This post is part of a monthly ChicagoNow blogging challenge where we are given a prompt and then just an hour to write and publish. Tonight’s prompt: “Write about a favorite or memorable place you have lived for any time at all, whether a country, state, city, childhood home, fraternity/sorority, hostel, hotel or even bedroom.”
We moved a lot as a kid- or at least it felt like it to a shy kid like me. My dad was the oldest of nine kids, and as the family grew up, they moved away from the Chicago suburbs and even from Illinois in most cases. Now my own kids are starting to abandon me in favor of college, summer jobs in faraway places (like Iowa) and even study abroad opportunities. My husband and I have even contemplated selling our house and downsizing when our youngest finishes high school in two years. The only thing that stops me is the idea that my kids won’t be able to return to their childhood home. Bottom line: people are all over the place, and they may not stay put.
But what is the common link that is more familiar to me and a large part of my extended family than any house where we may have lived over the years? The lake in Michigan where we return year after year, where my parents actually met just shy of 50 years ago. Even now that my dad is not even a month into retirement, my parents are itching to get up there to spend more time.
These are a few of my favorite Michigan memories:
• Getting ice cream practically every evening
• The sound of boats waking me up in the morning
• The first time a baby puts sand in his mouth and never does it again
• Seeing what kind of sunset the clouds will make each evening
• Burning marshmallows even if it will someday give me cancer
• Eating hot dogs on the beach with a little grit in them
• The first time a kid gets up on water skis
• Napping on the porch while listening to the leaves blowing on the trees outside
• Taking early morning walks and passing grandparents out with grandbabies so their tired parents can sleep in
• Looking for deer on car rides at dusk
• Seeing family that live four states away
• Riding my bike into town for coffee in the morning
• Being on the water when it’s calm and glassy
I’m sure there are so many more, but these are the ones I’m missing now. Summer = Michigan to me. I feel like no matter where the paths of all my kids take them in the future, Michigan will always be our second “home.”
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