Tuesday, April 20, 2010
If Belize was paradise with its warm tropical breezes and white coral beaches, this is Heaven.
I’m sitting here writing on Hugh’s second story deck. The house is on Drummond Island in the Eastern Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It’s beautiful. The gulls and Canada geese are crying to each other. Lake Huron gently laps the bedrock shore trying to lull me to sleep on this serenely beautiful day. I arrived yesterday, Monday to spend three weeks with Hugh. He’s off working at the sawmill and I’m working on my next book. I can tell now that going back to Baltimore is going to be very difficult. This is where I belong, in the country. Sure there will be some adjustments (expensive internet) and some challenges (sources of good veggies), but that can all be worked out.
Part of me feels that I should be writing by hand rather than sitting out on the deck typing away on my MacBook Pro. We’re off the grid here. There is no electrical or sewer line to the house. The house is on a little island of its own, Shelter Island, just off Drummond Island. Solar voltaics provide electricity, and propane gas for cooking, refrigeration and hot water. Two wood stoves provide heating options – one for cooking and heating and one for just heating. Fresh water comes right from the lake. Miles away a quarry freighter is heard chugging away as it carries its load of dolomite down South.
Illusions of land over the horizon are seen hovering above the lake. It is the bewitching of Morgan Le Fay. At one moment a single sighting of Canada is seen to the East. A little while later, two then three images of Canada are hovering over the water’s horizon. The photographer wants a picture of it. The camera knows there’s nothing to focus on and refuses to cooperate in auto-focus mode. “Fine, I’ll do it myself” I tell my camera as I switch to manual focus.
Cell phone signals drop in and out. The nearest cell tower is about twenty miles away. The phone booster antenna on the roof helps improve the signal, but is no guarantee that even though I can get a text message, that I’ll get Hugh’s call telling me he’s on his way home.
“I hope you like the place” he told me a week and a half ago, “It’s a bit like glorified camping.” It’s nothing like glorified camping, it is the manifestation of a life long dream — right down to the composting toilet.