Over the rivers and through the woods to Catherine’s house we go

First we go over the Silver River (at least twice) and get to L'Anse.

Good morning, dear readers.  Would you like to join me on a visit to a good friend’s house last Thursday?

Catherine and I planned to travel to Houghton for lunch, recycling, shopping at the co-op.  But the wind blew sideways in the Keweenaw, so I offered  instead to stop at the Nite Owl cafe and pick up two grilled chicken salads and deliver them to her farmhouse up in the hills of Herman.

Wind and sand blowing sideways from Lake Superior (this picture is for John)

She liked the idea.

I paused first next to the Keweenaw Bay and watched Lake Superior freezing.

Snow and sand swirled.

It was 3 degrees (-16 Celsius)  and icy-cold.

Let's travel up the hill to Herman, one of the high points in this neck of the woods

Up, up, up you drive to Herman, another old Finnish farming settlement.

You drive slowly around curves, creeping, careful.  A few years ago I did the Artist’s Way with Catherine and two other friends.  One of them rounded a curve too fast and ended up deep in a snow bank.

Lesson learned.  Creep around those curves.

Catherine's barn. Isn't it lovely?

I always pause and admire Catherine’s old barn.  Old barns in Michigan are falling down as the earth reclaims them.  Her barn still looks noble with its rounded roof and remnants of red stain.

Evergreens and snow

Herman always has more snow than L’Anse, because it sits atop a large hill overlooking the surrounding countryside.  Telephone towers jut ominously across its peak.

Deer grazing under her apple trees. (tee hee!)

I love Catherine’s house and land.  Once, years ago, I did a two or three-day Vision Quest here, sitting on the land, fasting, praying.

It is a sacred place.

Old clock with elves protecting Time

Treasures abound within her house.  Shall I show you some?

Crystal snowflake in window (snow shadows in background)

Another crystal in window; tree

Her back windows overlook an old apple orchard.  Some years we’ve baked apple crisp and simmered applesauce with apples from these trees.

Pussy willows in window. Another "impossibility" in winter, right?

We ate our chicken salads, talking, talking.  We needed to catch up.  It’s been far too long since we got together.  Last autumn?  Was it last summer?  Far too long, anyway.

Haven't you always wanted a claw-foot bathtub?

My eyes kept noticing beauty.

“I have to get my camera,” I said.  (It waited patiently in the freezing car.)

When I started snapping photos, I couldn’t quit.

Anyone want to tango this morning?

Catherine knows how to tango, can you imagine?

I cannot tango, but I could take photos of dancers.

Catherine, please put your hand under that beautiful purple glass ball, thank you.

“Can I take your picture, Catherine?” I asked.

She shook her head.

She was not prepared.

There are photos of her elsewhere in my blog.  If you want to click on almost 550 blog entries (oh and go back and look at the 365 entries on Opening the door, Walking Outside) you’ll find her, I am sure.

Small offerings. Vase, stones, sweet grass.

Pottery by Ed Gray, local Native American artist

We finished our lunch.  We vowed to get together more often.  Honest, we will.  We won’t wait six months next time.

Maybe next time we’ll traipse outside in the fields or woods, or maybe hike to the beaver pond.

OK, it's not so "impossible" is it?

Remember Friday’s blog?  Here is another view of that plant from inside the window.  OK, it wasn’t really an impossibility.  **grin**

But it was fun to imagine, wasn’t it?

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
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50 Responses to Over the rivers and through the woods to Catherine’s house we go

  1. What a wonderful friend! I can tell just by looking at the objects that occupy her space. I love the vase, stones, and sweet grass–especially the pussy willows!

    Have a terrific trip, my friend–and stay safe!


    • Kathy says:

      You would like Catherine very much, Kathy. I am really, really, really, really hoping it doesn’t snow too much or get to windy and the plane goes up in the air and lands safely, yes ma’am. Thank you!

  2. Karma says:

    Kathy-the-trickster! Very cute with the green leaves and white snow. Thank you for the peek at your visit!

    • Kathy says:

      Did I fool you big time, Karma? Glad to oblige! I didn’t know whether to post the pics of my visit but decided what the heck, photos are for sharing, aren’t they?

  3. P.j. grath says:

    Catherine’s barn is elegant, without a touch of the supercilious. The shape of the roof seems to guarantee that it will stand forever. Good architecture for northern Michigan!

    • Kathy says:

      It is a magnificent barn, indeed, Pamela. She has worked keeping it repaired with a roofing repair last summer. It was architecturally well designed.

  4. Dawn says:

    A lovey visit was had by all, you, Catherine, and now us! Thanks for taking us along!

  5. Jeffstroud says:

    As always a sweet adventure with you Kathy, and thank you Catherine for sharing your home and object to be photographed for all to enjoy!

    • Kathy says:

      Catherine is very kind. But now I’m wondering–did I ask her? Or did I just start taking photos. Yep, I’ll bet I just started taking photos… Glad you enjoyed the adventure, Jeff.

  6. Carol says:

    A lovely way to spend some time, even if it did require traveling a slippery road.

  7. My new dream home is Catherine’s barn—–I LOVE IT!

  8. Sybil says:

    That road looks totally treacherous ! Solid ice, by the look of it. But with what awaited you at the end of your trip, worth the risk. I like your friend. I like her stuff. I like her friend Kathy too.

    I love that barn. I want to walk over and just lay my hand on its old boards. Wish it could talk to me.

    Thanks for letting me tag along. Can I have another cup of tea please.

    • Kathy says:

      Oh we did drink tea, too, Sybil. I forgot to tell about that. She offered me a choice of teas and I chose a purple-colored green tea that tasted fabulous. Never sipped it before. Would you like the same kind? Then you can go lay your hands on the barn.

  9. Susan D. says:

    I love everything about this blog … the descriptions and the incredible photos! Sigh … thank you so much. I feel wrapped in wonder and a sense of cozy-ness. Stay warm, and safe, Love.

    • Kathy says:

      Really? I wondered whether to show these photos or not (oh you probably know that because you’re a comment reader, bless your heart!) Catherine’s house, which you might want to visit someday, feels warm and cozy. I really really really do not want it to snow and get windy tomorrow. Can you arrange for that, dear friend? And thanks for your well wishes.

  10. You are so kind to bring us along on your visits, Kathy! Mwah!

  11. KathUsitalo says:

    I do love that barn. Though it would have been nice to have a picture of your friend included, I “saw her” through the objects in her home. Thanks for sharing!

    • Kathy says:

      I’m tempted to find a photo of her and post it tomorrow, Kath. Depends on how much time I have…getting ready to fly south soon. Glad you liked this.

  12. I agree: the barn is cool.

  13. Dana says:

    Marty and I are now officially pining over Catherine’s barn. It is absolutely gorgeous!

    Her property definitely has a sacred feeling to it, even over internet ether via digital photographs. Thank you for sharing your visit– I might just make a cup of tea now and picture my fabulous life living in that old barn. 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Oh I am glad you and Marty enjoyed it, Dana! Once my son slept in that barn with a couple of his friends. He was in junior high then, maybe. I am also glad you sensed the sacred feel of her place. What kind of tea did you make?

  14. Brenda Hardie says:

    Dear Kathy…thank you so much for allowing us to tag along on your visit with your special friend Catherine ♥ The road to her house looked terribly icy so I am very grateful you made it safely! I love Catherine’s barn! What a beautiful building in a beautiful setting. Makes me think of times gone past. Her home feels sacred and spiritual…peaceful. I felt myself taking deep, cleansing breaths as I read your descriptions and looked at the pictures. I love love love the purple glass ball, the small offerings and especially the pottery by Ed Gray ♥ And now I see the green plant against the window looking out onto the shadowy snow. 🙂 I’m so happy you had such a nice visit with your friend and that she was able to spend time with her dear friend. Our friends are our treasures ♥
    Have a safe and very very fun trip…I think you’re leaving soon right? Take loads of pictures but most of all…enjoy your time there!
    Godspeed my dear friend of the northwoods ♥

    • Kathy says:

      Brenda, your enthusiasm is so lovely! It is because I know people like you enjoy this that I decide to share. Your presence is such a gift! Aren’t our friends treasures? Isn’t it special when you have a friend you haven’t seen for months and you start right up with your conversation as if you saw her yesterday? Those friendships are precious.

  15. John says:

    Thank You, Thank You, Thank You !!!!! What a wonderful surprise ! Taking Herman Road all the way through to Nestoria is a favorite drive. Someday (summer day that is) I want to take Celotex Road off of Herman to the McCormick Tract Wilderness area. I truly hope that your day is going as good as you have made mine. Have a safe trip home.

    • Kathy says:

      Why, John, I knew you might like the picture looking up toward your neighborhood, but I never thought that the Herman connection would appeal to you as well. It is wonderful driving all those backroads. (I am not really going home. I am going to Florida where my parents have a winter home, followed by a trip to a Mysterious Location. IF I get out of the U.P.!!)

  16. Marcie says:

    Such beautiful depictions of winter. Wonderful color!

  17. Heather says:

    OOOOooooh! That barn is lovely! Have we seen it before? Your roads look a lot like ours. Or how ours looked before some melting today. Is the lake freezing for Barry?
    Glad you got to catch up with a friend. We always have so much catching up to do because we’ve moved so much and left friends in each place.
    Safe travels!

    • Kathy says:

      You are VERY astute, Heather! You HAVE seen that barn before! I think I posted it rather recently, as a matter of fact. The lake may be freezing slowly, but it’s not frozen yet. He despairs. The inland lakes are frozen. Thank you for the safe travel wishes. I need them. Desperately.

  18. wolfsrosebud says:

    looks like a fun day… glad you dumped recycling and did a little shooting in the middle of winter

  19. Gerry says:

    I was always going to love that barn. Bet Civil War veterans helped build it, or their kids did. All that to look at and chicken sandwiches too. Life is good.

  20. I cannot think of one new comment to say to add to the others….except, being the last and knowing none of the others,…

  21. Val says:

    I’d have spent time photographing as much as you did, Kathy. Lovely pics… lovely things to photograph, to see. 🙂

  22. ceceliafutch says:

    LOVE the barn! and all the photos that show us who Catherine is. I think I would like her very much. Thanks for letting us tag along on your visit.

  23. It’s always so nice, getting together with an old friend, isn’t it? You’ve captured her home beautifully… and that barn!!! Gorgeous!
    I’m sure I don’t have to tell you how much I’ve enjoyed seeing the snow in your pictures 😉

    • Kathy says:

      Hi Michaela, it’s been good to have enough snow to photograph. (Not that I’m anywhere near snow now!) Glad you like Catherine’s place. It was lovely to visit with her again.

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