It is truly winter now. The snow is beginning to pile up and it makes it more difficult for my old pickup truck to get up the hill.
Sometimes I wonder why I live here, and yet when I look out the windows and see the beauty that God has bestowed upon me, I find a simple answer, this is a blessing.
My son is due in mid-December. Currently he is stationed in South Korea and plans on coming home on leave to spend time with his mother, aunt and wife. I am thankful that he is going to take some time to visit with me here at the cabin. It will be a time of reflection and joy and I truly look forward to it.
Shortly after he leaves, I will head to Texas for the rest of the winter. Winter is beautiful and I love the solitude here, but I miss warm weather and sunshine and realize at this point in my life, that a little sunshine is a great thing.
I am wishing all of you happy holidays and that whatever religion or belief you have that it brings you comfort at this time of year.
I am making significant headway on my third collection of short stories and hope to have them out to the public by February or March 2024. I am happy to say, that my short story The Cell Tower has been nominated for the Michigan notable book award. In truth, it was difficult to write as it deals with the painful and taboo subject of incest. I did not write it to titillate the public, quite the contrary as I hoped to address the proverbial elephant in the living room. Only time will tell whether this story had the impact I hoped it would.
Well. I’m going to sign off now as it is in the middle of the night, and I probably should go back to sleep, but I wanted to get this message out to all of you that I care about. Again, enjoy your holidays, worship your God, and be thankful for everything you have.
Greetings from the Cabin:
The leaves are mostly gone now. They were breathtaking several weeks ago but like life there will be another year and another season. The cycle repeats itself and will always be completed.
The sailboat (Silent Mistress) was put in storage this week. Another year working on her, but it still has not seen the water since I took possession of her around four years ago. I intend to put a small woodstove in her that I had fashioned out of a 20-gallon propane tank that was rusting behind the shed. A local machine shop took my crazy idea and made it happen. Thanks Al. The restoration is almost complete. It has been said that patience is a virtue, if so, I intend to be canonized.
I will be heading to Texas soon for the winter. The winter can be harsh and long here. In my younger years I relished the solitude and peacefulness. Now at age 71, they are just too long. When the snow reaches the windowsills, I will be fishing on a long Texas pier.
Soon I will be draining the water pipes and taking in the dock. The geese are moving their way South and a pair of loons sang a tremolo as they left the lake the other day.
Well dear friends, I will say farewell for now and I sincerely hope to hear from you sometime soon.
Hilton Everett Moore
Hello Friends and Fellow Writers:
"North of Nelson, Volume II is in print. You can get your very own copy at www.silvermountainpress.com
Cabin’s being rented by Air B&B for the summer. Sailboat still in dry dock but the lithium-ion battery has arrived and I hope to get it in the water soon before the gales of November set in.
Been weeding the garden. Flowers look beautiful. Cherry tomatoes are ripening. Looking forward to eating them. Mosquitoes have been heavy this year because of a storm we had in mid-May.
Been a beautiful summer so far, with a few chilly days mixed in.
Here's hoping you and yours are happy and healthy.
Hello Friends and Fellow Writers:
Well, I am back in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. I have been in Texas for the last couple of months. I was able to start a new novel while there called, “Looking for Leonard.” My latest novel, “Rabbit Girl” is in the Editors hands now. Hoping to have that published by late spring. I will keep you informed as these works progress.
Here at the cabin the snow is finally melting and the ice is leaving the lake. The birds are all singing their spring songs and the little woodland critters are starting to come out of their winter homes. Looking and sounding like spring in the U.P.
I’m glad of it too. I did not miss the snow while in Texas.
Make sure you visit my website and online store at, www.silvermountainpress.com. You can purchase my books, coffee mugs, etc. Check it out.
The cabin is in chaos as I am planning a trip south soon for the winter. My work/storage trailer will be placed in a nearby storage company as my trailer chock-full of tools and sailing gear would not handle the weight of a heavy snow. The modern looking trailer’s roof would surely collapse this winter without frequent attention.
My son and his bride were here for a few days last week. It was good to see them. They have now returned to their home in Texas. I hope to visit them soon. I will try not to overstay my visit. I am certain that all of you have heard the quip attributed to Ben Franklin, which I will try to paraphrase, “fish and company smell bad after three days.”
The nights now, are very dark and long. We are entering the winter star phase and being greeted to the winter constellations. Orion is my favorite.
Had homemade corned beef and sauerkraut for dinner last night, wonderful. The corned beef has been stored in my crawlspace for several months, and yes, if kept cool keep’s fine. I make my own sauerkraut too. There is a recipe attached for cooking kraut.
I have another book-signing today at the L’Anse Library, if you miss it, just google Silver Mountain Press and I will see you get a copy. REMEMBER copies of North of NELSON Volume I make great holiday gifts.
Take care dear friends,
The following is my Sauerkraut recipe from the cabin:
4 lbs. Pork Roast
I Tsp. Heaping Caraway Seed (to taste)
3 Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
1/3 Cup Dark Brown Sugar
1 bag Fresh Sauerkraut (drained and rinsed)
3 Cups Red Skin Potatoes (halved)
Place pork roast in heavy cast iron skillet (preferable), or a slow cooker.
In a separate dish mix all seasonings together.
Add sauerkraut, potatoes, and seasonings to the pork roast.
Cook for 4-6 hours.
It has been a while since I have taken the time to type a note, no excuse other than I have been very busy here at the cabin.
Garden is choking on zucchinis which, despite being prolific and healthy, bring me almost to the point of nausea—way too many. I have a food grade 5 gallon bucket in the fridge (yes, I have electricity) filled with apple cider vinegar, dill, and habanero peppers that I unceremoniously dump chunks of zucchini and cukes in. As other excess veggies come from my garden, they will also find their way into the bucket. Our forebearers used this technique for generations, and at some point, I will fill you in on the well-known character Johnny Appleseed, but later. Nothing is wasted here, and everything will end up in a pot at some time or another.
Other points of interests: I promised Frank, one of my favorite readers, photos of my wood-fired hot tub. I am not very tech savvy but will attempt to include a couple of photos with a few comments. As you can see, the heart of this hot tub is a wood-fired boiler I purchased cheap from a miner in Negaunee for $100. This long-retired behemoth was languishing in this guy’s cellar. The only stipulation I required from the miner, who was thrilled to get a $100 for this idled hunk of scrap metal, was that he had to help get this monster up the steep and narrow stairs from his basement to my pickup truck. I enlisted my teenage son, and the three of us, grunting and groaning, finally got this damn thing in my truck.
It may be of some interest to those of you who are mechanically inclined, (which I am not) but at this point in time I had no proof that my crazy idea would work as a source of heat for my proposed hot tub. I digress, but some of you might remember from a sixth-grade history class about Fulton’s Folly, but if not, look it up.
The next issue I needed to resolve was what to use as the tub itself. A trip to the nearest Tractor Supply store was roughly 60 miles away, but worth the trip, as I scored a very durable 300-gallon, heavy-duty vinyl cow trough for around $200 bucks. When I got back to the cabin, with some help from a couple of local kids, we assembled all of the necessary parts in the backyard and fired it up. IT WORKED!!!!
Later, I had a local contractor build an insulated cedar box around this whole affair, as I hope you can see from the photo. As a sidenote, because it doesn’t require electricity to function, I do not have any noisy and obnoxious jets on the tub to contend with, just the relative silence of ice clinking in my brandy snifter and the entrancing light from the stars above.
Thanks for your continued interest—until next time,
As the war in Europe engulfs the world, I have to remind myself how fortunate we are in this country to have a relatively stable democracy. While the Democrats and Republicans sometimes appear to behave like children, at least they rarely descend to fisticuffs, or worse yet. I enjoy the peace of nature here and try to keep a mental equilibrium after my daily dose of news, but I have found that difficult of late. I am not religious by any means, but I hope for the best first for the Ukrainian people, and secondly, for the soldiers on both sides. I believe strongly there are no winners in war, regardless of the outcome. Nuff' said.
The snow is piled deep around the cabin and the private road leading to the cabin is quite narrow now from the snowplow piling the white stuff alongside the road. If we get any more significant snow fall, I will have to hire a payloader to push back the banks, which could be a chunk of change.
One of the readers of a previous letter enquired about my being at the cabin for the winter as I had stated earlier that I was going to go south this winter with my sailboat and spend the winter basking in sunlight. Well, obviously that didn’t happen and all of you are due an explanation. First, the necessary repairs on the sailboat weren’t complete prior to the first big snowfall which pretty much stopped that project and left the sailboat in a pile of drifts. Second, as you all know Covid 19 was ripping through the country, and I chose not to risk getting sick in another state far from my cabin. I also had no insurance coverage other than Medicare, which was a factor too. At the cabin I only have minimal contact with humans so my chance of getting Covid were less an issue than if I was stuck in a large city. Thanks to all of you for enquiring and I hope that explanation settles that question.
You will see below a photo of my sailboat, The Silent Mistress, in her winter wardrobe for your pleasure.
Greetings one and all:
Been a tough week. Without getting too personal I had to attend a family funeral downstate, I am still grieving. What is there about ritual, in this case a funeral service, that I feel comforted by, despite my atheism. Simplistically, grief needs healing and the ritual surrounding death seems to quiet the suffering soul. I guess, despite my atheism, I sensed that those who gathered for the service transcended what we would think of as ordinary life. Enough of that, I am being too reflective, I think.
I always cringe going south over the Big Mac Bridge, it is as if I am headed in the wrong direction on a one-way street. Generally, when I return from downstate, as most all Uppers call the down under, I feel a great sense of relieve. I know that many folks might think I am tilted a little off center, but I believe the air is purer here and the water cleaner and more refreshing. I’d call the U.P. God’s country, but you already know how I feel about that moniker.
ON DUST; Shifting to a different topic. While I heat with wood primarily, I do have a backup gas wall heater that kicks on when I stay out too late at the bar and the fire in the woodstove peters out. The woodstove, with a glass front, creates a delightful ambiance and a wonderful radiant heat, HOWEVER, the cabin gets very dusty and needs more attention than I care to give it. So, consequentially, I am seeking a lovely lady that doesn’t mind dusting. LOL.
Well, that is about it for this update.
Take care everyone,
Hello Friends and Readers,
Sometimes winter seems like a long haul up a steep trail. Walked up the hill the other morning to meet the new guy I hired to plow the road, it was way below zero and blustery, in other words damn cold. I am plowed out now so I made a trip to the small general store a dozen miles from the cabin for necessary supplies (groceries and, of course brandy).
Had to buy a load of firewood recently as the supply I had needed replenishment. It burns but is green as they say up here. I couldn’t get to my regular supply of wood due to the snow depth, ass deep in the yard.
My sailboat lies brooding, I think, with a large canvas tarp covering her. As you might remember I had a naming contest last fall and the winner, James Dunn, from Baudette Minnesota chose the appropriate name, The Silent Mistress. Good choice Jim. Oh, for the curious, the sailboat is the only mistress at camp. Damn….
Bought a family package of chicken wings and used an antique wire grill and cooked the critters in the woodstove, some were a touch blackened, but I like ‘em that way.
Well, I will sign off, hope all is well out there. Remember to post comments if you like, and if you are bashful feel free to write, and I will be sure to reply.
PO Box 63
Covington, MI 49919
It's been a long time since I have posted on my website, I suppose this warrants an explanation. I will give it a try.
In my life, often the beginning of something important starts in the middle, kind of ironic I guess. I recently got divorced after being with my mate for roughly 27 years. There is no benefit to either party to finger point. In my mind, the truth seems to be that the word erosion seems the most appropriate.
I am now living in my cabin full time and that is one benefit of this difficult year that I can point to as a blessing. With the advent of my new life I gave up my ownership of my dog, Blue, to my former mate. This has added to my grief but I will get over this at some point.
I have been resurrecting my old 25' O'day sailboat with help from a young lad that lives near here and an electrician and a carpenter. All with the intention of hauling her to Madisonville, Louisiana for the winter where I hope to live in her for the cold months and to return to my cabin late Spring. This migration is similar to the waterfowl around here and in this sense makes this migration seem natural to me.
I will now have more time for my website that you are reading and to also focus on my other website Silver Mountain Press (see www.silver-mountain-press.myshopify.com), where products associated with my writing will be for sale to support my new nomadic lifestyle.
Well, time to sign off. Please take the time to visit me soon.