Labor Day Weekend

EJ came home from work last Thursday and told me that he had taken Friday off as a vacation day. Monday is Labor Day, which means he has a four-day weekend. Yay!

As soon as it got dark on Thursday evening, EJ, JJ, and I headed out to destroy a hornet’s ground nest. We couldn’t leave it because it’s too close to the house, in the area that we mow, and we didn’t want to accidentally step in it. I had learned that a good way to destroy a ground nest is to wait until dark, spray it with hornet killer spray, and drown it with soapy water. Of course, EJ and JJ had to make it more exciting by also throwing fireworks into the hole. I videoed it all, of course.

EJ had heard that there was a strong chance that we could see the Northern Lights so, since he didn’t need to get up early the next morning, we stayed up late Thursday night–and into early Friday morning–to enjoy the night sky.

EJ has seen the Northern Lights several times in his life, but I have only seen them a couple of times–and always with EJ. The first time I remember seeing them was just before EJ and I got married. We have always enjoyed going for long drives through beautiful countryside. On that long-ago night, we had gone for a long drive when EJ suddenly said, “Oh! Look! Do you see what I see?” He quickly found a deserted country road and parked alongside it. We got into the back of his little pickup and sat together enjoying the light show. Then we heard a mysterious “Something” crashing through the underbrush, getting closer and closer and closer. We couldn’t see what it was. It could have been a deer, or a bear, or Big Foot, or a serial killer. As it drew closer, I got more nervous but I was trying to act brave. I was relieved when EJ said, “I think it would be a good idea to get back into the truck.” I quickly agreed and we scrambled into the pickup. As EJ prepared to drive off, he tried to position the truck so the headlights would reveal what was coming our way, but we didn’t see anything so EJ drove off. We never found out what it was, and it’s one of the unsolved mysteries of our lives. It’s kind of fun to imagine what it could have been. Every life needs a little mystery.

Although there is always a chance that a bear (or Big Foot) will meander our way, we heard no scary noises on Thursday night. We positioned our lawn chairs and tilted our heads back so we had a clear view of the whole night sky. It was so cool outside that I actually wore my winter coat. We enjoyed chatting as we watched the sky. We saw a couple bats zipping overhead, many satellites, several meteorites, and a gazillion bazillion stars. Finally, I saw light just above the trees. I thought it looked like pillars of light. “That isn’t the light of the moon, is it?” I asked. EJ exclaimed, “No! That’s the Northern Lights!” I ran in to get JJ, but by the time he got outside, they weren’t as strong so he went back inside. EJ and I continued our night vigil and at last we were rewarded: We saw very strong pillars of light reaching into the sky. Because of our trees, we can only see the Lights that dance above the trees, but it was still the strongest Northern Lights I have ever seen. It was awesome.

We have gone outside each night of this Labor Day weekend to enjoy the night sky. We haven’t seen any Northern Lights since Thursday night, but we have enjoyed the gazillion stars, the beautiful Milky Way, the satellites and meteorites zooming across the sky, and spending time together.

EJ’s long-time friend–they have been friends since high school–told EJ that his neighbor was selling his awesome saw. I’m not sure what kind of a saw it is, but it is a very expensive saw, the guy had never even opened the box when he bought it new, it’s at least as good as the one at EJ’s company, and he was selling it for only $250. It was a once-in-a-lifetime bargain. EJ wanted it so he can make projects to sell. So we drove off for the other side of the state. We took Danny with us.

A year or so ago, EJ’s friend bought a small house. This was the second time EJ had been at his friend’s new house, and the first time I had been. The house, which he paid very little for, is located in an isolated area, in the middle of a forest, and is right across the road from Lake Huron, one of the five Great Lakes. For a tiny annual fee, he has shared access to a private beach. Most of his neighbors leave during the winter.

We walked down to the beach. I had thought I could do some rock-hounding, but unlike many beaches on our side of the state, the Lake Huron beach was very sandy. The first thing Danny did was pull me to the water so he could go swimming. The second thing he did was pull me over to the neighbors who were having a party on the beach. He got lots of lovings from the kids. Usually people think Danny looks like a little bear, but these kids exclaimed that he looked like a gerbil, which I thought was hilarious. Danny loves our Enchanted Forest, but he meets very few people and I think he misses it. He loves people, especially children.

This weekend EJ has been working on the shower in the Master Bathroom. It had a leak so over the summer he has been working on fixing the leak, which required cutting through the wall in our bedroom and retiling the shower. EJ has never done tiling before, but it’s really looking good. Yesterday he finished grouting the tile and today he will seal it.

Yesterday we made a list of projects we want to get done in the next few days, weeks, months, years. The projects range from stopping up the places the mice are getting in, to finishing the library, to protecting the fruit trees from winter-hungry deer, to looking into maybe getting a couple new windows installed soon. Some of our windows aren’t so great and we will lose a lot of heat through them. EJ also hopes to build a shed for our garden tools as well as insulated coops for our poultry. We’d like to get the coops out of the garage.

We have discussed maybe getting a few more female ducks to satisfy Cuddles so he doesn’t end up in our freezer. I would also like to get some geese next spring. We learned that geese are very intelligent and protective so they will defend chickens and ducks from predators as well as guard our property from intruders. In fact, many people are more afraid of geese than dogs. I would like geese. Geese are cool.


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