Monday, July 13, 2009

the third coast

The day after my parents left our house, we left for Michigan and we spent a week and half seeing so many loved ones that my heart is very filled. The soundtrack for our eleven hour road trip is classic rock on the radio as we roll through the hills of Pennsylvania and the farmland of Ohio. We stayed with my brother overnight in Ann Arbor and the spent the Fourth of July weekend in Tawas at my parent's lake house. We played in the sand, watched fireworks, made s'mores, went for boat rides, Jove painted rocks for the garden with my mom, we sat on the swing watching Lake Huron charm us with her beauty, climbed a lighthouse, flew a kite, chatted, cuddled, went into town for ice cream, ate and I ran and Jup biked on the bike trails. It is an amazing place and we feel lucky to get to spend time there with my family.

We made a road trip to my paternal grandparent's farm in Gladwin. My once cantankerous grandfather is ill and I felt both happy and melancholy watching him with the kids. My mom said to me as we were leaving that it is like the end of an era- my grandparents on their farm. For as long as I can remember that has been their home. The barn, now decrepit, once had cows and I have many memories of spooking the cows, walking the fields, swinging on the swing under the willow tree... My grandmother, who has always seemed so energetic, seems to be slowing down and saddened by grandfather's decline.
I wonder what my life will be like when I am ninety years old.

Have I mentioned yet that our camera is broke and was left behind, so all of these pics were taken by my mom. I don't have any pictures from the second leg of our trip, but hopefully my words can express all of the love we felt.

We packed our bags in Tawas and drove to our friends Nan and Chris's house. They live in a hip, little town and have a great house (and yard) and great kids and we were so excited to spend a few days with them. We camped (mostly) in their backyard, Jup led geocaching adventures with a crew on bikes behind him, the boys played in the yard, with legos, in the hammock, Miranda got seriously doted on by Cricket (carried, talked sweetly to, taken into the yard on her whim), Miranda explored Nan's jewels and bags, the papas got to have some bonding time, we celebrated Frog's b-day and Nan and I got to talk, a lot, which was wonderful. Oh, and the tents and Jup's hammock were an endless source of entertainment and hiding spots.
Nan has some great pictures from our days together on her blog.

We went on a couple of trips to visit loved ones from Nan's house. We went to Algonac to visit with my maternal grandmother. She lives alone, is pretty active, is completely lucent and has very poor eyesight. It was wonderful to take her out for lunch and I wish I was closer to be able to do it more often. Miranda being so talkative and singing was quite a source of entertainment for her.

We went to the outskirts of Kalamazoo to visit my oldest friend, Heather's parents: Maggie and Bruce. Two things: they are wonderful, happy people that I cherish deeply and they live in my dream house (and yard). Nan and kids came out for the day also and we had a day of relaxing and catching up in the woods. Maggie and Bruce both encouraged my new found passion for birdwatching (a few more for the life list!!) and made us feel so welcome in their home. I took the kids on a nature walk and we picked wild black raspberries, saw a woodpecker, watched bugs and enjoyed being in such a beautiful place. Maggie sent us home with a jar of raspberry jam and we put in on our pancakes when we got home, trying to remember the peace and beauty of their home.

Thanks to all who hosted us in their homes. I am so grateful that my children will grow up seeing the beauty of Michigan as I do.


sunnywave said...

what a beautiful post carmen, full of love for the world, and life, and family, and friends. *happy sigh*

heathre said...

sounds like a fantastic trip. i have to get home next summer and meet up with you guys. xoxo

shirley said...

Hi toots, It was "so" good talking to you the other night.. it was like our in person visit had icing put on it. We don't always get to have really good talks when we are together.. It was so warm and loving.... love Mom

Nanimal said...

wow... what a trip... we are so incredibly lucky we get to be on the circuit.!