Red's Wrap

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On the road to Grand Marais, there are two houses I’ve loved. Twenty years ago, when we first started driving up M-77, both houses were worn and in need of repair. Every time we passed, I would check on their progress.

The first house was reclaimed and improved. It got a metal roof which I thought was wise since our own house in Grand Marais, the one built after a fire destroyed our first house, had a brown metal roof that I knew would never burn. The first house got new windows and was painted a radiant white. Geraniums in pots sat on the porch in the summer and there were sometimes actual people sitting there looking across the way at their barn, still weathered and grey but sturdy and tidy.

But the second house was unattended. At first, it was just vacant with a no trespassing sign and a…

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