It hardly seems possible, but we've almost put another year behind us. Where the heck did 2004 go? I know that somehow I must have misplaced a month or two because it sure doesn't seem like twelve lumps of 30/31 days have passed. Maybe they're lost in my kitchen - I once lost two of my kids and cat in there. I guess it really doesn't matter that I missed a month or two (or was that three?) since it's time to make those dreaded New Year resolutions again. I've been giving this some very serious thought for the past two hours or so and here's what I've come up with for my resolutions - feel free to use them yourself and we can work together making them work.
The list above will be hard to adhere to but I plan on giving it a good try. Good luck to all of you with your resolutions!
Just like everyone else in the mid-west, Beaver Island had a white Christmas. It seemed as those the entire island was caught inside one of those glass balls you shake and snow gently falls down upon the scene incased inside. The only problem was our snow didn't gently come down, it blew, it flew in all directions and made travel even on the island somewhat interesting. Unlike their larger counterparts, Island Airways managed to get all the holiday travelers both on and off island on Christmas eve. At times we all wondered, but Paul and Keith managed to have an "in" with Mother Nature and by flying both directions got everyone where they wanted to be.
As Christmas eve day came to a close folks on the island wondered about Bud Martin who had taken his tug Shamrock to the mainland for one last load of fuel. It was close to five o'clock as he pulled into the harbor - safe at last considering that with the bitter cold temperatures ice had been forming across the bay. Jimmy Kenwabikise and Skip Duhamel used their fishtugs to keep a channel open to Bud's dock. I sort of figure that if Buddy hadn't frozen out there on the lake, Colleen would have done him in for missing Christmas. Luckily for all parties he's home safe and sound and the Shamrock is tied up at the dock covered with ice.
During the past summer, some folks would recall last winter and talk about how much snow we had. That was nothing compared to years ago and if what we got for Christmas is any indication, they're really going to see some white stuff this year. I think that probably we've received over the past few days what we got all winter last year. It is beautiful though but the roadways are very slippery so if you come to visit keep in mind that our roads are not salted, just sanded and that is not put on heavily. Also keep your eyes peeled for snowmobiles darting out of side roads or parking areas. One facet of island living is towing so keep in mind that the vehicle coming toward you might have 6 to 8 sleds dragging behind it and each sled holding at least one person sometimes more.
Christmas on the island has always included attending church on holidays especially. This year Holy Cross Catholic Church, St. James Episcopal Mission and the Beaver Island Christian Church all had Christmas eve services and despite the weather were well attended.
This period between Christmas and New Year is usually fairly quiet so instead of bits and pieces of news, this week I have a series of winter pictures taken over the past couple of days including Phil's duck feeder. If you'll remember back a year or so, Phil Gregg had an ongoing battle with squirrels...and the squirrels won. Now he's fighting the harbor ducks who have learned to fly up into his oak tree to enjoy their repast. These two reminded me of Phil and Lil - still sharing the same bowl after all these years. I also discovered where snowballs come from. They grow on a large bush on McDonough Road near Masta's beautiful gate. The combination of snow and wind made some fantastic decorations on homes and businesses around the harbor.