I am from Michigan… I lived there all of six months, the first six months of my life. I can call myself from there, but technically I am not a native. I am a native here. Here being Arizona, here being the state in which nearly every memory was made, every accomplishment had, every experience new. The place where every memory of firsts occurred – first lost tooth, first day of school, first school play, first sleepover, first crush, first boyfriend, first heartbreak (certainly not the last though), first day driving a car, first graduation, first everything I can remember.
All that being said Michigan has always played a significant roll in my life. My mom is from there, it is where she had all her firsts and therefore it is where we always vacationed growing up. We travelled to Michigan nearly every summer and we have continued to remain very close to my family.
Over the years I’ve had a many great memories… From visiting my grandparents; walking to Taco Bell for cinnamon twists or to Little Caesars for what seemed like a massive pizza, playing on the swing in the backyard, running through sprinklers, trimming rose bushes with my grandma & escaping to my grandparents basement for hide and seek. There was a Frosty’s on the corner beneath my grandma’s senior center and we would walk there for dipped cones. We played in the backyards and halls of all our grandparents homes and I remember the distinct sound my Grandpa’s Lincoln made as he put the key in the ignition – ding, ding, ding… There were always quarters & tooth picks in his center tray. And we would always pack up the car and head to Oscoda for weekends at the cottage when we visited.
The cottage was a world all it’s own… magical to say the least. From my grandmas house you can see the Lake Huron waves crashing against the shore, but you can also see the forest full of trees and deer and wild birds. The creek running alongside the house was dug my my grandpa and his friends and the sound of the running water over a bed of river rocks is so calming. The feeling of the soft sand between my toes and the smell of the lake water rush back to me as if I were there now. In our trips to the cottage we would take the Red Dragon (Aunt Blanche’s big ass beach cruiser) and an array of other beach cruisers to the local candy shop to stock pile for a day of fun. We would all pile into Mana’s car and head to Jim’s Ice Cream shop and all of us cousins would grab the big black tube and roll down the beach. We’d lounge in the hammock, strung between two trees reading books. And we’d take evening walks on the beach and our goal was always the big red barn… I wonder how far it really is? It seemed eternity when I was a child. We would play cards at night after all helping to prepare the dinner, wash the dishes after and indulge in dessert. Every so often we would make the journey to Mackinac Island for a day of riding in horse-drawn carriages, bike riding and fudge eating… All so amazing, all so magical.
This Wednesday I am headed back to my personal heaven, to visit with my grandma for her 90th birthday. Mom and I are packing our bags and travelling for a long weekend with family. I cannot wait to say the least and this trip is just what the heart ordered.