Michigan Bucket List

I think I am addicted to sledding.

Whenever EJ snowblows the driveway, the sledding gets better because there is no fluffy snow to slow me down. Last weekend the sledding got faster and faster and faster and by Monday it was so fast that I practically flew down the driveway. I could feel the breeze hitting my face. It was so fun that on Monday I sledded down the driveway seven times. I didn’t bother even trying to video it because it took all my skill to steer the sled around the curves. Once I got out of control and tumbled off the sled, but I just laughed and got back on the sled and continued on my way. EJ held Danny on his leash the last time I went down. He said he thought I must have been going at least 25 mph.

JJ said that I should go to a real sledding place. I said no way. I have an awesome private sledding hill all to myself. I don’t have to wait in line, I don’t have to deal with crowds of people, I can sled whenever I want. Nothing could be more perfect.

A Cat Snowman
My Cat Snowman

Monday night it snowed and it snowed all of Tuesday too. There was too much snow for the sledding to be any good. The snow was wet and heavy–perfect for making snowmen so I made a dozen or so little snowmen along the driveway when I took Danny outside in the morning. I also made a cat snowman. Then I came inside to rest.

Not long after I came inside, the turkeys showed up. Last week one lone turkey came to eat the seeds that had fallen from the birdfeeders. A few days later, EJ counted eleven turkeys at the feeders. Yesterday about two dozen turkeys arrived. It appears the word that there is free food is spreading. I’m kind of wondering how many will show up next time.

After about an hour, JJ had to leave for work, and I wondered how the turkeys would react to him going outside. Would they fly/run away in a panic? I began videoing the turkeys as JJ went outside. They quickly–but  not in a panic–ran into the edge of the forest. A couple of them stood guard watching JJ. As he drove down the driveway–before he was even out of sight–they began to return.

The turkeys stayed for 2 1/2 hours. After they finally left, I went back outside and built more snowmen. I built a bunch more little snowmen and three large ones. However, my greatest achievement was the Dalek snowman.

For the Dalek body, I filled a trash can with snow, packed it down, and tipped it out. I used a shovel to give the body its shape. I used a muffin pan to make the round mounds to attach to the body. I used a small plunger and a whisk for the “hands” and a small section of a birdfeeder pole (which I haven’t put out because I can’t find all the pieces) for the head attachment. I put it at the top of the driveway to surprise EJ and JJ when they came home. Then I waited.

By the time I finished making the snowmen, I was tired and dripping with sweat. Making snowmen is hard work–but good exercise.

EJ came into the house laughing and telling me how great I did with the Dalek. He said he didn’t see it until he backed into his parking spot in front of the garage and his headlights shone on it.

EJ snowblowing the driveway in the dark.
EJ snowblowing the driveway in the dark. My dalek is in the foreground

I fixed him supper and then he went outside to snowblow the driveway. We had had at least 7 inches of snow. It was completely dark by the time he started clearing the driveway. He asked if I’d come out and check on him now and then, but I pretty much stayed outside with him until he finished, with only brief forays into the house to get a drink or use the bathroom. It was warm enough that it was pleasant to be outside. A few times I took Danny outside so he could use his “facilities” and/or walk with me down the driveway. It was snowing and everything was snow-covered and beautiful in the night. Once I looked up and saw stars in the sky, but it was still snowing rather hard, which I thought was unique.

EJ had most of the driveway cleared when JJ arrived home. I was near the bottom of the driveway, just a little ahead of EJ’s snowblower. JJ paused to talk to his Dad so I hurried up the driveway. When JJ had driven up the driveway, parked the Buggy, and gotten out, I had my flashlight shining on the dalek. I didn’t want JJ to miss it. He saw it and started exclaiming, “Oh, that is so AWESOME!” He took a picture of it and sent it to his girlfriend.

When EJ had cleared the driveway and was working on clearing his turnaround place up near the house, I grabbed my sled. EJ laughed at me and said he was just about ready to text me that the driveway was ready for sledding. I went down twice. I went really fast, so fast that it was difficult to see where the curves were in the dark, but I made the turns well, and went further than I ever had before. It was fun!

This morning I was so tired and sore from building snowmen and sledding down the hill. But it was so much fun.

This morning the snow-covered landscape was breathtakingly beautiful. As I looked out the window and drank it all in, I said to EJ, “If I lived in a place like this, I would never leave.” Then I laughed. “Of course, I DO live here and I never want to leave.”

Tonight we are supposed to get more snow. And the wind is going to start blowing and cause drifts and reduced visibilities. When I sledded down to the mailbox this afternoon it was getting breezy. I am glad that EJ and JJ will be home before the weather worsens.

I’m been thinking that I should make a Michigan Bucket List of all the things I want to explore and do in Northern Michigan. I wouldn’t put anything I did long ago in my childhood, but only things that I’ve done since we’ve moved here –or things that I want to do, which I will check off when I do them. I’ve already

  • Sailed on a tall ship–and helped hoist the sails
  • Went on a large inflatable boat on Grand Traverse Bay
  • Gone across the beautiful Mackinac Bridge
  • Climbed up Castle Rock
  • Eaten pasties in the Upper Peninsula
  • Driven through the Tunnel of Trees
  • Taken a color tour on beautiful M-22
  • Road a ski lift to enjoy the beautiful autumn colors
  • Visited two lighthouses
  • Stood on the frozen waters of Grand Traverse Bay and Lake Michigan
  • Gone sledding down the driveway
  • Built snowmen
  • Had deer and turkeys wander through out property.
  • Enjoyed Pileated Woodpeckers

EJ and I have been talking about taking a polar bear plunge into icy winter waters. We don’t want to do it at a festival when crowds of people are doing it. We’d find a quiet lake nearby (there are many), dive into the icy water, and then quickly drive home. We’d do it just because. I also want to go snowshoeing. I also would like to go parasailing. I was going to do it last summer but we had to work on getting our driveway fixed. Maybe next summer. And there are tons of nature refuges to walk on. I told EJ that we could spend years exploring this area and when we’ve explored it…I want to explore it again. Yup. I will have to make a Michigan Bucket List.

 

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