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Dancing with the Goddess of Steam


Howdy, Neighbor. People have been telling Phil he’s a good storyteller for a long time… so we are trying something new and pretty-much non-sales Just sharing occasional sweet stories, tall tales, and life lessons learned around these parts. Northwoods Notes are a new, semi-bi-irregular peek into the heart and mind of Phil Frasier… you can read or listen… whichever you prefer… and you are receiving a copy because you’re a current customer of Frasier’s Plumbing and Heating, Inc. We think you’ll like them, but you can unsubscribe any time by clicking on the link at the bottom. But we hope you give us a chance!



I miss the old resorts up here in the Northwoods.

You know the ones I’m talking about. They’d have anywhere from 3 to 25 cabins. And the family that ran it lived in the big main lodge.

All the old cedar stripped boats with outboard two-stroke motors. Boy oh boy, I can smell that two-cycle oil right now.

And in my mind’s eye, I can still see the smoke from the exhaust ports somersaulting on the lake.


Everyone had to bail their boats out in the morning because there were no bilge pumps.

Most of them were little three-horse Johnson and Mercury outboards.

I remember turning the carburetor dial like you turned the knob on an old TV to get the picture to come it. You’d rotate the dial on those old motors until you found the sweet spot. Then you’d jam it to find its maximum running speed.

I miss those old boats.

But what I really miss… is the steam.

On a quiet, cool morning, steam would hover over the water and make its way across the like… just like magic.

There’s nothing sweeter than the rhythmic, hypnotic, trance-inducing dance of the Goddess of the Steam.

I can hear her gently whisper, “Phil, grab your rod. This is going to be the best fishing day of your life.”


But I haven’t heard her voice in a long while. I miss that.

Then again, things have been a little loud here in the Northwoods. But now that the tourists are heading out, it’ll soon quiet down again.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the tourists. I love that people from all over the country want to visit our beautiful little spot on the map. I love what it does for our family businesses downtown. The coffee shops. The fudge stores. The restaurants. It’s a wonderful season.

But I also look forward to the time when the vacationers pack up. When the cabins are closed. Traffic is no longer a hassle.

I look forward to the quiet. The calm and the peace. The end of all the busy.

When a fast-paced tourist town sheds its summer skin. It becomes a little more barren… but not alone.

It’s just quietly reviving its soul to prepare us all for the next season of life.


Those seasons seem to come faster and faster these days. I wish time would slow down just a touch.

I don’t know about you… but I long for the day when we can stop what we’re doing, take a breath, and spend some quiet time out on the lake dancing with the Goddess of Steam.

Take care, neighbor. Take good care.

P.S. – Did you know the first gasoline powered outboard engine you could buy was the Waterman Outboard? I bet that thing sure poured out some smoke on the water.


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