Home Again

Ringleader and Accomplice

We got home again last night, after driving straight through, with 700+ miles, twelve hours and going through Chicago, we made it. As epic as that drive sounds, it was not all that bad. It turns out that driving on the middle day of a three-day holiday weekend is the way to go. Traffic was relatively light and there were few semis. Still, a twelve-hour drive does take its toll and today was a recovery day. Pulling into our driveway, we noticed that a party was happening up the block. The two gay guys were hosting their annual Memorial Day shindig. They have been throwing this party for as long as I can remember. They go all out and every year’s party has a new theme. This year the theme was the circus. They had been going at it since the morning, but there was still plenty of food left, plus some interesting drinks. I grabbed a burger and a cup of iced Mermaid Piss, which contained mainly rum. We sat and ate and talked for a while, but twelve hours of driving soon took their toll. Every party has a pooper that is why they invited us. We did not stay long and exited after giving our hosts our thanks.

Last Day

Wooded Sunset

Today, is our last day at the cabin. Tomorrow, we head home to the Lou. We have been gone a long while. For Anne, since late April, when we both flew out to California together. We got to see my dad and brother Chris there. A call from Harry changed all that. I touched base back home for a few days after we both flew back, Anne back to Detroit and me back home. Eventually, I got the RAV4 back from the shop and the next day, I headed out of town again. In Ann Arbor, we stayed in the same hospital that Harry had been in. After a week, it seemed that he was on the mend. Then it was east to New York, where we attended Maren’s first baby shower. Jay stepped up to the plate, while we were out of town. We turned around and headed west from Geneva. We stopped in Rochester, where we had dinner with Bob and Noreen. Our other friends there, Alice and Chris, flew all the way from Japan just to see us. I thought that that was rather nice of them, especially since we were going to sleep in their house. After that one-night layover, we headed west some more and stayed a couple of nights in Toronto, where we ate well and saw the Royal Ontario Museum. Back in Ann Arbor it was quite clear that Harry was restive under the tender ministrations of his three daughters. We toughed it out and stayed with him until the weather up north seemed to warmup. It was warm the day that we arrived at the cabin but turned cold again, freezing cold. Only now when we must leave the cabin is it warming up again. We got to see the fiber arts exhibit at the Alberta House that Anne wanted to see. Sort of the whole reason for coming north this early. Anne and Bill arrived next door. They got their highspeed internet installed. Something that there were also signs of progress on for this cabin too. They got their water pump repaired and considering that their well is contemporary with this cabin’s well, is something we should be looking forward to also. Anne and Bill treated us to a lovely dinner last night, where I took this post’s photo, something that we will repay them for when we return here. We are leaving the cabin but are already looking forward to returning later this summer.

Alberta House Fiber Arts Show

Alberta House Fiber Art Show

We do not normally, come north to the cabin this early in the summer season. While the days this week have been quite pleasant and unusually warm for this time of year, the nights still get cold. We have had freezing temperature for the last two nights. Our cabin is a summer cabin and is only heated by fire, which is a lot of work and does not always work all that well. The main reason that we did come north was to see a Fiber Arts show that is ongoing this month at the Alberta House. Neighbors Paulette and Dashie spearheaded this show. Anne was asked by them to lend to this show two hooked rugs from the cabin. Paulette has done a lot of research on these rugs and found the following newspaper article, “Sugar Island Indians Lead the Way in Reviving Ancient Arts of the Upper Peninsula Red Men,” Sault Evening News, 1939:

The Great Depression spanned the years 1929 to about 1939, a period of economic crisis in the United States and around the world. Franklin D. Roosevelt elected in 1933 acted quickly to create jobs and stimulate the economy through the creation of what he called “a New Deal for the forgotten man”, a program for people without resources to support themselves or their families. The New Deal was formalized as the federal Works Progress Administration (WPA), an umbrella agency for the many programs created to help Americans during the Depression, including infrastructure projects, jobs programs, and social services. In 1935, Roosevelt created the Federal Art Project (FAP) as the agency that would administer artist employment projects. Roosevelt saw the arts and access to them as fundamental to American life and democracy. He believed the arts fostered resilience and pride in American culture and history. In 1938, Native Americans on Sugar Island were employed in a WPA project designed to make them self-supporting through the manufacture of native crafts handed down through the generations. Hooked rugs, snowshoes, black ash baskets, and rustic cedar furniture were but a few of the native crafts made on Sugar Island under the WPA program.

Pictured on the right are the two hooked rugs that were made on Sugar Island as part of the WPA Indian Handicrafts project. (A native woman from Cross Village, through the WPA program, was paid to go to Sugar Island to teach rug hooking to the natives there.) They were purchased by Anne’s great aunt Elizabeth and were then passed down as part of the family’s cabin decor. The materials used in these rugs were likely recycled clothing on a burlap backing. The themes reflect native life on the island.