Omena Lake, Michigan – 76

We moved into a little summer cabin on the North end of Omena Lake in Michigan. I THINK we had been living at my In-Laws since returning from Wisconsin. But in all honesty, I don’t recall where we moved from.

It was a neat little cabin; front porch, living room, small kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom. There was a boat dock right in front of the cabin, with a rowboat on the shore. Not only was it down a dirt and gravel side road, but these 3 cabins were down the slope from the road. You entered the driveway from the top of the rise, driving down at least a 45 degree slope. It seemed much steeper. At the bottom of the gravel slope you had to make a 90 degree right turn as the driveway ran along behind the cabins parallel with the road above. This end of the driveway led to a much more relaxed angle up the slope meeting back up with the road at a lower spot further down.

I make a point of mentioning the driveway, because we had a LOT of trouble getting in and out during the winter. Let me run down a typical morning scenario for you.

First of all, you are in a SUMMER Cabin in the WINTER. The heat was much more noticeable NEAR the wall heater than across the room from it. I put on my warm clothing, and then put on my arctic weather gear. I’ve got work to do before we can even think about leaving.

I head out across the yard to the driveway. Our Mustang lies in a bank of snow blown off the lake. Before I dig it out I pop the hood and take the blanket off my engine, exposing the safety light I have burning under it. With the engine compartment clear, I clear my door and get the car started (MOST of the time).

After the car is running, I dig the car out. First I remove the sheets of cardboard that kept the wind from blowing up under the engine. Depending on how much snow had fallen, I might even shovel out a path for the tires for about 10 feet or so.

Now it was time to go back in and get warmed up, and get ready to leave. I could usually drop the arctic gear then and go with regular boots, pants, and gloves. The parka jacket stays!

Now both of us are headed out to the car. My wife heads for the driver’s door and I head to the trunk. She gets in and gets settled. BY now the car is as warm as it’s going to get. I pop the trunk and climb up onto the back bumper. I hold on to the trunk lid like a handle and lean back getting my weight as far back as possible. On rare occasions we might make it out on the first try, but more often it took a few runs to make it out of the driveway.

My wife would push the car as far as it would go while I dangled off the back end like a sailor hanging off the side of a catamaran. We’d go as far as we could then back up to the beginning and make another run at it. Usually a couple three passes would get us up to the road, where I got to get back inside the car.

More than once we had to be winched up the driveway by a tow truck. At least one of those times it was due to a pesky frozen fuel line that taunted us all winter. My mechanic saw so much of me that winter that he finally told me that the BEST use for that Mustang was to park it on the lake. When it fell through the ice I would know it was spring. Hahahaha

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