Saturday, September 5, 2009

It's still summer!

Boating, tubing, water skiing, fishing, campfires, sing-alongs . . . these are things you usually do in the summer. I guess it is still technically summer for a couple more weeks, but everyone in Upsala knows that fall starts on September 1st, if not sooner. But not this year. After a couple months of cold, rainy weather, it's beautifully warm and sunny, we are cramming summer into the first week of September.

Earlier in the summer, my in-laws gave us their old fibreglass speedboat, and we spent most of July trying to get the motor running (unsuccessfully), then searching for a used motor (successfully). We spent most of August trying to find a used set of controls, but with fall breathing down our backs, I bit the bullet and forked out the $500 for a new set last week. Phillip and I pretended we knew what we were doing, and (with a lot of advice from a friend) got the motor mounted and the controls connected last Wednesday. The weather was right, the boat was running, we borrowed a tube and a set of water skis, my in-laws came for a visit to celebrate with us, and it's been fast and furious since. Not bad considering that the boat hasn't been in the water for more than 20 years, and summer looked like it was going to end on August 15th.

Now you know why I haven't posted for a few days.

In my April 15 post I said that Upsala was one of the few places on earth where houses can burn to the ground and the fire department doesn't find out until days later. It's also a place where buildings appear out of nowhere. I was driving down the road one day with a friend from the Fire Marshal's Office, and we come across a large, multi-unit motel/outfitter camp/apartment building/I-really-don't-know-what-the-heck-it-is . . . type of building. "What is that?" he says. "No clue," I say. "You'd better find out," he says. "Good luck," I say (to myself).

After much searching and questioning, the best I could come up with is that someone from far away owned it, and was considering making an outfitter's camp for hunters and fishermen. I left a note on the door asking them to please contact the fire chief so we could make sure the building is safe. That was three years ago, and the building still sits there, unused, unfinished, unclaimed and unwanted, as far as I can tell. Only in Upsala.

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