She Said–Postcards from Up in the Michigan U.P.–Day 2

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Friday, July 19, 2013

The Tall Ships.  I had been thinking about them.  I have read the Horatio Hornblower series and a good part of Patrick O’Brien’s  Master and Commander series, and more than anything those two series are about sailing.

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So after a free continental breakfast we headed back down to the harbor.  Eloise always wants to push Little Man in the stroller.  I am convinced this is because she finally gets to “push someone around.”

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The sky was blue.  Lake Superior was blue.  Blue upon blue upon blue.  And every shade was gorgeous.

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(About the photo:  I was going for a reflection in the puddle idea.  I don’t think the photo is great, but I included it just to give you an idea of a reverse way to photograph something.)

The previous night we had seen the Tall Ships across the harbor, but today we walked around to the other side of the harbor for a closer look.

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We came to the Coaster II first.  She is a small ship about 80 years old.  Her home dock is Marquette, so she was home.

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We didn’t get a long look at the Coaster II as she was headed out with a news crew on board.   We watched them set up for the interview.  (If you want to see the news report on her, here is the link.)

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The next ship we came to was offering tours–$5.00 per person so I bought passage for the three oldest kiddos.  Then the lady told me that it was only $20 for a family, so I handed over $5 more dollars and Little Man and I both got a ticket.

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The Peacemaker wasn’t quite ready for us to board, so we sat down and watched.

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When it was time to board, Little Man asked me, “Are they going to shoot us for getting on their ship?”  He had entered the era, and Little Man wasn’t sure if these bearded sailors were pirates or “good guys.”

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The details make the ship, just as the details make the story.

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Her lines were beautiful.

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There were stars in her crown.

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And once on board, we saw lines that curved. . .

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. . .and crossed. . .

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. . .and arched. . .

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. . .and dipped. . .

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. . .and rose. . .way, up into the cobalt blue sky.

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There were a few potted herbs and flowering plants on board–tucked away in a warm corner.

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The galley held modern conveniences.

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But the State Room kept it’s traditional grandeur.

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I looked out across the harbor, and there was another Tall Ship coming in.  Just for a small second I could image myself back in the days of sailing ships and glory.

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Some of the crew were pulling in the sails.

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And when I looked up, I gained some perspective to the size of the masts.  A sailor up in the rigging looked small.

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In the cabin we listened in on the captain explaining a little more about the ship.

(When The Hunni saw this photo he immediately said, “Two turbine diesel engines somewhere.)

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I was surprised to learn that The Peacemaker was a fairly new ship.  The captain explained that The Peacemaker was built in 1989 in southern Brazil by an Italian family schooled in traditional boat building methods.  Her original owner and commissioner was a Brazilian business man.  In 2000, she was lying in the Savannah, Georgia harbor relatively unused.  That is when the current owners bought her–The Twelve Tribes.

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Just as these signal flags caught the attention of other ships, the words, “The Twelve Tribes” caught my attention.  What was this group called, “The Twelve Tribes”, I thought the ship was operated by some rouge sailors.  The captain explained more.

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The Twelve Tribes  (Wikipedia link)  is a group/association of people and families that live as “tribes” with a “common purse.”  Or communal living.  They refer to Jesus Christ by his Hebrew name of “Yahshua.”  Their life is not “religious” in the sense that they don’t attend a church, but meet in houses (or ships) every morning to worship and pray together.  From my reading I found they “do not consider themselves Christian” or necessarily even read the Bible.  A mix of Jewish practices with New Testament teachings with homeschooling mixed in with some strict rules mixed with diet restrictions mixed with communal living.  I picked up a pamphlet for more reading about The Twelve Tribes, and also visited their websites–The Twelve Tribes and the site specifically about the ship The Peacemaker and a site about a person who left The Twelve Tribes.

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As we left the glorious ship on a beautiful day this random thought hit me.  “Communal living never makes for very pretty woman.  Somehow when the money gets divided up there is never any money for mascara.  Mascara versus Food = Food wins.  Hair Straightener versus Saving for a New Prop = New Prop wins.  And with that random thought, I decided to exercise my right of putting some on-mascara that is.

And let me here say, I am not ashamed to say that I am a Christian, I love Jesus Christ, and believe that the Bible is divinely inspired.

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With the tour over, we headed back to our hotel. . .224 copy

. . .and once again passed this huge, monster of concrete and steel.  Up close, we could see the numbered chutes through which the iron ore was dumped into ships headed for Detroit and the car manufacturing industry.  Wow! I thought it is amazing that Henry Ford lived in Detroit.  He invented a cheap way to manufacture a car and all around him were the necessary raw materials for building cars–coal, iron ore, and copper were just up state.  And even more amazing there was the H2O highway of the Great Lakes to transport all the raw and finished materials.  I wonder how different history would have been if Henry Ford had lived in say. . .Oregon or Florida.

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And just as we were arriving back at our hotel, a huge, and I mean absolutely HUGE ship pulled into port.  If you could see one of the Tall Ships next to her, you would see that the largest Tall Ship was smaller than the very front of the ship (the tower.)

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The kiddos wanted to swim, so they donned bathing suits and walked to the beach next door.  A crew team was just “putting in.”

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Baseball Boy started in and then came back out.  “It is freezing!” he said.  Based on this website, I figure the water temperature was between 57 – 60 degrees.  Baseball Boy and Scout eventually got in, (actually they got in a sand fight and then needed to rinse off), but I headed back to the hotel pool with the two younger kiddos.

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The pool was heated–about 80 degrees warm.  Now that is more like it.

We needed lunch.  Baseball Boy wanted Jimmy John’s, so we all ate sub sandwiches for lunch.  Right around $20 without any drinks.  I thought, “Cold cereal for breakfast, and sub sandwiches for lunch wasn’t going to last us until supper, but I’ll just deal with supper when it comes.”

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We headed off to a camp ground where other Baseball Families were camping, then headed on to the baseball fields to practice.

We were going to be here for awhile.  We had an hour practice, and hour wait, our game at 6:30 (2ish hours) and then a Skills Competition (which got postponed).  I figured we wouldn’t be leaving until around 9:30 at night.  We set up camp.  I bring a tent, a small cooler with drinks, four chairs, two blankets, backpacks for the older girls, a snack bag, a bag for the Little Man filled with toys, my purse, extra sweatshirts for everyone, and a stroller.  I balance as much as I can on the stroller, so I only have to make one trip across the gravel parking lot, along the clay paths, to the far grassy field.  I look like a homeless woman.

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As game time approached, I knew that Baseball Boy needed to eat.  We all needed to eat.  And I was not about to haul everything I had set up back to the car.  I decided to see if Pizza Hut would deliver right to the field.  With a coupon from our Care Package from the City of Ishpeming, I was able to buy two $10 pizzas with a free 2 liter bottle of Coke.  Supper solved.

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Each game starts with the boys of each team announced.  Each boy has a lanyard of pins which they exchange with each other.  It is a fun tradition.

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The game started, and one thing became clear.  We were WAY out of our league.

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They were the defending state champions, and they were good.  Their pitcher pitched a perfect game.  0 – 11.  We were mercied.

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The boys were shocked, and my stomach was a mess.

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The coaches were stunned.  And I was seriously down.

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Let me explain.  I like winning.  And further, I like my son to be a hero.  A Christian hero.  A Tim Tebow.  But he is not.  I want him to be the guy that others look up to.  But he isn’t.  He makes the All-Star team, but often sits the bench.

The beauty of the day clouded over with such a loss.  “Had we come all this way just to lose?”  “Were we really that far out of our league with our small town team?”

I mulled these thoughts over in my mind as we had a very quiet, 30-minute-ride, back to our hotel.  My thoughts are always mixed with prayers as I think something through, and here is what came to me.  “I wanted My Boy to teach others through sports (be the Tim Tebow), but the fact is that sports were teaching him.  And that is a good thing.  He needs training.  He is just a wiggly, freckled-faced, skinny-boned, quick to laugh, baseball-loving boy.  And I love him just like that.  And his Heavenly Father loves him just like that.  He is a boy.  In training.  Winning is extra.  Not the point.  The point is the boy in training.”

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As we arrived back in our hotel room, I looked out our window onto Lake Superior.  Beauty.  It always calms me down.  Puts things in perspective.

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And after a swim in the 80 degree pool, the kiddos all went to sleep.  The moon was almost full.  And life was good.  I was thankful.

And tired,


P.S. There is more coming.  Hold on.  Day three tomorrow.

Postcards–Up in the Michigan U.P.–July 18, 2013

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5 Responses to She Said–Postcards from Up in the Michigan U.P.–Day 2

  1. Anonymous says:

    Love your thinking-things-through conclusion. I’ve felt it many times too. pJ


  2. Bel McCoy says:

    I really like your way of telling things!!! So sad 😦 for a big loss, but good to take it that way!!
    Part of learning….no one wins them all!!


  3. Christie says:

    I love, love, love this post! The photography is beautiful, particularly the last few shots, and I appreciated your honest reflections over your boy and losing a baseball game. Also, I am a huge fan of Patrick O’Brian. I have read through his series three times, and am now listening to all of them. I really want to ride a tall ship someday so I can better visualize the books. I look forward to reading more about your trip …


  4. WOWMOMWOW says:

    Last night I sat at a table where there was one woman who mostly spoke Quechua, a young man who just turned 22 and 2 other families that I have known since they were small children. I went back 35+ years to when I was a young missionary’s wife and my family thought that I was crazy and wasting, if not ruining, my life in a small corner of the world that that would never amount to much. As I looked at these faces and the many memories that each one brought to mind, both in their triumphs and sorrows, I knew that the time was NOT wasted. Many things I did wrong in those years, but the Lord blessed me in spite of my failings. As I looked at each of their faces, I knew that in some small way, my husband and I had impacted them in a way that help them in their journey of this life, helped them to remain faithful to the Lord in the succeeding years and now they want that same faith to belong to their children and Grandchildren. Whatever it is that brings us closer to the Lord, whether winning or losing, this is what matters.


  5. Kelly K says:

    I enjoyed your wisdom about communal living and female pulchritude (new favorite word!). Also your observation about a young, growing boy is SO HELPFUL!


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