North – Days 7 & 8

August 1 & 2

This morning my Mom, sister Emily and I visited a garage sale. I discovered a couple of reasonably priced treasures, one of which was a bit of a Nora wink. Nora absolutely LOVED her music boxes. She had a green music box, much like the one pictured below that played Happy Birthday. These little Fisher Price music boxes are reminiscent of my childhood and are hard to come by. We used to joke that Nora was a little hipster baby. There were really no other baby toys at this garage sale – just this lone special music box, and I almost missed it. “I kinda liked doze tings!”


I also found this Art Deco-ish box camera. I have no idea how to use it or if it even works, but I thought it would look cool in my art space. I’m going to try to hook it up to Instagram later.


I am accustomed to fog in the early mornings back home. It is strange and beautiful to see a mysterious shroud of low clouds rolling into the channel in the middle of an unsuspecting sunny afternoon.


My sister, Sarah wondering, “What the fog?” ~


The air gets cooler and I can physically reach out and touch the wisps of vapor. I can no longer see the land across the water; the sun’s warmth cuts through the chill that suddenly surrounds me. I recall the uncountable interludes of worry that would creep into my thoughts much like this fog, much less beautiful. My skin would grow cold, clarity obstructed, yet God’s warmth permeated my short-sighted uneasiness. The worry would eventually burn away reminding me not “what” but “WHO.”

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
(‭John‬ ‭14‬:‭27‬ NIV)

The fog of worry is gone for now. A heavy boulder of sorrow has instead been dropped into the lake of my soul. I can see the flecks of gold through the shimmering water, the veins of precious minerals. There is indeed beauty marbled throughout this immense sorrow.

On the smaller rocks I paint beautiful pictures. The smaller of life’s burdens can remain as rocks to weigh me down or they can become my canvas.



As night time falls upon us, we decorate Chinese lanterns to set off into the starry sky. We write messages to Nora and to Ali who “Godwinkcidentally” is one of Nora’s neighbors at the cemetery, among many other wonderful things.


It would appear that Gavin is wearing his corresponding ROCK PINK ROCK LOVE t-shirt from Ali’s fabulous Rock Pink Par-tay for this purpose. However, it has become his new favorite shirt. I have to wash it almost daily or he will just wear it again out of the stinky hamper.





The three glowing lanterns rise high above the earth. I can’t see them clearly through the tears that have pooled up in my eyes, my Dad’s arm around me. We remember through teary smiles as they drift off out of sight.


After a lazy Saturday morning William and I head off on the jet ski. The heart smiles from the horizon.


In my only attempt to capture a flock of seagulls (not the band), only THREE of them wind up in the picture. Totally unintentional!

20140805-001107-667108.jpgAnd now I am officially freaked out laughing, because in my efforts to hyperlink a picture of the band, I found THIS. (<– click it)

We are towing the 2 red kayaks behind us and are moving along at a slower pace. As we pass the dolomite mines we are disappointed that there isn’t a huge freighter to admire.


I jokingly ask Siri if there are any freighters in the area. I would have flipped my wig if she was like, “Look to your right,” because basically that’s all we had to do!


We drop the kayaks off at our intended destination and then continue on to investigate the freighter. I am amused, but not surprised to note that the aerial view of Narnia’s gorgeous cove is somewhat heart shaped!



The freighter is the Wilfred Sykes. We watch in awe as this monstrosity of steel turns around and then backs into port over the course of about twenty minutes. Several of the crew repel down to shore once the steel cables are roped into place. Fascinating.



We gawk and stare for a good while at this huge curiosity and then head off back to our awaiting kayaks.

This water! These rocks! The pine trees growing right OUT of these rocks! And the perfect sky! As stunning as these pictures are, they still can’t do it justice!



My eyes happen upon a ladybug struggling in the ripples of the water. Her fate seemingly sealed, when along comes the yellow paddle of my oar. I carefully extricate her from her peril and set her on my sleeve to dry off. How much she and I have in common, I think to myself. I too have been plucked out of the deadly water, currently basking in the warm sunshine from the comforts of God’s sleeve. I am never quite free from the chill of the water, perhaps never will be, but I have survived. I am warmed. I am loved.


I watch as she flies off into the forever of the bold blue sky. Someday I reckon will join her.


I am in love with the Pure Michigan ads, commercials and billboards alike. We were quite surprised to see a billboard in Cincinnati advertising “OUR” Michigan, Les Cheneaux Islands (in bottom left corner)!


These are our best DRAMATIC re-enactments ~



We explore the shoreline for a couple of hours before heading back. I stand in awed silence memorizing the sight, sounds and smells of this unparalleled treasure as William secures the kayaks to the jet ski. A heart winks back.


The rest of the day unfolds with lots to do, or not, if you so choose!


The day draws to a close, our extended family and friends among us watching the crazy cold water skiers.



Emily und Josh spielt Tischtennis!


The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders; where morning dawns, where evening fades, you call forth songs of joy.
(‭Psalm‬ ‭65‬:‭8‬ NIV)


4 thoughts on “North – Days 7 & 8

  1. I think I used to have one of those music boxes! Lol.
    May God continue to heal your precious family. I’m so glad to have been directed to your blog, Aleisa. My faith in God has grown stronger with each day, as I’ve been encouraged by your unwavering devotion and trust in Him.

    Bless you xoxo

  2. Simply B E A U T i F U L!
    and how handsome is Uncle Dustin in the adorable picture with Gavin & Greta!
    Continued prayers for the Yusko family! xoxo

  3. I love you. And that is said both laughing and seriously. And I can’t wait to follow you on Instagram on that medium format film camera. Text me from your rotary phone to let me know your screen name! Can’t wait!

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