Happy Monday! I hope the long 4th of July weekend was wonderful for all of you, filled with campfires, sunshine and fireworks—our weekend up in Empire was lovely and while there was a little work involved, it didn’t really feel like a whole lot.
Thursday evening, our good friends Josh, Wally my sister, Amy arrived for some camping and house work—they stayed for two nights and we spent Friday on some long walks and hikes and then worked on getting the fallen down barn in the back taken apart. We didn’t’ get the whole thing apart, but we did manage to salvage several beams and barn posts that we plan to use in the house as well as some other pretty cool treasures—apple orchard ladders, a metal sign reading “Empire Bar 1 and ½ miles on M22”, a metal bottomed office chair and some really old horseshoes. We also found a fantastic Shaker style bench made of hardwood. This house hasn’t really provided us with the cool old antiques you might think you would find in a 1902 farmhouse, but it has given us quite a few neat things.
On Friday I had an early morning sunrise photo session with a family I’ve known from Illinois who vacation in Empire and it was fantastic to meet their newest addition, little Will, and spend the morning shooting along the edge of Lake Michigan. When I returned home, the group was just getting up and heading out on hikes, walks, runs, and swims into the lakeshore. The best part about this house, I think, is that we can literally walk anywhere—the Empire beach, downtown, North Bar, the new bike path—it’s a wonderful location and I feel really glad that we snatched it up when we had the chance and the vision.
Saturday Ian, Wally, and Josh spent the day clearing the lathe from the house (the whole place is covered in lathe, which used to be used when you would install a plaster wall—we have yards and yards of the stuff—luckily it burns really well, so we also have firewood for days) and then Amy and Wally left in the late afternoon. We spent the afternoon pulling nails out of the hardwood floor and ceiling in the living room and kitchen (linoleum, be gone!) and then our friends Lisa and Rob showed up in their amazing 1989 Winnebago motorhome. They planned to stay one night and we were glad to have their company and easy going ways. We took them on a lovely hike through the National Lakeshore, jumped in the (not too cold, but still damn refreshing) water at the bottom of a huge sand dune, and then grabbed a pizza for dinner and a campfire. Sunday morning we all headed into Glen Arbor for the fireman’s pancake breakfast and then waved goodbye as they all headed their respective directions. 4th of July weekend was a true success and it feels as though summer is finally here in Northern Michigan.
I’ll be doing a progress post of the house renovation later this week as well, so stay tuned for that—we’ve made a TON of progress in a short amount of time!