The Great Switcheroo

Dear Reader of Roughwighting, you were expecting to see Pam, weren’t you? You were anticipating reading one of her delicious stories, weren’t you?SURPRISE!

We are playing a fun little game today.  It’s called The Great Blogging Switcheroo.

(We made up that name.)

She is blogging over at my site, Lake Superior Spirit.

And I am blogging over here at Roughwighting.

You know, a blogging exchange.  Instead of engaging one another’s services as formal “Guest Bloggers,” we decided to do the big switcheroo, which ultimately accomplishes the same thing.

Copy of March 20(1)

The view from here.

Ooops, I’ve been rude.  We haven’t been properly introduced.

My name is Kathy and I blog from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.  My husband and I dwell in the midst of a very large forest that stretches, well, a couple hundred miles in every direction.  It’s interrupted by a few small towns, but mostly our neighbors are bears, raccoons, bald eagles and lake trout.  (OK, our real neighbors have something like twelve kids, no kidding, so we’re really not as isolated as I like to pretend.)

Our house in winter.

Our house in winter.

I call the small house we built about thirty years ago our “Little House in the Big Woods.”  OK, I read too much Laura Wilder Ingalls in childhood.  Strangely enough, I just discovered  that my best childhood friend synchronistically calls her house her “Little House on the Prairie.”  Weird, huh?

My husband and I birthed two children-of-the-woods and they’ve both moved to the Big Cities on opposite ends of the country, one in San Diego and the other in New York City.  They’ve both recently adopted kittens, making us cat grandparents.  We haven’t met the grandkitties yet, although we hear weekly updates.

Over at my blog Pam wrote a really cool story, so I spent all night pondering what really cool story to tell you.  Of course, nothing came to mind.  What kind of cool stories happen in the woods?

Ah ha!  It hit somewhere as the coyotes yipped up the road.

I’ll tell you about the Caveman who used to live on our property.  (OK, let’s not squabble.  The Caveman didn’t actually live on our 23 acres.  But he lived next door on the original 100-acre plot, in the same place where the twelve Catholic children live.)

Some of our neighbors.

I had forgotten about the Caveman until last week.  The Tomato Lady (that’s what she calls herself because she once gave us tomatoes from her home in Illinois) vacations on the other side of the twelve children, just up the road, in a modern-day camper.  She emailed my husband at the local newspaper where he works and begged, “Is it really an urban legend?  Did a caveman really live on our property?”

Barry assured her it was a RURAL legend, but she insisted it was an URBAN legend, as she heard it in our town of 1,500 people.

But, lo and behold, it isn’t legend at all.  A modern-day caveman actually lived here during the 1970’s. 

A deer in NO headlights.

Where’s that caveman?

The caveman dug about an 8 X 8 foot hole into the south side of a ravine, and placed a log over the roof. He put wood slabs over the log pole, some plastic and a couple feet of dirt. You crawled in through an igloo-like hole.  You could barely stand up inside the cave. Two rusty bed spring frames provided sleeping quarters.

(We know it’s true.  The remnants of the cave still existed in 1980 when we bought our property. We gawked in amazement.)

He lived in his cave for several years with a woman named Chrissy.   She is a jolly free spirit. I once sold lentils and soybeans with her at the local food co-op.  The caveman was a Navy Veteran who arrived here after service to “live off the land.”  He used to drive an old junk truck to town.  Unfortunately, his vehicle didn’t feature brakes, so he would park it at the top of the hill by the hospital and walk down into town.  He also walked barefoot in summer, so rural legends say.

Thank you, dear reader, for reading this Great Blogging Switcheroo.  Now, do scurry over to my blog (click on the underlined words ‘my blog’ to suddenly appear at http://upwoods.wordpress.com/) where your regularly-scheduled-writer is sitting awaiting your arrival.  If you introduce yourself in the comments here, I would love to shake your virtual hand.

(I stumbled upon Lake Superior Spirit over a year ago and always look forward to Kathy’s insightful, sometimes mystical, always stimulating blog about life out in her neck of the woods. She and I live in such different environments, and yet we find many commonalities in our posts about our “flashes of life.” Thanks for visiting with her here in Roughwighting.)

42 thoughts on “The Great Switcheroo

  1. My husband and I were just discussing “rural legends,” too (in regards to cow tipping which, it turns out, is pretty much impossible and someone said it was an urban legend, and we decided it was really a rural legend). I very much enjoyed your rural legend. 🙂

    • Smiling at that cow tipping legend, Robin. Do you mean tipping a cow over? That WOULD seem to be impossible! Thanks for coming over to read this little switcheroo and welcoming Pam so warmly.

  2. How fun to see you over here on Pam’s blog, Kathy! Wow, I love the caveman story. How cool is that? Such interesting tidbits about these parts we inhabit. Love the photos you chose to accompany your offerings today, too. A delightful idea to play “switcheroo” and start our mornings off with new adventure and interest. You and Pam are way cool 🙂

    • Hi Susan Dee, it’s great to see you here, too! It was interesting trying to find the right pictures to accompany this story. After all, we never took photos of the actual cave itself. So I tried to find a picture of the woods in every season. I could see you playing a Great Switcheroo. Isn’t it fun to play games, to break up our routines a little?

    • Reggie, you are so sweet. I love reading Pam’s blogs–she often tells side-splitting funny stories and she’s a great writer, too. Thank you for playing along with the Switcheroo. You are the best.

  3. What a great idea – nice to meet you:-) Oh, I so loved Little House on the Prairie – that’s what life’s meant to be like, right? Thanks for the modern day caveman story, there’s a lot to be said for living off the land, though it’s not just about idyllic simplicity – hard work too! Right, I’ll go and say hi to Pam at your place! H xxx

    • Harula, it is so very nice to meet you as well! I was pretty sure Pam has some nice readers (and probably has lots of blogging friends that write good stories too.) You are so right that living off the land is not just easy. It can be so challenging. Especially in a year when the weather refuses to cooperate and the garden doesn’t produce. Thank you so much for introducing yourself. I will check out your blog asap.

    • Carla, thank you so much for commenting. It is nice to meet you. Glad you enjoyed our switch. We figured it might liven up our Fridays! I so appreciate you pausing to say hello.
      Kathy

    • Laurie, thank you SO MUCH for coming by and saying such loveliness, for as you know, I am having a slightly blue day having lost a tooth & all. Your words delight my spirit. Thank you for following breadcrumbs, Gretel. You are the best. (The first story I ever wrote in 4th grade was about a girl named Gretel who was escaping from the Nazis.)

    • Kathy, wasn’t it a fun idea? We had a blast doing this! I think you will enjoy Pam very much. Her writing & humor is very cool. Hugs from the UP of Michigan, The Other Kathy

  4. I think I’d rather be the lady camping in the modern camper on the other side of the 12 children then the rural caveman. Nice to read about him though. Bet you two DID have fun planning this! 🙂 Now I have another blog to follow too! Cool!

    • Hey, Dawn, you have a great point! It would certainly be more comfortable & convenient. Thank you so much for reading and playing along with us. so glad to introduce you to Pam. She’s really fun.

  5. Your caveman must have found out about Mishawaka, IN the home of the Cavemen. Our high school, Mishawaka High School are The Cavemen.

    • Hi Lisa! Isn’t that true about small towns and big stories? It is around here anyway. I am so happy that you came over to listen to me yap like the coyotes. You are the greatest!

  6. Hi, Kathy! What fun to find you here! I loved your story about the caveman. My brother lives out in rural Manitoba and just down the road from their first house was a home dug into a hill, like your caveman’s. I think it was a little more sophisticated than the dwelling you described, but it was still cave-like. Thanks for sharing your story. It’s always a pleasure to read your interesting posts. 🙂

    • Withershins, did I meet Pam through you? Or you through Pam? Were you blogging friends before we met? How fun that you have a caveman story of your own to tell. I love the thought of living more fully off the land–but only ideally. In practice it’s harder than we think. Thank you for coming over here to read and comment!

      • I can’t remember who I met first, whether I found Pam because of your blog or the other way around! Whatever the connection, I love reading both of your blogs.

        As for living off the land, I just came back from my friend’s place out in the country. Not only did I bring back a kitten for another friend, but ended up with a box of vegetables; corn, cucumbers, peppers, potatoes and tomatoes. My friend does a LOT of canning in order to cut grocery costs over the winter. They don’t have meat animals, so they don’t live completely off the land, but they do grow much of their produce. 🙂

  7. In 1975 I took a class on the history of the San Bernardino Valley, a large and extremely populous valley in Southern California. Our instructor told us about a young man who had built a log cabin in the nearby mountains in the 1890s and still lived there! Yeah, right…too much of a legend for me to believe. But I asked my husband about it. He was a repairman for the phone company and knew most of the out-of-the-way places and he confirmed that there was an old man living in a hand-built log cabin up there somewhere.

    It looks like I’ve found a new blog to follow!

    • Esther, no wonder you thought that was a wild & crazy legend! To think that someone had lived in a hand-built cabin for all those years. That is amazing fortitude. Thank you for reading and commenting.

  8. Kathy – I have L O V E D sharing my roughwighting space with you, a true Lake Superior Spirit. Thanks for the GREAT BLOGGING SWITCHEROO. My readers have enjoyed it immensely, and I know they’ll be hopping over to your on-line ‘neck of the woods’ to read your lively stories.

    • Oh my goodness, Pam, I have LOVED being a guest here and LOVED having you over on my blog. We thought up a good switcheroo, didn’t we? So glad we’re getting to know each other more & more all the time!

  9. I don’t know if it’s Pam or Kathy and all their followers, but I’d be glad to do a switcheroo with you, Kathy – anytime. Send me an email at karenrsanderson AT midco DOT net! Let’s exchange some ideas and see what happens!

    • Karen, I probably won’t be doing another switcheroo immediately (usually have guest bloggers about once every six months) but we can consider it for the future. How fun that someone else would like to play!

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