January of 1981 or so, Barb Martin living in Minnesota and I in Illinois decided it was time for a bit of real winter. She flew into O'Hare and we drove to the Harbor.
It was dark as we made the left turn on to the cutoff. The snowflakes were as big as I have ever seen. I remember hoping the curtain of snow would give me a break after 10 hours of road trip, but the snow god wasn't paying any attention to this little city girl.
I don't recall where we parked the car or if we were smart enough to bring a shovel. We turned on the electricity and got the oil stove fired up. Then it was off to one of the seven or so winter residents to get a supply of water for our three day stay. We chose Wally and Annajane, they must have been the first phone number we found.
With our buckets in tow, Barb and I went visiting. The Beens knew we were ill prepared for this adventure. They offered anything and everything to make our stay fun. After the first 24 hours we discovered that two girls could go through a lot more water than ever imagined. Not wanting to disturb the Beens more than once a day, we had to create a new plan.
We washed our hair in pots and pans, had to modify tooth-brushing techniques, and we won't mention the other end. We bummed showers where we could find them. Grocery shopping was for 'no cook no clean up' items. I recall picking up a package of cocktail shrimp, bringing it home, only to discover I needed to run the shrimp under cold water for 8 - 10 minutes, back to the buckets.
We spent our share of time on the roads, we went from Calumet to Copper Harbor and back again, some days, more than once a day. We cross country skied, only to spend more time on the ground noticing the beauty of the snow on the evergreen just before a pile of it would land in the kisser.
I believe that was the same trip that some old cogger convinced us to try snuff and chew. I must have sneezed for 6 weeks, and why didn't the old goat tell us not to actually chew the tobacco?
The next summer, opening up the family cabin, there was only one tell tale sign of two city girls spending a winter weekend. When the main breaker was turned on for power, some city chick forgot to turn off the breaker for the hot water tank. Upon replacement of the heating element, and being thankful the hot water tank didn't cause the house to burn down, the ol' MacDonald cottage was non-the worse for wear.
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