Seize the day!

Boat Header.jpg

You’ve no doubt heard the expression “carpe diem” which translates to “seize the day, put very little trust in tomorrow” – that phrase came into play this week at work.

We’ve been very busy the past few months, and when a big hearing suddenly got rescheduled from June 23rd to August 1st, my boss Robb and I breathed a huge sigh of relief.  With most of the prep work already done, the adjournment allowed for a wee bit of down time, so Robb, and his friend Scott, thought they might eke out an impromptu freighter trip around the Great Lakes.

As a management labor attorney, Robb has clients that range from non-profit corporations, to construction companies, and several clients are involved in the maritime industry.  One client has a collection of freighters and tug barges, so every Spring, Robb and Scott consult their calendars and block off some time, usually a week, to escape to “sea” and get away from it all – you might even say they “seas” the day!  Although the trip can be three to five days long, they have to block off a week on their calendars, because the freighter is often at the mercy of the weather, or even a backlog of other freighters similarly unloading at the same terminals, causing the vessel to arrive or depart later than scheduled.   Here’s a picture of the freighter they are on: http://www.boatnerd.com/pictures/fleet/alpena.htm

In the nearly eighteen years I’ve worked for Robb, he’s only missed one Summer without a freighter trip and that was last year.  He and Scott, a busy trial attorney, had set aside a week for their annual getaway, and, at the last moment there was a mix-up in scheduling at the boat and they had to forego their trip.  This year, they decided to make no plans at all, and just “wing it” when the occasion came up.  After our hearing got adjourned and Scott’s calendar miraculously was free, the opportunity to get away appeared to come to fruition.  Robb gets a daily e-mail called a “Vessel Position Report” which details the itinerary of each boat in the fleet, so on Monday he discovered the Steamship Alpena would arrive in Detroit on Tuesday night.  Talk about a lucky break!

The pair hopped aboard in Southwest Detroit for a multi-port itinerary, where they’ve already stopped in Cleveland, Ohio, then full speed ahead to the Michigan ports of Essexville and Alpena.  Friday they will be in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, then back to Alpena, and finally home to Detroit over the weekend.

During this journey, they will cross three major bodies of water: Lake Erie, Lake Huron and Lake Michigan.  Here is a map of the Great Lakes that I got online from “World Atlas” to illustrate the journey for my blogging pals who are not familiar with the Great Lakes.

Great Lakes Map.jpg

Robb e-mailed me the picture up top of the smokestack, (or “stack”), toward the stern of the S.S. Alpena as they cruised along Lake Erie.  You might remember my trip to Lake Erie almost two weeks ago where I walked along that three-mile shoreline with the huge boulders and the heron with the wacky-looking feathers and the big yawn.   They are enjoying good weather this trip, so Robb has had a cellphone signal all along and e-mailed they are crossing Lake Huron today.

So, while my boss is logging nautical miles, I have been logging lots of walking miles (and some computer screen time as well since he left me work to do).  This past three days have been very enjoyable for walking, and I walked five miles each outing.  As of today, I have walked 527 miles this year, so I’ve finally crossed that halfway mark to my final goal, with a couple of miles to spare.  Every day while out on my daily trek, I do question the wisdom of trying to match last year’s whopping amount of miles (250 more than my intended goal), and, if we’d had more gorgeous days like these, I would not be questioning my abilities.  Mother Nature has challenged me at every turn, but I’m happy to have reached this milestone and at my favorite go-to spot to boot.

About lindasschaub

This is my first blog and I enjoy writing each and every post immensely. I started a walking regimen in 2011 and decided to create a blog as a means of memorializing the people, places and things I see on my daily walks. I have always enjoyed people watching, and so my blog is peppered with folks I meet, or reflections of characters I have known through the years. Often something piques my interest, or evokes a pleasant memory from my memory bank, and this becomes a “slice o’ life” blog post that day. I respect and appreciate nature and my interaction with Mother Nature’s gifts is also a common theme. Sometimes the most-ordinary items become fodder for points to ponder over and touch upon. My career has been in the legal field and I have been a legal secretary for over three decades, primarily working in downtown Detroit, and now working from my home. I graduated from Wayne State University with a degree in print journalism in 1978, although I’ve never worked in that field. I like to think this blog is the writer in me finally emerging!! Walking and writing have met and shaken hands and the creative juices are flowing once again in Walkin’, Writin’, Wit & Whimsy – hope you think so too.
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35 Responses to Seize the day!

  1. susieshy45 says:

    Congratulations on reaching the half way mark with some to spare. It always helps to have a bit extra doesn’t it ?
    I got an idea of the Great Lakes from your picture or I would not have understood it- thank you. Are the Niagara Falls on one of these lakes ? Also I saw the Lawrence River, I remember reading somewhere that a pioneer( forget his name) first came down this river and discovered something- maybe Canada. Are the lakes part of the Trans American water way system ?
    Good to hear you have good weather this week and could do the walks. Your post was on your boss’s trip and less about your walks and what you saw- hope you saw more squirrels and birds.

    Is the storm there yet ? Hope the power keeps this time.
    Susie

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Hi Susie – Halfway there and hoping that there will be better weather the second half of the year than the first half, and I say that even though we have rain coming in starting this afternoon … not just rain, but storms and like that for the weekend and some days in the week ahead. I may have to just start walking indoors some of the time if the heat and humidity get really bad. I often will walk at the grocery store – it is very large and the malls are great, but a 20-minute trip one way and can’t do that on the weekdays. My goal for 2017 was just 755 miles, but the weather was good until the end of December so I kept on going. I will persist.

      I was at Niagara Falls on the Canadian side when I was young … I know that there is an access point between Lake Erie and Lake Ontario and Niagara Falls is right there. It is very scenic … I don’t remember much as I was only about seven years old. I know this shipping company goes to all five Great Lakes, as do many of the other freighters on the Great Lakes. There was a picture of a freighter going to Canada when I was on Lake Erie a few weeks ago – I tried to enlarge the photo to see the name of the vessel but it was too far away.

      I decided to do the post about his trip since I had a picture and it tied into my making the miles as well. I was hoping for more pictures from Robb – sometimes he sends pics from inside the cabin, or in the galley or he takes a hammock and strings it up on the deck and has someone take his pic, or even posing with crew members, but I have not gotten any pics like that this trip. We have a storm coming in in later today and I knew I might not write a post tonight, so just went with what I had picture-wise. I did walk at the Park yesterday – same old story with those young squirrels … they just look at me and run away.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ann Marie stevens says:

    Miss Linda………………………..Oh my Gosh!!!!!……………………my dad and uncles ALL were seamen on the Alpena and other Great Lake Freighters…………………………….its too late tonight but tomorrow I’m going to read your blog and see if I can ask one of my cousins which ships my relatives were working on

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      What an amazing coincidence Ann Marie – and we’ve never spoken about it before except me saying that Robb was on a freighter trip. My last post about it was back in 2013 before we met. I will look forward to finding out what you learn!

      Like

  3. AJ says:

    I don’t question your abilities! You’ll make it:)

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks for your vote of confidence AJ … if only this pesky weather would stabilize some … we have rain and storms coming in late this afternoon/early evening and continuing like that throughout the weekend. We really need the rain now even though we had rain so much all Spring, we are in borderline drought conditions right now – that rainy and stormy weather puts a damper (pardon the pun) on my walking efforts. But since we’re going to have an El Nino Winter, I’ll hope I can keep walking longer in the year, barring black ice. The asphalt pavement at the Park is bad for black ice, as early as late October when you get the temps dipping down to the freezing mark. I’ve slid a couple of times, but never fallen, but the feeling – you start taking baby steps for a while after you slide like that.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Fred Bailey says:

    So Linda, when do you get to go to sea?
    Fred

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I figured you would get a kick out of this post Fred. Robb has had perfect weather this time … but we are having three days of storms and hopefully it doesn’t affect his trip. He had not planned on the Cleveland, OH stop, nor the second Alpena, MI stop, so he anticipated getting home late Friday/early Saturday and he may be “at sea” longer now.

      I’ve been on the S.S. Alpena before and they do take paying passengers who want to travel the Great Lakes on a working freighter. We used to go to the River and visit when it was docked near our building, but when they made the Detroit River River Walk about 10 years ago, they got rid of the cement silos and moved the facility to another part of Detroit, so no more bopping over to the boat. I was on the J.A.W. Iglehart, a larger freighter as well – it has been in dry dock for awhile now. It was even nicer than the S.S. Alpena and I did write this post about those freighters. Now that I work offsite, no more fun trips on a sunny Summer day!
      https://lindaschaubblog.net/2013/09/27/if-the-wind-is-right-you-can-sail-away-and-find-tranquility/

      Like

  5. John says:

    I love to go with boats, incredible feeling and experience!😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      It is nice and I am sure he is having a wonderful time John … this is a longer than usual trip for him, sometimes it has just been a two-day jaunt and occasionally, depending on their schedules (boat as well as Robb and his friend’s work schedules), they go by boat and return by air or rent a car to come home. This was a trip with lots of ports of calls … just industrial city stops, but they get off and walk around. I was hoping to have some more interesting pics but I went with what he sent me this time … sometimes he has taken photos with the crew or around the vessel, but we are having a stormy day later today and through the weekend, so I figured I’d better just use what I had and write the post. Maybe next year, I’ll have more photos.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. sharonchyy says:

    Nice and really interesting Linda 👌🤝

    Liked by 1 person

  7. AnnMarie stevens says:

    Linda……………………………I called my cousin who lives in Riverwiew, his dad, Hank Witkowski, my uncle, was on the JT Hutchitson ship which sailed between Toledo, Detroit and Alpena and the Soo………………………my dad John Grzeskowiak sailed on several ships going from up north Sault St Marie, Alpena Detroit and Toledo……………………………..I was very young to remember the names of the freighters…………………I only have a sister and a brother to ask if they remember

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      It is still a coincidence Ann Marie … there can’t be that many freighters on the Great Lakes. I am glad you checked though and your dad still might have been on there at one point.

      Like

  8. Well done on reaching the half way mark. That is absolutely amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I was glad to see the map, too. It’s amazing that you have been able to add so many miles to your odometer. We were taking care of neighbor’s dogs this week and never went to the creek. Some days I had the little dog that wouldn’t go far, so I didn’t even get in half a walk. The neighbors came home this afternoon, and I have been relieved of my dog-sitting duties.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I figured the map would be a good visual … one of Michigan;s nickames is “The Great Lakes State. Still not as pretty as your mountains though. 🙂

      Like

      • There is something magical about water, though. It would run a close second to mountains.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I love to see how the water sparkles when the sun hits it just right. No sun here today … pouring raining right now, and as much as I hate to miss a walk, we sure needed the rain. We are two inches behind in rainfall for July … the grass is brown and crispy. Supposed to have storms overnight, but I didn’t hear any, and a few storms throughout the day. I figured I’d hop on here while the going was good.

        Like

      • We had lovely thunderstorms during the night, though not enough to make me get out of bed to watch. Everything is fresh and green here.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        It is still raining here – I am about to check Reader and then start some housework … I anticipate the bad storms later may have me pop in to see if Robb returned (he and Scott are driving back from Milwaukee as it was taking too long to sail get back to Detroit) and then shutting down the computer again.
        Tomorrow now they say will be a little drier but storms again Monday and Tuesday and 90 degrees Wednesday. Not an enjoyable Summer at all (in my opinion anyway).

        Like

      • I wish spring were as everlasting as summer.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Me too Anne – we had rain all yesterday and some thunderstorms so I never came back here and today the Weather Channel says rain will start at 9:00 a.m. Rain most of this coming week … the walking has taken a big hit.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Good for you to get your walking miles in but I was a wee bit disappointed that you weren’t invited along on the freighter trip.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I know Janis – no perks for the long-time assistant! I was on that vessel and a couple of times on a larger vessel which is now in dry dock … for years the cement silos (which is the product they haul) were located near downtown Detroit and when Robb and I left the Firm and went out on our own in 2003, our office was located on the Detroir riverfront, just a stone’s throw away from where the vessels docked. But about 10 years ago, the City of Detroit wanted to build a scenic river walk so they wanted all industrial buildings gone to make parks and the boardwalk, so the cement silos marine terminal had to relocate. Now they are about 10 miles away. These vessels do take paying passengers and the accommodations are nice and the food is good. We had lunch a few times … for paying guests, there is small dining room, the rest of the time you eat with the crew (which is what Robb and Scott do).

      Liked by 1 person

  11. My husbands father used to be the co-captain (not sure the right name) of a freighter like this. In the summer my husband would go with him and when he got older he even worked on it. His family use to meet him at different ports to catch up. He worked a lot during warm months and was home all winter.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I think it would be a nice job to have Diane … they work so many days in a row (I want to say three weeks, as to Captains, mates and the rest of the crew) and then a week off, and all Winter off while the freighters wait out the ice on the water. I have discovered several fellow bloggers have families with ties to the freighters as a result of writing this post.

      Liked by 1 person

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