Monday, May 21, 2012
Writing is the only thing that, when I do it, I don't feel I should be doing something else. ~ Gloria Steinem
Oh, I could be doing so many other things at the moment. I could be sorting thru things to help my husband pack for a big bear hunting trip he's leaving on in a few days with our son. Idaho seems like a long way from Michigan but this is a hunt together they've been anticipating for months on end now. I could be at the store picking up propane and unscented wipes...don't ask about the wipes, outside of the fact they'll be using outhouses along the way. I could be calling our warranty insurance to have an air conditioning technician come and figure out why our central air took a nose dive yesterday and quit blowing out cool air. I could be starting laundry and making the bed. I could be doing a lot of things but I looked at my blog this morning and realized several days have passed by in a blur again and I'm woefully behind in writing on here. One of life's biggest mysteries: Where does time disappear to?
Well, I can tell you where mine went.
First of all, we had a very beloved friend of ours named Jean who arrived on the 10th of May from Portland. Dear Hubby managed to get that Friday and Monday off so we decided to show her why we love living here in Michigan so much. Have you ever noticed how Michigan is shaped like a mitten? I never had before the trip my daughter-in-law and I took here a year ago in January to house hunt and a lovely young coed from Michigan State sat beside me on the plane to Detroit. As she described different areas of the state, showing me where Lansing was located, where the Upper Peninsula was, she kept holding up her hand and pointing at it. I must have had a funny expression on my face because she stopped short and began to laugh. She said, "Michigan is shaped like a mitten, don't you see? There's the thumb and the basic 'hand'." When she pointed that out, I got it. She said, "You'll get used to people holding up their hand at you real quick. Everyone does it." And she was right. Even I do now. On Jean's first day with us we took her on a drive up the right side of the thumb, along the shores of Lake Huron. She had never seen a Great Lake before, outside of a small glimpse of the shoreline of Lake Michigan on a trip to Chicago. We stopped at several spots along the way and just gloried at the beauty of the day. On a scale of 1 to 10 it had to rate at least a 15. We met friendly Michiganders along the way, saw some light houses, stopped at an antique shop near Lexington where I found a beat-up pie safe that I knew would be beautiful if I gave it some TLC and plenty of Old English furniture oil...and it is. We stopped for lunch after we curled over the top of the thumb and headed south towards Saginaw. We put 400 miles on our vehicle, and she loved every mile of it. She told us, "Now I understand why the two of you love it here so much!" and she kept asking us if there were any houses on our street for sale. She said if her family wasn't centered in Portland she'd move here in a minute. On Saturday I took her to the Town Peddler Antique Mall and we spent a couple of enjoyable hours wandering thru it. We spent Saturday afternoon on a tour of downtown Detroit our neighbor Donna so graciously took us on. She is 82 and lived here all her life, plus she was a city tour guide in her younger years so she really knows her stuff. I was just heartbroken to see how such a beautiful and proud city has been so devastated by the economic fallout the past few years. She told us it once had a population of around 3 million. Now there are less than a million left, and downtown is a virtual ghost town...so many storefronts boarded up, so little foot traffic. And it's a shame because it truly is a beautiful city, nestled on the shores of the Detroit River and overlooking Windsor, Ontario. The Detroit River is the waterway that connects Lake Huron to Lake Erie, and it was awesome to see huge ocean freighters gliding up and down the river! We spent Mother's Day at my son's house and had a lovely time there. Monday morning we got up bright and early and went for a long walk, then took her to the airport in the early afternoon to head home.
The week prior to Jean's arrival we had new carpet laid in the house. Then I spent a few days 'putting together' the guest room. I'd been buying different knick knacks and art work that caught my eye the past few months in anticipation of getting the room ready for guests, and I had so much fun seeing it come together! I'd even found a slip-covered boudoir chair at the Salvation Army for $39...all it needed was to have the slip-cover washed and it looked brand new. As Jean walked into the room for the first time she looked around and went "Oooooh!" as she spotted one thing, then "Ooooooh!" when she spotted another. The new mattress set passed muster, too. She said it was like sleeping at the Ritz. I love it when my thrift store and antique 'finds' please someone else's eye, too.
Well, I suppose I should go get the propane and wipes. And make the bed. And start the laundry. I've been doing a lot of yard work, too, and have plans to open up a narrow flower bed along the back fence and plant gladiola bulbs there today. But I'd better get going...thunder showers are heading this way. And I don't want to get caught in the rain.