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A Most Unreliable Narrator Issue #153 Ope!
A Northern Michigan Hello
Travel to the cabin Memorial Day weekend was a bit fraught. Mr Lisa noticed he forgot his work phone when we were 30 miles from the city so we had to loop around and drive back. We lost a few hours due to this so instead of arriving about 5:30 – 6 p.m., we got into town around 7:30 – 8 p.m.
The cabin was in good shape after months of being empty. We unpacked a bit before heading to dinner where I got my (mini) wet burrito:
A wet burrito consists of a burrito tortilla stuffed with seasoned ground beef, refried beans, and lettuce. The burrito is wrapped and enchilada sauce is added on top as well as a fuck ton of shredded cheddar. The whole thing is shoved into an oven to melt the cheese. It is then topped with chopped onion, tomato, jalapenos, and olives.
I get mine with the lettuce on the outside and no jalapenos or olives.
It’s a dish I introduce non-Michiganders to when they visit. Mr Lisa claims other states have this concoction, but no one else can verify this.
Hopefully next week I can gush about Almond Boneless Chicken, another local Michigan cuisine.
(And yes, wet burritos and ABC is a absolutely gringofied food.)
Our contractor did a lot of amazing work this winter in addition to installing the w/d. The other sexy thing he did was turn the area beneath the eaves into storage by creating cedar drawers that match closely to the cabin’s wood:
After years of organizing our clothes on the floor (no room for a dresser), we finally have storage and the loft looks like a proper bedroom.
Another great piece of carpentry he did was build me a desk that fit in the loft. My previous desk was small and everything was cramped; now I have space to roam!
He also installed a new light in the kitchen, upgraded the common room ceiling fan, and installed a ceiling fan in the loft. In the last couple of years, we’ve also:
Replaced the roof
Replaced the back deck
Replaced the front and side decks (summer 2024)
Replaced the gravel driveway
Replaced the front windows
Replaced the rest of the windows (summer 2023)
Painted the exterior of the cabin (summer 2023)
Landscaped the yard to get rid of plant debris from the last two decades (ongoing maintenance)
We still need to do:
Install a gas fireplace
Condition the crawl space
Remove the old gas heater
Remove the baseboard heaters
Replace the inside doors
Gut and re-do the kitchen
The only thing preventing us from living up here full time is the gas fireplace and conditioning the crawl space which we’re hoping to do spring/summer 2024 and stay for the winter of 24/25.
It’s all coming together.
When I was running through this list with my brother recently, he asked why did we not just tear down the cabin and build a new one. We’re dropping a lot of cash for all the repairs and replacements. Mr Lisa’s number one reason? Architecturally interesting. If we built from the ground up, we would not get the nuance and features of the cabin as well as the cost for cedar would be exorbitant. Works for me!
Mr Lisa said to me some time after we got to the cabin how much better he felt. More relaxed even medical interference. I could feel it, too. Yes, we’re six miles from the nearest village. Yes, we’re 25-30 minutes from the nearest city. Yes, we do not have access to GrubHub or Shipt. (Uber in the city is questionable it seems.) Yes, everything we do has to be planned.
But we both noticed after being here last year for six months (and hopefully another six months his year), we didn’t miss those things. We worked with a lot less last year and it did not feel as we were lacking. We have fast internet and we can get stuff delivered. The nearest village has a post office and a general store that does everything and I mean everything. Other villages on the peninsula have dentists, doctors, and proper grocery stores.
Getting to the city is easy and all the needs we have in Kentucky we can get right there.
There are some disadvantages here. One, the winters. It still snowed up until the beginning of May. We drive a MINI Cooper and we drove it when we lived down in Southern Michigan which is no slouch in the winter and snow department but it’s not here. If we make the move to live here permanently, we are considering getting a Ford Maverick or a Bronco. Something with heft and grit.
The other concern is daylight. Spring and summer the sun rises around 6 a.m. and goes down about 9:30 – 10 p.m. In October last year, the sun rose about 8 a.m. and was down at 5 p.m. Not going to lie, I get a bit scared walking Thursday during those hours due to bears and other wildlife. Yes, bears are a thing here. When I worked at the everything grocery store before I got with my current company, we were told to pull our cars closer to the store as to not run into any bears. So yep, bears are a thing.
Another concern for me is psych med management. Most psych med management offices are only licensed in the state they are in so I would have to find someone new here. A quick Google search tells me it wouldn’t be that difficult but still, a concern.
And lastly, mechanics. The nearest MINI dealership is 150 miles from here. Sure, there are mechanics in the area that work on foreign cars, but we still have maintenance with the MINI and getting work done at the dealership is free. This sounds very first world issue, but there you go.
We have a lot to consider moving here but so far, we’ve come a long way and I think we can make this a reality.
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Look at this sexy beast!
It’s a combination w/d! We’ve lived part-time in N. Michigan for over a decade and never owned a w/d because we couldn’t find the room and we were worried about the septic. Our contractor suggested we use the old bathroom in the loft (which we never used because the ceiling is so short neither of us could get in). Mr Lisa did research and found a combo w/d that fit the bathroom without having to do construction work and viola! W/D has been installed.
There are a few catches to this beauty:
The tub is small which means I can get in three to four tops and pants for a single load or a load of smalls (socks, bras, and underroos). I read the directions for the machine and it gave examples of what can be loaded and what settings to use. In short, the only thing I can’t wash is our blankets and duvets which is no big deal.
Because it’s a combo w/d, it took about three hours from start to finish for the first load. The machine is about 3.5’ from my desk so keeping an eye on laundry doing the day is fine. Not having to plan time to haul laundry, get quarters, and other related accouterments is great.
We bought rubber matting to slip under the unit to deter the shaking, so we’ll be doing that in the next few days.
I’ve never been so thrilled to do laundry in my life.
Have a good week!