My Grandpa, my Dad’s Dad, lives in the woods on an island off the coast of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Between limited well water, just three hours a day of generator electricity, and miles of sleepy forest between him and the town, there is really no choice but to slow down and relax.
Somehow, at nearly 88, he manages not to, and is still busy with chores, hikes, and activities.
About five years ago, he sold 30 of his 40 acres, and re-built the driveway to his house. This little road is paved with flat stones.
Years ago, Grandpa built this log and stone addition to the trailer. It’s now a big living room with a piano, walls of bookshelves, and a wood-burning stove to heat the house in the winter.
The flowers in the windowsill were started from clippings he took from a larger plant in the laundromat. He stopped taking clippings once a sign appeared asking customers to please leave the plant alone.
Both my Dad and my Grandpa have extensive collections of tools, and there’s always something magical to me about standing in a room full of them. The separate garage/workshop smells of gasoline and sawdust.
This is a patio area that my Grandpa built behind the house. The brown bench in the back used to be a porch swing, but after the posts gave out he turned it into a bench.
These are carvings my Grandpa made. If you look back at the house you’ll notice there’s one decorating the supports of the roof.
This he made, in his words, for a joke. It’s an old handle attached to a very round log. A “roller.”
An old trailer set aside in the woods.
My uncle Alan also lives on the property, in a little log cabin. In front of it is a big pile of wood, chopped for the winter.
Here are some of the woods that surround the house.
My grandpa also keeps a fairly large vegetable garden, walled in to protect the food from marauding deer.