Birch Bark Canoe

Here is one more story from last weekend. Our next door neighbors, Arthur and Caroline, had an open house on Sunday afternoon. Their purpose was to show off all of the home improvement they have performed. Before I go any further, I should exclaim that Art and Caroline are great neighbors. I don’t think that they read this blog, but I would not be concerned about showing this post to them.

They have been working on their house for years. Yesterday, Arthur said twelve years, I had no idea they had been working so long. Both Arthur and Caroline are architects. This might explain their propensity for doing so much work on the house. They own a duplex that they have modified so that it can now operate as either a single or two family dwelling. With their two small children, it is now in single family mode.

The building started as a two-story structure. Starting at the roof’s central ridge-line, they fan folded the roof upwards and outwards. This created enough head room to now have a third floor. They’ve done a lovely job and after a few more details will have a finished new master bedroom suite. They built-in lots of windows that let in a lot of light and from their third floor vantage point, in a neighborhood of only two-story dwellings, they have some excellent views.

These views seem to have caused some neighborhood controversy. This trouble unfolded all around us and literally transpired over our heads. One of the largest third story windows looks down on our roof. We pay this no never mind, because we are not looking back up. This same window though offers an excellent view through our other next door neighbor’s skylight and into their upstairs shower.

The other neighbors were not pleased with this development. They wrote letters of complaint to Arthur and Caroline and to the city. I don’t think that the city would have done anything, but Art had installed anyway a motorized mini-blind system, into their skylight. This should have mollified them, but I am not so sure. Our other neighbors moved out while we were out-of-town this summer. We didn’t even know that they had moved until weeks later. I just assumed that they were on an extended vacation. Later a for sale sign showed up in their front yard. Today, on returning home, I noticed that the property had been stake surveyed, so the house is likely sold, and so it begins again.

This birch bark canoe is on display in the visitor’s center of the Soo locks. As lake boats go, it is certainly on the small end of the spectrum. Still it is a lovely looking craft and the pattern of its ribs make for a great graphic.

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