It was an interesting week on the Old Mission Peninsula, wasn’t it? Thanks to a major storm, the entire Peninsula lost power late Tuesday night. Over the next few days, sections of the OMP came back one by one, despite notifications by Consumers Energy that the power wouldn’t be back until Saturday or Sunday.
Maybe it’s all part of their “Under Promise, Over Deliver” system. There was also free ice cream at Bardon’s. I will never turn down free ice cream.
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Our power was restored late in the day on Thursday, and while our little section of Bluff Road is generally one of the last to get power back, I heard there was a section over on Neahtawanta that was even later than ours. Sorry about that, guys.
We all know how important electricity is to our daily lives – can’t flush the toilets! food’s thawing in the freezer! – but it’s always a good reminder when we lose power for a few days and are ever-so-grateful when it comes back on. It’s like Christmas morning!
This Week’s Silver Linings
I am very methodical when it comes to posting stories on the Gazette. I have a system in place on my main desktop computer for writing and creating the stories on a platform called WordPress, editing photos in Adobe Lightroom, uploading them to the website, and installing all the little SEO tidbits required to keep the website tooling along in the search engines. There are a lot of moving pieces.
My goal is to post at least one story to the Gazette every day, so losing power for several days means getting creative with how I do that. This week, I posted stories from my phone two days in a row. Was it my best work? No. Are they my best photos? No. But it’s a good reminder to look for alternative ways to do things when your main way isn’t available, just as many of us have done during the pandemic.
This week also reminded me how much I love doing the “Jane” stories about what’s going on in my life. I always try to have a good balance of Jane stories and OMP news stories, but more often than not, the Jane stories get edged out by the more time-sensitive news stories.
Still, as I go through each week, things happen and I’ll think, “Oh, I have to tell the readers about this!” But there’s just never enough time (and I dunno, maybe you’re all sick of reading about my life!).
Anyway, I’ve been working on a reader survey to see what you guys want to read about in the Gazette. In the meantime, maybe I’ll do a weekly “This Week in Jane’s World” to tell you what happened over the course of my week.
My life and the life of the OMP have always been deeply connected since the day I was born. There’s really no way to separate the two, but when it comes to news stories, I do my best to report and let you guys make up your own mind about it. When it comes to Jane stories, however, anything goes.
Lake Boursaw Gets a Fix
In other news, the massive downpour earlier this week resulted in just a smidge of water in the basement, thanks to Tim and me running two hoses from Lake Boursaw in the driveway, in addition to our main drainage pipe.
Of course, all this happened in the middle of the night during the torrential rain, which is always fun. Picture me and Tim shouting across the yard trying to get the hoses going as sheets of rain fall upon us.
I’m very glad that the basement did NOT flood, because without power, we have no way to get it out of there (thus far, we’ve just used an ancient-but-works-great wet vac, combined with running up and down the stairs to empty the water buckets. Hey, I’ll take my steps wherever I can get them.
However! Could we be seeing a light at the end of the basement-flooding tunnel? I sure hope so.
This morning, Nate McManus, owner of Oliver & Company, arrived to deal with Lake Boursaw by spreading out a load of gravel with his adorable Kubota. He also installed non-permeable plastic against the house where the basement always floods, then covered it with drainage gravel, sloping it away from the house.
Tim and I are also in the process of re-working the drainage pipe from the roof, and there might be new gutters involved, at least on one side of the house.
I will tell you this – if you’re having drainage issues or are in need of any sort of landscaping or outdoor work, you absolutely need to call Nate, (231) 233-8836. I texted him last weekend, he got back to me immediately, had the gravel delivered yesterday, and was here fixing our problem this morning.
That kind of service is unheard of these days, and I highly recommend him. And, he let me take pics! Thanks for such prompt and speedy service, Nate! (Read more about Nate and Erin McManus here.)
Grilling Up All the Things
We do not have a generator hooked up to our house, and this week reminded us what a great idea that would be. Whole-house generators are a beautiful thing, but pricey. So we decided that for now, to prep for the next storm, Tim would unearth his little generator and get it set up so that we can keep the fridge and freezer running.
It’s an old generator he used when he was building this house 25 years ago, but hopefully, it will do the trick. We heat with wood, so we can stay warm during winter power outages, and we can haul water from the bay to flush toilets (assuming the bay isn’t frozen over). So keeping food cold is our main goal when the power goes out.
Because we did not have a generator hooked up this week, our son Will grilled up everything he could on Wednesday night, we had a big feast, then I cleaned out the fridge and freezer on Thursday. I’m in declutter mode this year anyway, so it’s kind of nice to start fresh with a nice clean fridge.
Septic Issues – Oh Joy
In other news, because things weren’t quite stressful enough this week, we woke up yesterday to the septic alarm going off in the basement. Well, that’s not good. We called Belanger Septic Service and, amazingly, they were able to send someone out yesterday afternoon to assess the situation. Thank you!
After poking around a bit, he discovered that the company who set up the system 25 years ago used a zip-tie to hold things in place. (We honestly can’t remember who it was, and couldn’t find it in our house files).
When the zip-tie rotted away, the electrical thingie fell off and set off the alarm. (That’s my very scientific description of what happened). So he made things right, and I was so glad for a fairly easy fix that doesn’t involve a new septic system.
And that’s the news from Jane’s World this week!