looking forward to it. I love to go down there. I wrote about how we’ve been down there in the past and the things we like to do. I had a good plan. Leave the Cabinette for Winter, as it would be full of chores to try and spend a cold season with only wood heat, an inefficient wood stove and no indoor plumbing.
|At the border a few years ago|
I went on this road trip to Northern California and had a great time. Mrs. Spadoman flew into San Francisco to join me for a day of restauranting on Chestnut Street, Columbus Avenue and Fisherman’s Wharf. Then, we took the long drive home across the desert. We listened to plenty of music, but we also talked about a lot of things.
|The Cabinette near Ashland, WI|
We both came away with the thought that traveling these days is not what it used to be. It costs a bunch more than it used to. Gas prices are up for sure, but gone, seem to be, the cheap ass Mom and Pop motels, and the diners are replaced by chain restaurants feeding us crap.
We wondered about our plan to take the RV to New Mexico and live down there for the winter. We already missed the Grand kids. We’d have to attempt to travel back and forth to Wisconsin over the Winter so we could visit them. We talked and talked and cyphered in the calculators of our minds and came away with the feeling that we would be broke constantly if we stood on our original plan.
|Morphodite the RV sitting in the New Mexico sunshine in 2011|
But what could we do? Staying at the Cabinette all Winter, although affordable, would be a lot of hard work. And even affordable meant buying a lot more fire wood, or at least a chain saw. Along with the chain saw came the prospect of doing the work of cutting, splitting, hauling and stacking, not to mention the chain sharpening and extra burden of buying a trusty old pickup truck that would be needed to haul the wood.
No, we’d have to take the RV and go if we were to hold on to the Cabinette for another great Summer on the lake shore. We resolved that dilemma and made our plans, but deep in my heart, I wanted to ground myself here in Ashland and stay at home.
You know, it’s not the cold weather or the snow that I wanted to get away from. I don’t mind the cold. I just don’t do all the things I used to do in the Winter anymore. It’s kind of boring when you can’t get outside because of the weather. Trying to heat workspace from zero degrees is costly. Renting heated workspace is costly. And I had the desire to work on my trinkets and make my Dream Catchers, Gourd Rattles, Drums, Snowshoes and other crazy ideas that come to mind.
Oh well, we have free use of the RV and we’ll do it out of self defense. I returned home after that road trip to California and went to the Black Cat Coffee Shop and saw some of my old friends. I filled them in on the trip and got caught up on all the gossip. People would walk through the door and say “Hi, you’re back” and I’d smile and feel good that they knew I was gone.
One young gal came in and we exchanged hellos. I know her and she knows me, but we don’t sit and have a conversation very often. This day, as I was bussing my coffee cup to the plastic tub near the hallway, I turned to her and said, “How have you been these days?”
|The Wintering House of Winter 2007|
We started talking and I found out that she has an offer to go to Nicaragua for three months, November, December and January. I also find out that she can’t go because she can’t leave her house empty and has no one to watch over it. You know, watering plants, making sure the heat doesn’t malfunction and the pipes freeze, feeding a cat.
|2007 Ashland, WI Winter streetscape|
Well I’ll be! As it was suppose to happen, we can keep the Cabinette and stay at her house in town. It has a furnace and indoor plumbing. In February, I can afford to take a short trip to New Mexico for a couple of weeks. In March, move back to the Cabinette. I have enough wood to heat the place for that long, not for all Winter, but for a month or two.
|Snowstorm, Winter 2007|
So the more things change, the more things stay the same. I’ll be home in Ashland all Winter. I’ll make my craft stuff to occupy my time and be able to be with the Grand kids often. I’ll have more money in my pocket as my expenses will be down. Sounds like a plan.
This is a long explanation of the fact that I could have just said, “We’re not going to New Mexico as planned. We’re house sitting a neighbor’s place through the Winter instead”
Some folks don’t make plans. Some make them then don’t do what they say. Some change plans. I did the changing plans thing this time. And who knows? They might change again before November. But as of now, this is what I’ll be doing this Winter.
|Just before Ice out on Lake Superior, April 2007|
Now, back to the reality of today, May 5, 2011
So, here I am. It’s 4:30 AM now and I read this old post and have some thoughts and an update about things. We did spend the Winter of 2007 in the house of a friend. We did go back to the Cabinette in Spring of 2008. I ended up leaving in February to go on The Longest Walk. Mrs. Spadoman took a temporary position back at the College in St. Paul. One thing led to another, Mrs. Spadoman stayed working at Macalester College and we bought this home in River Falls and don’t even live in Ashland any longer.
Just this past February, 2011, I bought the same old RV that I was going to borrow, from my friend. I did get down to New Mexico with it and it sits there in the Artesian Bath House and Trailer Court in Truth Or Consequences, NM.
I was planning on making a trip this month, May of 2011. I was going to load my motorcycle into the back of the van and drive down and do some motorcycle riding down in the desert where the temperatures are in the 70’s and 80’s. The desert climate is dry this time of year as well. I would spend a couple of weeks in our RV and close it for Summer before I return home.
None of that is going to happen. Gas prices have gone through the roof. We’re paying four bucks a gallon. The round trip costs for gas alone with the van that gets 16 miles per gallon would be a minimum of $700.00 and probably more like $800.00, not to mention some food and camping along the way. Then there’s gas for the bike when I get down there, food costs, and incidentals that always seem to pop up.
So, no trip this May. Instead, I’ll be here at Spadoville from now through the Summer and hope I’ll get back down to the RV in New Mexico sometime next Fall.
I enjoy looking back and seeing what I was up to years ago. I remember the thought process and even some of the conversations. I guess I’m glad I had an idea and stayed with it. I’m glad we have the place set up down there. I’m also sure gasoline prices aren’t going to go down to any of the lower levels like they were in the past. So, maybe it’s time to make a new plan.
We’ll see what the future will bring. I’ll have a lot of time to dwell on the subject as the warm sunny weather of the past two days is gone and rainy gloomy cloudiness resumes in earnest today. At least it’s not snowing. And Oh yes, It is Cinco De Mayo. Maybe something hot and spicy for dinner tonight with a measure of Latin music.