Michigan’s Electric Cooperatives
EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Casey Clark
EDITOR: Christine Dorr
GRAPHIC DESIGNER: Karreen Bird
RECIPE EDITOR: Christin McKamey
COPY EDITOR: Yvette Pecha
CONTRIBUTING EDITOR: Emily Haines Lloyd
PUBLISHER: Michigan Electric Cooperative Association
Michigan Country Lines, USPS-591-710, is published monthly, except August and December, with periodicals postage paid at Lansing, Mich., and additional ofﬁces. It is the ofﬁcial publication of the Michigan Electric Cooperative Association, 201 Townsend St., Suite 900, Lansing, MI 48933.
Subscriptions are authorized for members of Alger Delta, Cherryland, Great Lakes, HomeWorks Tri-County, Midwest Energy & Communications, Ontonagon, Presque Isle, and Thumb electric cooperatives by their boards of directors.
Postmaster: Send all UAA to CFS.
Association Ofﬁcers: Tom Sobeck, Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op, chairman; Gabe Schneider, Cherryland Electric Cooperative, vice chairman; Chris O’Neill, HomeWorks TriCounty Cooperative, secretary-treasurer; Craig Borr, president and CEO.
CONTACT US/LETTERS TO EDITOR: Michigan Country Lines
201 Townsend St., Suite 900 Lansing, MI 48933 248-534-7358
CHANGE OF ADDRESS: Please notify your electric cooperative. See page 4 for contact information.
The appearance of advertising does not constitute an endorsement of the products or services advertised.
10 MI CO-OP KITCHEN
Baked Goods: Comforting recipes straight from your oven.
A look inside Mackinac Island’s Grand Hotel Stables.
18 GUEST COLUMN
Hunting with Dad: The embarrassment of Gari Nowland’s ﬁrst hunt was quickly replaced by her father’s love and pride.
MI Co-op Community
Use #micoopcommunity for a chance to be featured here and on our Instagram account.
See details on page 10.
Win a $50 bill credit!
See details on page 18.
Win $150 for stories published!
6 SCHOONER HURON JEWEL Hugh and Julie Covert inspire others while living the dream.
Portland office/Mail payments to: 7973 E. Grand River Ave. Portland, MI 48875
Open 8 a.m.–4 p.m. Monday–Friday
Blanchard office: 3681 Costabella Ave. Blanchard, MI 49310
Open 8 a.m.–4 p.m. Monday–Friday Night deposit box available at both locations.
Electric bill/account questions: 517-647-7554 or 1-800-562-8232
Pay by phone, anytime: 1-877-999-3395
Service questions/outages: 517-647-7554 or 1-800-848-9333 (24 hours for emergency calls)
Tri-County Propane: 1-877-574-2740
HomeWorks Connect 1-800-668-8413
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
District 1 — John Lord, Vice-Chairman 2276 Plains Rd., Leslie, MI 49251 517-974-2518 • firstname.lastname@example.org
District 2 — Jim Stebbins
7139 Peddler Lake Rd., Clarksville, MI 48815 616-693-2449 • email@example.com
District 3 — Luke Pohl, Chairman 15560 W. Hanses Rd., Westphalia, MI 48894 989-292-0427 • firstname.lastname@example.org
District 4 — Kimber Hansen 6535 N. Wyman Rd., Edmore, MI 48829 989-506-5849 • email@example.com
District 5 — Corinna Batora 7655 N. Watson Rd., Elsie, MI 48831 517-256-5233 • firstname.lastname@example.org
District 6 — Ed Oplinger, Secretary-Treasurer 10890 W. Weidman Rd., Weidman, MI 48893 989-644-3079 • email@example.com
District 7 — Shirley Sprague 15563 45th Ave., Barryton, MI 49305 989-382-7535 • firstname.lastname@example.org
Editor: Charly Markwart, CCC
Focusing On You: Rural America Needs Co-op VotersBy Chris O’Neill, CEO
October is National Co-op Month, so I thought I would start this column out by tossing a little bit of electric cooperative trivia at you.
Did you know that President Franklin D. Roosevelt championed the launch of electric co-ops in America when he created the Rural Electric Association (REA) in 1935? FDR believed that bringing electricity to rural America would be key in his mission to foster economic recovery across the nation in the wake of the Great Depression, and he was right. In the mid-1930s, nine out of 10 rural homes were without electricity, but by 1953, thanks in large part to the REA and the dawn of electric co-ops across the nation, 90% of U.S. farms had been electrified. With electricity came access to new resources, more jobs, and the opportunity for economic growth.
Here in mid-Michigan, did you know that your electric Co-op was founded in 1937 by farmers in Eaton, Ingham, and Jackson counties? They came together to bring electricity to their rural communities when the state’s larger utility companies refused to serve their areas because of a lack of profitability. Now, 85 years later, we’re walking that same historical path on our way to bringing access to high-speed fiber internet to all of our members.
Back to trivia, did you know there are over 900 electric cooperatives across the United States, and they all follow the same Seven Cooperative Principles? One of those principles is Democratic Member Control. Every member has a voice and a vote. The elected representatives who serve on our board of directors are accountable to our membership.
As democratic organizations, the success of electric cooperatives depends on member engagement with the co-op, but it also depends on member participation in local, state, and national elections. Here at HomeWorks, I work regularly with our management team to engage our state representatives in order to advocate for the issues that matter to you, our members. In the same way, your Co-op and your rural community depend on co-op voters to cast their vote on matters such as grid security and reliability, broadband access, vegetation management, economic development, and small business administration programs.
Midterm elections are coming up Nov. 8, and I implore you to participate. If you want to learn more about the issues and the candidates in state and federal elections, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association provides great resources via the nonpartisan Co-ops Vote program at www.vote.coop.
Electric co-op members have been in this together for more than eight decades, and our democratic participation is no less important today than it was in 1935. Let’s turn out this coming Election Day and make our voices heard on the issues that matter to our cooperatives and rural America.
“Electric co-op members have been in this together for more than eight decades, and our democratic participation is no less important today than it was in 1935.”
SCHOONER HURON JEWEL
For anyone who has considered moving to an island to pursue a passion for sailing, take inspiration from Hugh and Julie Covert. After making a “bucket list” on New Year’s Eve in 2010 and pondering it for a couple of years, the couple transformed their dreams into reality.
Julie met Hugh in Baltimore in 2009, and describes the encounter as “essentially love at ﬁrst sight.” Shortly thereafter, she learned to love sailing as much as he did. Hugh spent 20 years captaining tall ships on both the East and West Coasts, through the St. Lawrence Seaway to the Bahamas. When skippering a schooner in Traverse City, he searched for property to support his dream of having a place where he could moor a sailboat in his backyard. He had purchased a property in 2003 and built a house on Shelter Island, a small island just off Drummond Island.
In 2010, they moved to Shelter Island and began to fulﬁll their dream of building their own schooner. Great timing and happenstance supported their dream when Julie learned the local paper, the Drummond Island Digest, was for sale. Purchasing the paper in 2014 aligned with her writing and photography interests, plus the paper would serve as a tool for communicating progress on the schooner’s construction.
“I kept hoping someone would bring a tall ship to Drummond Island,” says Hugh. “Then I decided it could be me.”
By the time the couple moved to Shelter Island, Hugh had built seven
boats. Sailing since age 4, Hugh had both sailing and engineering in his genes. The Coverts knew the logistics of getting materials and volunteers to Shelter Island would be challenging, whereas Drummond Island would allow friends and neighbors to view progress as they constructed the schooner. They purchased property on Drummond Island, then built a structure that included a 30-by-72-foot workshop and an insulated room to keep epoxy glue and paint warm, plus power to run a chop saw and drills.
For two and a half years, the couple worked seven days a week to construct their own schooner. They were assisted by more than 50 volunteers (both residents and seasonal visitors) who swept ﬂoors, painted the hull, or donated trees for
the project. Julie reported progress in a monthly blog.
Constructed of 18 types of wood and epoxy, the 78-foot Schooner Huron Jewel yields sleeping quarters for Captain Hugh, First Mate Julie, two deckhands, and six passengers. Its name reﬂects its birthplace and Hugh and Julie’s initials. Cedar trees harvested from Drummond Island formed the gaff and boom. The Schooner Huron Jewel was christened with 15-year-old rum amid a crowd of island residents in 2018, then set sail for the start of many adventures as the Drummond Island Tall Ship Company.
The location for Drummond Island Tall Ships offers an ideal vantage point for all the excursions they offer aboard the Huron Jewel. TheThe Drummond Island tall ship on a day sail.
island’s surroundings are a labyrinth of channels, inlets, and harbors.
Each season, Hugh and Julie also provide the opportunity for two deckhands to learn to sail the waters surrounding Drummond Island and Canada’s North Channel. To train deckhands trying to gain experience to work on bigger schooners as Hugh did, they’ll take deckhands with no experience but enthusiasm, curiosity, and willingness to learn.
Hugh believes that writing down dreams is essential versus just talking about them. “You have to actually do it. You have to make it happen and there’s no time better than the present,” he says.
After the pandemic gave them time to reﬂect on what is important, Hugh and Julie were even more motivated to encourage others to follow their dreams. They set out on a ninemonth voyage this past August to sail from their homeport through the Great Lakes to the St. Lawrence Seaway, then south along the eastern seaboard. They plan to participate in
Left: First Mate Julie Covert and Captain Hugh launched the Drummond Island Tall Ship Company in 2018 with sailing trips on their handcrafted Schooner Huron Jewel.
Right: First Mate Julie Covert and deck hands raising the sails.
the Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race and Annapolis Sailboat Show, and most importantly, at each port of call, they will encourage people to live their dreams. They’ll continue south for the winter spreading their message, and return to Drummond Island in Spring 2023. On their “dream inspiration tour” of over 8,000 nautical miles, their mission is to share their story with thousands of people to inspire others to live their dreams.
Sailing with the Coverts and crew is a relaxing yet adventurous experience. It’s also as interactive as you wish. Passengers can assist with raising and lowering sails and even taking the wheel under Captain Hugh’s watchful eye. The Schooner Huron Jewel is allowing the Coverts to live out their motto, “sailing the dream,” while sharing their experience with passengers with great delight.
For the blog, more photos, and schedule, visit:
Flag: United States
Rig: Gaff rigged
Homeport: Drummond Island, Michigan
Waters: Great Lakes Season: June–September
Built: Drummond Island, Michigan
Designer: Hugh Covert
Length: 60 ft. on deck, 78 ft. overall
Beam: 14 ft. 8 in.
Draft: 4 ft. 4 in. with centerboard raised; 9 ft. with board lowered
Rig Height: 60 ft.
Sail Area: 1,700 sq. ft.
Displacement: 40,000 lbs.
Spar Material: Wood
Hull: Wood, epoxy, and ﬁ berglass cloth
Power: Twin 100 hp Yanmar diesels
Hull Speed: Estimated 10.3–14 knots
Passengers: Six passengers plus crew; sleeps six plus crew comfortably
Crew: Sails with two crew
Ownership: Drummond Island Tall Ship Company
Don’t Be Afraid To Save More
id you know heating and cooling accounts for more than 50% of the energy used in your home? Investing in a highly efficient HVAC system is therefore extremely important. Heat pump technology is a leading-edge solution for high-efficiency heating and cooling. It can help you save energy, save money, and keep your family comfortable for years to come.
Is a Heat Pump Right for My Home?
Just about any home can benefit from a heat pump system, though it is important that your home is well insulated and airtight prior to installation to maximize energy savings. Generally, the following types of homes are some of the best candidates:
• Heated by electric furnace or electric baseboards
• Heated by propane, wood, or fuel oil
• Looking to add air conditioning
• New construction or new room additions
• Manufactured homes
Heat Pump Benefits
• Use considerably less energy for heating and cooling
• More consistent temperatures = increased comfort
• Superior indoor air quality and dehumidification
Incentives start at $1,000 for heat pumps from HomeWorks’ Energy Optimization program!
We offer a wide variety of heat pump incentives. A new ground-source heat pump system can earn you $1,500 for the heat pump and $2,500 for the ground loop, plus an extra $500 if it has a desuperheater. For a complete list of incentives available from our Energy Optimization program, visit HomeWorks.org/eo or call 877-296-4319.
An energy-efficient heat pump can save you money and keep your family comfortable.
More than half your home’s energy is used for heating and cooling. Heat pumps don’t create heat they move heat from one place to another. In the winter, heat is extracted from outside and transferred inside. The process is reversed to provide air conditioning in summer. Some heat pumps are specially designed for cold climates and can heat efficiently and reliably below 0 degrees.
1. Glenda Adams of Evart submitted this photo of her great-niece, Rosie, collecting feathers on the beach at Lake Michigan at a recent family reunion.
2. Mike Zavadil of Okemos (receiving service in Canadian Lakes) says he found these baby robins up in the logs of his log cabin, waiting for their mother to return to the nest.
3. Cory Curtis of Barryton submitted this photo of her dog, River, who loves finding turkey feathers.
4. Cindy Zavadil of Okemos (receiving service in Canadian Lakes) says, “This little hummingbird had the fluffiest feathers and I was able to get the shot while she was perching on our hummingbird feeder!”
5. Diane Schwartz of Canadian Lakes says, “This tufted titmouse was patiently awaiting for his turn at the bird feeder during a heavy snowstorm. I unexpectedly captured his feathers in the wind, for a beautiful effect.”
Enter to win a $100 energy bill credit!
Submit Your “Outdoor Adventures” Photos By Oct. 20!
We’re implementing a new photo contest format for 2023! Each month, members will be able to submit photos on our website to be entered into our photo contest. The photo receiving the most votes is published here, along with some other selections from that month. Our October theme is Outdoor Adventures. Photos can be submitted through Oct. 20 for the chance to be featured in our January 2023 issue.
To enter the contest, visit HomeWorks.org/photocontest. Enter your picture, cast your vote, and encourage others to vote for you, too. The photo receiving the most votes will be printed in an issue of Country Lines, along with some other favorites. If your photo is published in Country Lines during 2023, you will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win one of four $100 credits on your December 2023 HomeWorks bill.
Win a $50 energy bill credit!
Healthy Living due Nov. 1
National Cherry Month due Dec. 1
Submit your favorite recipe for a chance to win a $50 bill credit and have your recipe featured in Country Lines with a photo and a video.
Submit your recipe at micoopkitchen.com, or send it via email
(include your full name and co-op) to email@example.com.
Carr, Midwest Energy
cans crescent rolls
ounces cream cheese, room temperature
cup sour cream
tablespoons Miracle Whip or mayonnaise
package dry ranch dressing mix
teaspoon garlic salt
teaspoon garlic powder
cup broccoli ﬂorets, ﬁnely chopped
cup cauliﬂower ﬂorets, ﬁnely chopped
medium carrots, ﬁnely chopped
cup cherry tomatoes, halved Preheat oven to 375 F. In an ungreased 9x13 pan, lay crescent rolls ﬂat. Press the dough on the bottom and sides of the pan to form a crust. Bake for 10 minutes. In a bowl, mix together the cream cheese, sour cream, Miracle Whip/ mayo, ranch dressing mix, garlic salt, and garlic powder until well combined. Spread over crust evenly. Arrange broccoli, cauliﬂower, carrots, and tomatoes evenly over cream cheese layer. Serve immediately or refrigerate 1–2 hours before serving.
Watch a video of this month’s winning recipe at micoopkitchen.com/videosPhotos by Robert Bruce Photography || Recipes Submitted by MCL Readers and Tested by Recipe Editor Christin McKamey MI
SHARON’S CARROT CAKESharon Tylenda, Great Lakes Energy
2 cups ﬂour
1½ teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1½ teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 cups sugar
¾ cup buttermilk
¾ cup canola oil
2 cups raw grated carrots
1 (8½ -ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
½ cup chopped nuts
1 (3½ -ounce) bag ﬂaked coconut
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened to room temperature
¼ cup butter, softened to room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 pound powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine ﬂour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl. Add sugar, buttermilk, canola oil, and eggs. Mix well. Add carrots, pineapple, nuts, and coconut. Mix well. Pour into a greased 9x13 pan. Bake 20 minutes. Turn temperature down to 275 F and bake approximately 45 minutes longer until cake tester comes out clean. Be careful not to under or overbake. Let cake cool to room temperature. Beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla at low speed until ﬂuffy. Add powdered sugar gradually until light and ﬂuffy. Spread on cake. This cake is delicious, and is even better the next day.
CHOCOLATE TOFFEE NUT SQUARESAmy Gutowski, Great Lakes Energy
1 (4-ounce) package regular saltine crackers
1 stick butter
1 stick margarine
1 cup brown sugar, ﬁrmly packed
1 (12-ounce) package semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans
Preheat oven 350 F. Line the bottom of a cookie sheet with saltines, salty side up. Place butter and margarine in a saucepan over low heat and stir until melted. Add the brown sugar and stir until ingredients are well blended and a sauce-like consistency. Pour the brown sugar syrup evenly over the crackers, smoothing with a wooden spoon.
Place in oven 6 to 8 minutes (mixture will bubble on top of saltines and form a toffee layer underneath). Remove cookie sheet from the oven; realign the saltines with a wooden spoon (they get out of line as they bubble). Pour chocolate chips evenly over saltines and put back in oven for 2 minutes to melt. Remove from oven and quickly spread melted chocolate chips as if you were frosting a cake. Sprinkle evenly with nuts and place in freezer for 10-15 minutes. Remove from freezer and cut into squares with a sharp knife. Cover with foil or store in a container in the refrigerator or freezer. Makes 30 squares.
CHOCOLATE ZUCCHINI CAKE
Cindy Thome, Alger Delta
½ cup butter
½ cup vegetable oil
1¾ cup sugar
2 beaten eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2½ cups ﬂour
4 tablespoons cocoa powder
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ cup soft butter
½ cup soft cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 325 F. Grease and ﬂour a 9x13 pan. In a large bowl, mix together all cake ingredients until combined. Pour into the pan. Bake for 40–45 minutes. Cool completely before frosting. To make the frosting, in a small bowl, combine all of the frosting ingredients and beat in a mixer for 2 minutes. Frost the cake and enjoy.
Cheryl Dillenbeck, Great Lakes Energy
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1½ cups sugar, divided
½ cup butter, cubed
1 cup ﬂour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine berries with the lemon juice and ½ cup of the sugar.
Bring to a boil, take off from heat and set
aside. Add butter to a 11x7 baking dish and melt in the oven. When melted, remove from oven. In a smaller bowl, combine the remaining 1 cup sugar, ﬂour, baking powder, salt, milk, and lightly beaten egg. Pour this batter over the melted butter in the baking dish. Pour the blueberry mixture next, but don’t stir. Bake 40–45 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature. Top with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. I love this recipe because I can use fresh or frozen berries.
Your Board In Action
Meeting in Blanchard on Aug. 22, your board of directors:
In an annual reorganizational meeting, officially seated directors John Lord (District 1), Corinna Batora (District 5), and Shirley Sprague (District 7) to new three-year terms on the board, to which they were each re-elected in May.
• In the annual reorganizational meeting, also voted to maintain the current slate of board officers: Director Luke Pohl as chair, Director John Lord as vice chair, and Director Ed Oplinger as secretary/treasurer, for another year.
• Elected to proceed with the current board committee assignments, which include directors John Lord and Ed Oplinger on the audit committee and directors Corinna Batora and Shirley Sprague on the policy review committee, for another year.
• Approved the proposed 2023 board meeting dates, as revised.
• Discussed and accepted Policy 101 – Policy Formulation and Approval, as revised.
Received a monthly progress update on the HomeWorks Connect fiber internet business.
• Learned there were 115 new members in July.
Acknowledged the July safety report, listing employee training as well as minor employee and public incidents involving electric, propane, or fiber optic.
Time Set Aside for Members to Comment Before Cooperative Board Meetings
The first 15 minutes of every board meeting are available for members who wish to address the board of directors on any subject. The next meetings are scheduled for 9 a.m. on Oct. 24 at Portland and Nov. 28 at Blanchard. Members who wish to have items considered on the board agenda should call 517-6477554 at least a week in advance of the meeting.
People Fund Grants Over $4,000 To Support Organizations And Families In Need
Meeting in Portland on Sept. 14, our People Fund board made three grants totaling $4,033, including:
• $2,500 to an Eaton County family, to purchase a furnace;
• $1,283 to the Chippewa-Martiny Fire Department, to purchase portable radios; and
• $250 to Cub Scout Pack #258, of Portland, to support pack activities.
How to Apply for a Tri-County Electric People Fund Grant
The Tri-County Electric People Fund provides grants to individuals and organizations in the Co-op’s service area for food, shelter, clothing, health, and other humane needs, or for programs or services that benefit a significant segment of a community.
Write to 7973 E. Grand River Ave., Portland, MI 48875, for an application form and grant guidelines, or visit the People Fund page at HomeWorks.org.
Note: Applications must be received by Oct. 18 for the October meeting or by Nov. 29 for the December meeting.
A look inside Grand Hotel StablesBy Emily Haines Lloyd
If you’ve ever visited Mackinac Island, there is a familiar sound unique to the gorgeous vacation destination—the clip-clop of horse hooves along the streets. Automobilefree for over a hundred years, it’s the majestic horses of Mackinac that make things move on the island. And none quite so beautiful as the naturally high-stepping, ﬂashy Hackney horses of the Grand Hotel Stables.
The heavily-muscled, wide-chested beauties move gracefully through the streets and along the drive leading to the Grand Hotel’s majestic white pillars. They carry VIP guests and those looking for an exceptionally breathtaking view of the island from one of the Grand Hotel Stables’ Hackney-drawn carriages.
Unlike carriage horses you might see in city streets, the Hackneys of Mackinac Island beneﬁ t from fresh air without working alongside cars or trucks and their noxious fumes. Horse experts agree that horses that are well-cared for, with proper shoeing and ﬁ tting equipment, are in their element pulling carriages. The breed is desperate for purpose and has developed for just such a task over the centuries.
While the Hackneys love to work hard, they are treated like royalty at the Grand Hotel’s 8,700-squarefoot working stable. One can only describe the barns as pristine, with well-tended stalls and fresh air for their resting time. In fact, as staff speak about the horses, it’s as if they are describing any other co-worker, with knowledge of their personalities, peccadilloes, and preferences.
“He has a thing for women, it’s terrible,” Mosley said. “Like, he’ll walk away from you to go see a girl.”
Another stable lover is Scotty, who is not above resting the side of his face against Mosley’s shoulder to get some special attention.
“I’ve never seen a horse right from the start in love with everybody,” Mosley said. “He’s super comfortable with everyone he meets.”
While the relationships with the horses and the staff are strong, it’s not a lifetime occupation for the Hackneys. A decade is about as long as most work as carriage horses on the island, and then the stable manager’s job is to ﬁnd appropriate retirement gigs for the equine employees. A recent
retiree was having a harder time with Michigan’s cold winters and, through the Hackney grapevine, found a perfect warm-weather ﬁt with a woman in Savannah. She hooks him up and drives with him occasionally, but otherwise, he lives a life of leisure.
Another found his way to a woman in California and is still doing a little pleasure driving and prancing in the ring for a horse show or two every year. His new owner just loves him.
“The two of them seemed to hit it right off,” Mosley said. “It was one of those things where you felt like you were a matchmaker, and they just kind of clicked.”
The adoration of the horses is clear. Everyone seems to fall in love with the Hackney horses of Grand Hotel Stables, from the staff to retirement owners to the guests who excitedly climb into the carriage.
On your next visit to the island, stop by the 8,700-square-foot working stable to learn more about these iconic animals, and take a free and interactive self-guided tour of the approximately 30 antique sleighs and carriages. It’s free of charge and open to all Mackinac Island visitors. grandhotel.comStable Manager Ben Mosley regales folks with tales of the horses like Chief, the local ladies’ man.
With winter weather just over the horizon, you might be thinking of heading somewhere warmer to spend a few months. One of the biggest anxieties with leaving for an extended period of time can be leaving your home unattended.
Great news! HomeWorks Connect now offers a home-monitoring package at only $15 per month that provides just enough bandwidth for you to continue running any of your smart home devices (such as hot water heaters, thermostats, or smart lighting) even when you’re away from home. Being able to leave these devices connected will make it easier for you to relax knowing you can check in on your home using the phone or tablet you have connected to your smart home systems from the comfort of your sunny vacation retreat!
To learn more about our homemonitoring package and other vacation rate options, call us today at 800-668-8413!
Don’t have smart home devices or don’t need to monitor them while you’re away? Check out our vacation rate package! For $5/mo., you can turn off HomeWorks Connect at your location without having to turn in our equipment. Call 800-668-8413 to learn more!
Learn more about HomeWorks Connect by visiting Join.HomeWorksConnect.org or calling 800-668-8413!
This service is not regulated by the Michigan Public Service Commission.
Reaching Out In Time Of Need
Assistance is available for HomeWorks members who are struggling financially, but in times of need, it can be difficult to know where to start. To help, we’ve gathered information on some of the resources we think might be most beneficial to our members.
At HomeWorks, we understand that the COVID-19 crisis, vastly increased costs of living, and other current events have combined over the past few years to affect our members in many ways. If you are experiencing financial hardship, we want you to know that we are here to help. If you are concerned about your ability to pay your HomeWorks bill, please contact us in advance of your due date so we can try to work with you. You can reach us at 800-562-8232.
We also want our members to know there are several financial assistance resources available to help those who are struggling. Some of the resources that might be most helpful include:
Tri-County People Fund: Our own Tri-County People Fund is always available to help individuals, families, and organizations
in our service area in their time of need. Visit the People Fund page on our website, HomeWorks.org, to apply for a grant.
Michigan 2-1-1: Michigan 2-1-1 provides information on appropriate local agencies that can help with energy payments and other bills during times of financial hardship. Dial 2-1-1 on your phone or visit MI211.org to get started.
State Emergency Relief: If you have an urgent need for assistance with housing and/or utility bills, you can apply for State Emergency Relief through the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services (MDHHS). Through its MI Bridges program, MDHHS offers a streamlined application process to make access to many different types of benefits easier for Michigan’s most vulnerable households. Visit newmibridges. michigan.gov or call MDHHS at 517-241-3740 to apply.
Home Heating Credit: Income-qualified households can apply for a Michigan home heating credit to help with their energy bills. Apply online at Michigan.gov/taxes or by calling 517-636-4486. Applications for the 2022 tax year can be filed beginning in January 2023 and are due by Sept. 30, 2023.
To stay up to date on relevant financial assistance programs for HomeWorks members, check the financial assistance page on our website. We will post current information there as additional state and local resources become available.
We are a cooperative, and that means we truly are here to serve you. If there is anything we can do to help you find the financial assistance you need, please reach out to us.
First Time Bow Hunting With DadBy Gari Nowland, Great Lakes Energy Cooperative member
Every fall, I have the same warm and wonderful memory of my ﬁrst year of bow hunting with my dad. My dad put me in his usual tree stand, a pine tree at the edge of a ﬁeld. He said he was certain I would see deer in this spot.
The ﬁrst thing I realized is I’m terriﬁed of heights, but I stayed up in the tree, knowing my dad wouldn’t put me in a spot that wasn’t safe and the best chance to see deer. My determination to push past my fears was rewarded soon. I had deer coming out regularly. I had six arrows. I had let my ﬁrst one ﬂy. I missed. Then I let my second, third, fourth, and ﬁfth arrows ﬂy as well. Missed every time. Who knew how much a pine tree moved in the wind, or how different it was shooting down, instead of straight across?
Well, I was learning with every arrow. Crazy enough, the deer kept coming back in, I was given one more chance, so I pulled back, waiting for the swaying to line up, held my breath, and let it ﬂy. Finally, I got one!
What I remember most is my dad’s face lighting up with pride when he saw the trail of the one I did hit. Oh, he laughed that I used every arrow and thankfully only hit the one. I actually ended up making a great shot on that one, and it helped feed our family. Seeing my dad smile at me as he did with such pride, mixed with humor, is my most cherished memory with my dad. It’s moments like that, that I learned even embarrassing stories can hold the most loving memories. My dad took the time to teach me how to hunt, track, clean, and process a deer. It was my dad who ﬁrst taught me to appreciate, honor, and care for nature.
As it can help care for us, in many ways. I tend to think of my dad more often when I’m outside, as my love for nature started with him.
Gari was the last of ﬁve children in her family and is named after her dad. She enjoys ﬁshing, hunting, watching nature, reading, writing, and crafting.
Share your fondest memories and stories. Win $150 for stories published. Visit countrylines.com/community to submit.Guest Column
“Seeing my dad smile at me as he did with such pride, mixed with humor, is my most cherished memory with my dad.”
Well-Connect is a hybrid geothermal heat pump designed to operate with your existing furnace. Similar to how a hybrid vehicle signiﬁcantly reduces the need for gas, doubling the vehicle’s fuel e ciency, a Well-Connect signiﬁcantly reduces the amount of propane or fuel oil needed to heat a home, quadrupling the overall e ciency of the heating system. This approach dramatically reduces the installation cost of the geothermal system while reducing a homeowner’s heating cost by 50% to 75%. It also provides e cient air conditioning all summer.
“Propane is so expensive to heat with. Why wouldn’t someone do this?”
Lynne W., South Boardman, MI Member, Great Lakes Energy
Lynne loves her home in the woods but found it challenging to keep her home warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Keeping it cool in the summer was especially important for Lynne because of her four-legged, furry friend, Tara. Lynne was familiar with geothermal energy because her father was an executive at Detroit Edison and she knew that it is clean, green, makes a home more comfortable and is a big money saver.
Can be installed in one day, any time of the year. DIY or have it professionally installed.
T H A N K Y O U F O R B E I N G A H O M E W O R K S M E M B E R
October Is National Co-op Month.
Did you know electric co ops power more than 20 million homes, farms, businesses, and schools across America? Here in rural mid Michigan, HomeWorks is proud to have served generations of families like yours since 1937.