Flying Delta 2-Stop. With the Wind.

That’s Lake Superior in Marquette, Michigan.

Susan dropped me off at the airport yesterday, I was heading home. She was spending a few more days with her Mom. That’s her shot with an iPhone a few minutes later. This scene. This moment. That you can capture this, with a handheld device and text message it seconds later. Miracle, all of it.

I paused after posting this.  Any words after this, would seem to pollute the magnificence of the shot, and her moment.

But I plod on. Briefly.

I look upward at the tall snow banks. The dirty snow.  26° F.  The cold wind gusts. The Upper Peninsula in Northern Michigan, in March, is winter anywhere else.

The car ride to the airport, was not unlike the car ride in. Quiet. Heavy. No RTP greeting at the airport, or at home. No beefy hug around his thick torso. His absence was a Weight. He’s Gone.

I drive the town.

And I See.

What he gave to this town, this college.  His influence on standing up the Superior Dome, the world’s largest wooden structure of its kind.  Or the Berry Events Center. Or the U.S. Olympic Education Center. His dreams realized. His name, not on the structures, but we know, these towering structures know, how they were born and who gave them birth. They now sit stoically, quietly, in Memoriam.

His solitary drives around Presque Isle Park. His favorite restaurant. His Friday afternoon watering hole where he’d sit having a cocktail at the bar. His seat now sits empty.

Yet, he is present, ever present, like a twist on the old Teton Sioux proverb,

He is now history in this town like wind through buffalo grass. 

 


Inspired by Robert Creeley: Will we speak to each other making the grass bend as if a wind were before us, will our way be as graceful, as substantial as the movement of something moving so gently. We break things into pieces like walls we break ourselves into hearing them fall just to hear it.

Miracle. All of it.

The Great Cold Snap of 2019 has given us a ton of terms we didn’t know we needed: Frost quakes. Snow squalls. Steam fog. Now we can add another one to the list: ghost apples.  Andrew Sietsema was pruning apple trees in an icy orchard in western Michigan when he came across some.  “I guess it was just cold enough that the ice covering the apple hadn’t melted yet, but it was warm enough that the apple inside turned to complete mush (apples have a lower freezing point than water),” Sietsema told CNN.  “And when I pruned a tree it would be shaken in the process, and the mush would slip out of the bottom of the ‘ghost apple.'”…

~ Doug Criss & Gianluca Mezzofiore, Another byproduct of this extreme cold: ghost apples (CNN, February 8, 2019)


  • Related Posts: Miracle. All of it.
  • Inspiration: Inspired by Albert Einstein’s quote: “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call


Photo: Starling by Ostdrossel (Michigan, Jan 5, 2019, National Bird Day!)

Upper Peninsula, Northern Michigan, October 2018

 


Notes:

  • Photographer: Eric Kanigan (son), October 13, 2018, Presque Isle Park, Marquette, Michigan (top and bottom) and Sugar Loaf Mountain (middle)
  • Inspired by: “The mountain slopes around were already dyed with autumn colors, minute gradations of yellow and red, with an intrusion of green from the clumps of evergreens.” by ~ Haruki Murakami, Killing Commendatore: A Novel.

 

Running in Michigan. With a stumbling block, or a Stepping-Stone.

71° F. An intermittent breeze blows off Lake Superior.  Upper Michigan…a half step slower in pace, and a full step-and-a-half ahead in balance.  With skies so blue, clouds so white, water and air so clean, you can taste the Pure emblazoned on the license plates on the cars that pass me by.

I run under the bridge which towers overhead. Rail cars roll out on the ore docks.  A massive freighter sits silently waiting for the iron ore pellets to fall down the chutes into its belly. One can’t pass this scene and not be filled with Gordon Lightfoot’s The Wreck of Edmund of Fitzgerald:

The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
Of the big lake they called ‘gitche gumee’
The lake, it is said, never gives up her dead
When the skies of November turn gloomy
With a load of iron ore twenty-six thousand tons more
Than the Edmund Fitzgerald weighed empty

I enter Presque Isle Park. I’m hearing horns through my ear buds. Can’t be.  I tuck my earbuds into my pocket and follow the tune. A man, in his 70’s, in a kilt, stands in the woods with his bagpipes – he’s alone and belting out Scotland the Brave. Goosebumps pop on my forearms. I must have Scotland in the gene pool, must have.

Genes. Family history. Family trees. DNA testing. The purpose of this family get-together was to celebrate my Father-in-Law discovering his full Sister on a genetic service. What’s bigger than meeting a sister you never knew you had? [Read more…]

Running. Around Gitche Gumee.

6:37 am, Sunday morning. Father’s Day 2017.  57º F, rain is falling. No, better depicted as the heavens opening up, c’était le déluge!

I’m running.

An eerie, fifty foot layer of fog hangs over Lake Superior. I’m looking out at the break wall at Presque Isle Park in Marquette Michigan. I’m alone on the “Island”, as it is referred to by the locals. The park is closed to car traffic.  Alone on a 323 acre island, my idyllic state.

It’s not November, but I start humming passages from Gordon Lightfoot’s The Wreck of Edmund Fitzgerald:

In a musty old hall in Detroit they prayed,
In the maritime sailors’ cathedral
The church bell chimed till it rang twenty-nine times
For each man on the Edmund Fitzgerald
The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
Of the big lake they call ‘gitche gumee’
Superior, they said, never gives up her dead
When the gales of November come early

The day before, we walked this same two mile track.  Black flies were feeding on the leeward side of the island, Humans were on the breakfast menu. You don’t see a single insect on 47th and Madison in NYC with tons of auto exhaust and air conditioner coolant spilling into the atmosphere 24 x 7 – the invisible chemical mist numbing everything in its path. [Read more…]

Big Blue

susan kanigan


Lake Superior at Marquette, Michigan.
Susan Kanigan with her iPhone 6 @ 4:36 PM on July 18, 2015.


Related “Blue” Posts

Time for buttered toast and jelly. Have a pie, bring that too.

sour-cherry-red

“Tart cherries have been grown in the U.S. for more than a century because they are best for pies, preserves, jellies, juice. The third week of July is usually the peak time to harvest. The national cherry festival is held in July every year  in Traverse City to celebrate the cherry industry Northern Michigan. Michigan is the leading producer of tart cherries in the U.S., producing 75% of the entire annual production (250 million pounds on 36,000 acres of trees).”


Image Source: Mennyfox55. Quote Source: Leelanau.com

 

 

SMWI*: Paddleboarding. Lake Michigan. Winter.

“Lets go paddle boarding! Karol Garrison, a former U.S. Coast Guard rescue swimmer, took his paddle board out on Lake Michigan in January at Silver Beach in Saint Joseph, Michigan.”


Notes:

  • Source: Grindtv.com
  • SMWI* = Saturday Morning Work-Out Inspiration

Sunday Morning: Pure Michigan.


“As busy as the world gets, there are still times when things move a little slower. When life is a little simpler. When the local color looks good enough to eat. Welcome to Harvest Time. When Mother Nature puts on a whole new wardrobe. And we look at life in a whole new way. So pull out that favorite sweater and grab yourself a little piece, of Pure Michigan.”

Wonderful 30 second clip that captures the feeling and beauty of autumn.

Good Sunday Morning.


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