Yesterday, before we discovered my “famous” relative in Houghton, we visited Charlie in L’Anse. He’s our garbage man. Since Waste Management deserted our community, we’ve become friends with Charlie. You pay him $2.00 per garbage bag. He treks the bags down to Green Bay or someplace south. In Skanee they host a “Breakfast with Charlie” once a month. No kiddin’. Your garbage man and breakfast. Who would have thought they go together?
Then we drove to Houghton. Stopped first on top of the Magnuson Hotel. Who knows if that is really its name? The name is always changing. We used to call it “The Thirsty Fish”. Here you could buy a beer, or a glass of wine, or munch on a jar of pretzels. You could look out over the Portage Canal and admire (a) the ice, (b) the ski hill across the canal or (c) the old copper mining buildings in Hancock.
You may enjoy our view, if you wish. You may imagine what it was like to live in the Copper Country during the zenith of the copper mining industry.
You may peer down on the frozen ice and wonder if the snowmobilers are safe. You may admire the way the flag blows in the wind. You may remember summer days when you sat in this seventh story bar/restaurant and watched kayakers and boaters on the canal.
You’re obsessed with snapping photos today, aren’t you? Usually you won’t bring the Canon Rebel inside restaurants and grocery stores and co-ops, but tonight you’re Daring. You’ll snap almost 100 photos during your six-hour shopping trip. You won’t care if people look startled when the flash goes off. You’ll feel happy.
Watch out for those husbands, though! They’ll grab the camera when you’re not looking and take YOUR picture. Be very careful!
Of course, you’ll grab the camera back to take pictures of hotel windows in perfect symmetry. Because you are amazed by patterns.
And then you spot bicycles covered with snow. “Pull over!” you exclaim. The driver pulls over. You photograph the bikes. You wonder when the riders will re-claim them. You wonder when winter will disappear.
On to the Keweenaw Co-op! Check our grocery list. Almonds, organic greens, oregano, peppermint tea, jasmine tea, almond milk… OK. Check, check.
How we love the Keweenaw Co-op in Hancock! How lucky we are to have it…
On to Recycling. Waste Management has a recycling center in Houghton, so we bring our recycling here. Today we had boxes and boxes of old catalogs from the little school where I work. “Barry, you wouldn’t mind dumping them in the bins while I take your picture, will you?”
Now, dinner. Aren’t we hungry? Yes, we’re hungry. How about Joey’s Seafood? What do you want? I want the Baked Haddock with its delectable crust of crushed Ritz Crackers. Yes, a side of vegetables almondine and wild rice and your delicious corn muffin. Barry, do you want the fish tacos? You do? Excuse me. I am going to take a picture of the people in the front of the restaurant and then look around innocently pretending it wasn’t MY flash that disturbed the diners.
Next stop: Econofoods. Food we couldn’t buy at the Keweenaw Co-op. Aren’t we having fun taking pictures of vegetables and boxed goodies and assorted groceries?
Isn’t it amazing how an ordinary shopping day can be this much fun??
But wait–it’s about to get better. We’re about to see our “famous” relative in a store in Houghton. (I’m sorry, dear reader. I have posted too many photos. You shall have to wait until tomorrow to see her. But it’s true. We spotted her! And we are very happy to have found her…Mom and Dad, just so you know…we found her!)