Coming to America…

…my country tis’ of thee, sweet land of liberty… Here I am upon our arrival back in the USA. We made the shortest leg of our journey by crossing the Little St. Mary’s River in 10 minutes to dock at Sault Ste. Marie (pronounce Soo Saint Marie), MI. We had put out the yellow quarantine flag once more and were instructed by phone to remain on the vessel until US Customs officers arrived. I was allowed to step onto the dock in order to secure the boat but then had to get back on.

Within minutes two uniformed and armed officers arrived and asked if we were the boat with the bird on it. We pointed out Kismet where an Agriculture Dept. officer, a vet and an assistant were already aboard checking Ziggy. they decided to go ahead and clear us first. They asked for passports and some personal info. Asked a few routine questions and never boarded the boat. I did happened to mention I was a retired judge and Jan a retired attorney I believe. The only item of interest was when Jan told them we had 3 oranges, two apples and some grapes. We lost our apples and oranges but were allowed to keep the grapes. Apparently some type of fungus can come in on the skin of fruit and is verboten. I told them if we had known there would have been fruit salad with dinner last night. We were in.

Ziggy also managed to get in and we were done. She had tried to hide in the bathroom cabinet but they heard her whistling. I wish she could say “they are smuggling diamonds, strip search Dean”, but alas her vocabulary is limited.

I had promised everyone an American breakfast so we got directions to Frank’s Family Restaurant where I had a Southern Omelette and one pancake. The omelette is a two egg omelette with sausage, green peppers and onions smothered in sausage gravy. A heart attack waiting to happen but this is the first breakfast like this in 10 months. Just take another pill.

There was a craft fair in town and we made two nice purchases. One was a stylized woodpecker that will mount on a 4×4 post on the backyard where a birdfeeder is located. the second item was a glass window painting of the Whitefish Lighthouse on Lake Superior near where we are. The artist that created each is pictured with their work. The children may one day draw lots to see whose house gets to contain these treasures. Jan says they will have a giant yard sale. I hope not as these were lovingly collected.

Here are located the famous Soo Locks that move giant ships in and out of Lake Superior. We went for a visit and saw the amazing sight of a ship 1004 feet long and 105 feet wide pull into a lock 1200 feet long but only 110 feet wide. You do the math. I told them that the Admiral could have done it just like she did in Oswego. Look at the pictures but they do not convey the immense size. You can hardly get the whole boat in one picture. They carry many things. This one is hauling iron ore to a refinery. One ship like this can carry as much as six 100 car trains with 10,000 ton capacity for each car or 2008 tractor trailers with 26 ton capacity each. The ship has two 9000 hp V-8 engines. You could dance inside the cylinders.

For dinner we went to the famous Goetz’s Family Restaurant and had an excellent meal. This was the first brewed ice tea I have had since Killarney. I ask in every restaurant and finally we know we are home.

And finally the answer to the mystery object question. We had more guesses on this than any previous question. All wrong. The most popular was an envelope moistener but there was no reservoir for the water. Well here is what it is. A card holder. Remember it is an art object and not really as practical as it is beautiful.