Greetings from the Northwoods!  Can you tell I just read “Make your Blog Stand Out with a Title that Hooks”?  For a supposedly quiet time of the year, there seems to be a lot happening so let’s get straight to it with every Wisconsinite’s favorite topic, the weather.  (Yes, that trumps even wolves and blood.)  This photo is the neighboring driveway of a summer cottage down the road from my house, taken on my way to town this morning.  Pretty as it is, the picture does not convey what it felt like to drive through Presque Isle this today, just as the dawn was beginning to illuminate the several inches of fresh snow that fell overnight.  The evergreens, the birch, the lakes and swamps, they all have a clean white dressing to them in the reverent stillness of morning.  It almost feels other-worldly.

We didn’t get the dumping of snow our friends to the south got, but a few fresh inches here and there are keeping everyone happy. The bigger story is the cold – the temperature on the night of the super wolf blood moon was 20 below zero, and the highs over the next several days look to be in the negatives.  We intermittently braved the cold to witness the eclipse on Sunday night, each taking turns running out onto the deck to report the status back to the rest of the family.  I can’t really say any of us lingered to take it in from start to finish and be one with the experience…on top of the frigid weather the NFL playoffs were on, and it was non-stop action.  I might have skipped the playoffs had I known the result would be Tom Brady vs. some team from L.A. in the Superbowl, but that’s a different story.

Life’s most amazing moments can happen in seconds, however.  On one of my trips outside to check the sky, I saw that the lower left corner of the moon had begun to eclipse.  The frozen landscape was practically glowing from the remaining light of the moon, and despite the numbing cold I stilled myself for just a moment, to stare at that dark red corner.  And next I heard the long howl of a wolf from across our bay on Lynx Lake, sounding as clear as if it were right in front of me.  Just a moment, no more than ten seconds, with only the wolf and I paying witness to the change in the moon above.  My chills were from more than the cold when I returned inside, the glow and warmth of the fireplace welcoming me back.

Moon photos by Kim Woolf Mercer, WI

After such a lovely weekend Monday came quickly, as both kids are starting new semesters in two different schools and everyone is going every which way.  Or trying to, except that Aidan’s battery was dead thanks to the bitter cold weather, I couldn’t put gas in my car because the little door was frozen shut thanks to the bitter cold weather, and an agent trying to show my listing on Presque Isle Lake couldn’t get the lockbox to open thanks to bitter cold weather.  Did I mention the bitter cold weather?  And though I’ve written earlier about just saying to heck with it and staying home sometimes, the reality is you can’t always do that.  There are classes to attend and properties to show and Chamber of Commerce meetings to be at, so jeez about all you can do is bust out the hair dryers and jumper cables and get on with your day.

Our Chamber of Commerce meeting was held at Skyview Lodge this week, it was nice to see the restaurant busy with so many visitors taking advantage of the long weekend.  It was decided at the meeting to plan another winter event in light of the absolutely perfect ice we have going at the rink at Pipke Park, so on Saturday February 9th from 4-8pm we will be hosting a winter fun day of ice skating, sledding (some sleds available), a candlelit snowshoe, bonfire, free s’mores and hot chocolate.  The warming hut has restrooms and plenty of room to dress and will be open as well, come on down and join us for a day of good old winter fun!

Unbelievable to me that it’s already nearing the end of January, it feels as if time is just flying by.  I guess all of those moments really do add up, whether you’re driving to work or blowdrying the little door on your gas cap or howling at the eclipse or watching an NFL referee blow a call so egregiously it has caused a New Orleans Saints fan to file a lawsuit against the NFL for ‘mental anguish and emotional trauma.’  Wait, that’s a thing!?  And why didn’t I think of it!?

Oh here, let me just straighten your jersey for you before you go to catch that ball. With my helmet. Against your helmet.

Some past moments we wish we could re-do, some that are yet to come we wish and worry over, and then there are some moments we would like to lasso and pull in tight and keep them in our pockets.  That isn’t how moments works, of course.  It’s better to travel lightly, if at all possible, ready for what’s next.  So that we’ll be there unencumbered in THE moment – with our tongue outstretched ready to capture that one fat snowflake meant for us, with our eyes on the last play of the game, with our ears hearing an ancient howl to acknowledge a darkening moon.  Isn’t it all quite something?  I wish you many amazing moments in the upcoming week from Almost an Island, where life is good!