I almost called today “Michigan: Day Twenty-Seven”. But I didn’t finish the day in the state, so I decided to categorize this as the start of a new section of my trip. However, it was a close thing. I spent a good eight hours meandering in the Upper Peninsula before I finally buckled down for the drive west. [Read more…]
Goodbyes are really hard. They make “hellos” sweeter, but that doesn’t take the acrid taste of a farewell from your mouth, when you’re saying it to someone you love. [Read more…]
It’s hard for me to believe that I’ve been here almost a full month. But it’s the truth. When I arrived, it was warm and humid. The crickets and 17-year cicadas were singing their songs, and the air smelled of warmth and sunlight. Now, the equinox has passed, it is chilly–cold even–at night, and the days feel crisp and cool. The Dexter Cider Mill is in full swing, and the farm markets all along the drive to my parent’s house are selling pumpkins, apples and hayrides.
Michiganders have a secret that’s not discussed with out-of-staters: There is a mass migration that takes place each summer; city dwellers leaving their homes to find peace in the lakes and woods far away. It happens mostly on weekends, starting near Memorial Day, and lasting through Labor Day. We simply call this, “going north.” But the mundane name belies its nature. There’s a ritual to this movement. Routes and stops stay the same from year to year; from generation to generation. These landmarks take on the nature of a chant, an invocation of mystery–the strange and delightful way that a three-hour drive slowly spreads to five, to six, to eight or more. Stopping, shopping, eating, looking, smellingtastingexperiencing all along the way. Luxuriating in the coolness of the Great Lakes wind on your skin, when compared to the stagnant suburban summer air. It’s brilliant. It’s disorienting. It’s liminal. You don’t have to be anywhere any particular when. Space and time lose rational meaning, and become Birch Run–Zilwaukee Bridge–Pinconning–TurkeyRoostWeissKocher’sAlward’sSnufferme! Morning becomes afternoon, trees become more common as cities shrink away, and finally, finally, you jump out of the car, run down a path by your cabin, and stand to stare at the last rays of light shining on the lake which you, deep in your heart, call home. If you are an impetuous child, you may strip off your shoes and stick your toes in the water, before running back to help bring your pillow in from the car. If you are older, you may stay only a moment, but that moment is a promise that you will return, shortly, for a good wade. [Read more…]
I got in pretty late last night. In the course of bringing things in from the car, my mom told me, “My little guy–Nido–will be coming out tomorrow to sweep at around 10AM. Unless he got confused by the power outage earlier.”
Okayyyy… I thought, When did Mom get a new cleaning person? And why would he be confused by the power outage? Does he go to bed early or something? [Read more…]