An island retreat, Part V

May 14, 2011

Well, I didn’t sleep so well last night after all. I tossed and turned for a while, read The Iliad for a while – and may I say, if The Iliad doesn’t make you sleepy at some point, you ain’t tired. The frogs sang, then an owl hooted. Who, who, hoo-hoo-hoo. I finally did drop off at about 4:30 or so, after a few unsuccessful, brief nod-offs.

I had hoped to catch a spectacular sunrise at 6. Instead it was foggy and overcast. Though I tried to be quiet, Natalie heard me, which touched off a slowly building chain reaction of activity. We have pancakes and were working on projects by 7:30. My first job was to spackle  the second bathroom wall, which had a partially completed repair. The repair was uneven and in a corner, which makes it even more challenging. I don’t claim to be a drywall or spackle expert, but I can handle filling a simple crack or nail hole. This was more like troweling in enough spackle to open a freeway ramp in two directions. So it’s a work in progress. The cool, damp air slowed the drying time as well.

Eric wanted to paint behind the “terlet” in bathroom #1, so I pulled out the tank part, leaving the bottom half and the yucky business alone (TMI? Maybe so).

Natalie asked every 10 minutes or so when she could go to the beach.

We worked on converting an old Victorian dresser into a vanity for bathroom #1. (See Working’ the Pelee Shrimp Shack) Y & E had a granite (I think it’s granite; they kept referring to it as marble, but it looks and fells like granite to me – whatever, it’s lovely) counter top that they had custom cut to accommodate a sink and faucet. The tricky part was gluing the top of the sink bowl to fit the opening on the underside of the stone top (as opposed a top-mount sink typical of say, a stainless steel sink).

I cut (after measuring several times holes in the top and back of the dresser/vanity go give the sink and plumbing works adequate room for installation. Luckily, those cutouts didn’t have to be pretty – nobody will see that part. But the countertop/sink and the wall repairs in bathroom #2 will be seen, so they have to look decent.


We took a spin around the island and shot some pix, then dropped of Y & E and set out for a bit more while Y & E prepared dinner. See some of the pix below! Even the simplest spaghetti and toasted bread with garlic powder and grated Parmesan cheese tastes great at Pelee. I can’t explain, it just does.

Eric and Natalie and the foggy beach.

A merry band of Pelee Shrimp Shack shooters.

Sidebar: My many references to the “Pelee Shrimp Shack” are an homage of sorts to the 1996 Tom Hanks Movie, That Thing You Do. Set in 1964, it’s about a one-hit-wonder band, The Wonders, who climb the charts with their big pop hit and tour the country. They make an appearance in a low-budget beach movie as Captain Geech and the Shrimp Shack Shooters. That is an especially goofy scene in a fun movie. Check out this video.

Natalie hooked a, um, hook, er, lure.

Natalie at play.

Is this where Hitchcock filmed "Psycho"?

Wish I'd gotten here in the morning when the fog was thick and close to the ground/water.

Some of the lighthouse timbers are really deteriorating.

Mother and daughter.

Natalie and her dandelion. Or "dent de lion."

An interesting flower at Lake Henry, near the lighthouse.

The legendary Stoneman of Pelee Island.

The legendary Stoneman.

Little Stoneman.

A whole village of Stonemen/women/kids.

The equally legendary Shoe Tree.

The equally legendary Shoe Tree.

If you need some ice skates in a pinch ...

Ye Olde Log Cabin

Ye Olde Log Cabin Wheels.

The wind had picked up in the afternoon, denying me a chance to get a photo of the lighthouse shrouded in fog. Instead it was just a kind of overcast background. Ho-hum.

The wind-whipped fire burned hot and fast. The temperature dropped rapidly Saturday evening.

I'm playing with fire.

Eric built a fire as the wind grew, and the wind-blown flames grew into a hot, fast-burning fire. As the fire burned, it looked like a storm might be moving in, so we dowsed the fire and returned to a few humiliating games of euchre before giving up. We were all so tired we laughed at our stupid mistakes. Mamoo (my grandmother) would have been aghast.

OK, now I’m tired. Maybe I can really sleep tonight.


Sunday, May 15, 2011

I slept much better last night. The wind blew, and rain moved in – not that I noticed till morning. Another non-sunrise.

The lake had transformed overnight, from Lake Placid to Lake Fury, in less than 12 hours.

The lake was a tad more boisterous on Sunday.

Eric was out in the rain drilling drain holes in the deck wherever puddles collected.

After breakfast – pancakes again! – we finished what we could. The throne in bathroom #1 is once again fully functioning. The sink and stone were still curing. The glue needs at least 48 hours to set properly, we learned. Plus the cool, humid air slowed the curing even more. Eric didn’t want to chance ruining it just to put it all together earlier rather than later. No hurry, right? We’re on Pelee Time. So it sits for two weeks. But it should be awesome when it’s finished. Better than anything I have!

This is the first time I’ve arrived at Pelee on a bright, calm Friday and left on a blustery, wet Sunday. Usually it’s the other way around.

It got rather cool overnight. Space heaters kept the individual rooms warm, but the open space was chilly this morning. Good thing the coffee is hot.

Now that the doors have been hung, we’re really not roughing it at all now. The bugs aren’t even out yet. I don’t think I’ve been bitten once.

I was hoping to catch a dramatic photo of a fog-shrouded lighthouse yesterday, but by the time we got around to it, the wind had just begun to rise and the fog was starting to dissipate. Bummer. So we visited the Stoneman. We noticed quite a brood of little stonemen (and women and children, I suppose). “It’s a long winter,” Eric quipped. Quite the quipper, he is.


Well, a change of plans.

The plane isn’t flying out this morning and may not fly at all. * Eric’s truck doesn’t have a child seat or we’d all go through Leamington. We worried that customs would demand a child seat. So contingency Plan B – Yvonne would ride back with Eric and moi, and Grammy and Natalie would (hope to) catch the next flight out today or Monday. Yvonne needed to get back to work, and Grammy and Natalie could stay another day without difficulty.

Yvonne wasn’t thrilled with the arrangement, but felt she didn’t have much choice given the weather and circumstances.

* – The ferries and flights to Sandusky were all canceled on Sunday, so Grammy and Nat-Nat caught a plane on Monday, and had a car waiting at the airport. End of drama.


One thought on “An island retreat, Part V

  1. Pingback: Island retreat, part IV « AkronDave

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