Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Hole Up

I'm good. Really, I am. I hear from many of you who doubt that but, I repeat, I'm good.

Most of what's happening in MI with Covid-19 is in the SE corner (Detroit) of Michigan. It's pretty sparse up here in the NW corner of Michigan's Lower Peninsula. So far anyway. A few spats have broken out between the locals and people with summer cottages and camps up here. We tell them to stay home. They want to come up where they feel safer. But our meager medical system can't handle the influx. So there have been some scuffles. Mostly at the grocery store when a local notices Fred and Marge, who don't usually open their cottage until early- or mid-June, are buying up all the toilet paper. Then it's just a matter of a short time before their kids and grandkids have joined them at the cottage because nobody is working or in school. I figure when The Marge and Fred Family realize that without the lake to play and boat in (the ice is just off), no dairy bar, closed restaurants, a closed hardware where they buy the little nuts and bolts necessary to get the water running and the toilets working again, and limited internet access (certainly not at the bandwidth it takes to watch a movie), they'll scurry on back home where isolation is easier.

In and around my home, it's just me and the dog and the birds and the squirrels and the rabbits and the deer and the beaver and the coyotes. Too, the bear are emerging from hibernation and raiding known food sources and hungry as a... well, as a bear. We will have to remember to bring in the bird feeders at night.

It snowed today. I've started spring cleanup and I've managed to rake some spots around the snowbanks. Isolation is a piece of cake for me; my middle name. Another week and I'll be gathering the elusive morel mushrooms and wild leeks. Two of my favorite solo activities. And right now the river is high and the fishing is good. I won't get antsy until the 3rd Saturday in May when Walleye season opens in N Ontario and I can't cross the border. Then I'll be pissy.

This morning, first thing, I threw a log on the morning coals. As soon as the log went in and I had shut the glass door on the woodstove, I saw a big old spider scrambling around seeking an escape route. There’s really no escape when the door to the stove is closed. But as I peered into the glass I knew I had to help. I mean he (or she) survived the entire winter on the woodpile only to be burned alive!? I don’t think so. I opened the door but every attempt to catch him only encouraged him to scurry away toward the growing fire. Finally, I put on the woodstove gloves (big leather mitts) and coaxed him on to one finger and then transported him all the way to the kitchen door where I flipped him outside. Something in him just clicked and he turned from frantic to mellow. Spider Zen. Isn’t that the way it often happens, when we give in and give up, life turns around.

It’s a wacky, wacky world out there. Use your Spider Zen, find your hole, and stay under the radar.

And do send me your thoughts and news.