A gift for us, a gift for you- read to the end to peek

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Last night Steve and I did our seasonal run to Redamak’s, the iconic hamburger restaurant on Red Arrow Highway.  It was to be “early dinner” to avoid the crowds, but then we realized that the crowds are back in their school-centered lives.   Those that aren’t tethered to their kids might not choose to getaway when the lake is crazy with waves, and the night temperatures are in the 40s.  And we have had a run of lake effect clouds and rain. BUT- even with Fall in the air, when the clouds cleared Sunday afternoon, Michigan had put on her party dress for us.  It has been crystal clear and crisp- good going back to school weather, but even better staying in Michigan weather.  Steve loves the solitary life, and we are pretty much the only ones in our complex.  It is a solid win for me.  When humanity heads to this side of the lake, we will be home.   Steve will be tinkering and preparing to podcast, ( September 8, be there) and I will attempt to reorder my living room so it does not look like a thrift shop.  My Mom and Dad’s furniture begs for assimilation, and my walls are crying that they need a new coat of paint. It would be nice if there was a sofa or someplace to sit.  Ah, the details.  I guess I am the boss of this domestic challenge.  I would like to have it back together for the holidays.  I need a deadline. That is just one of my numerous character flaws.

Dinner did not disappoint- Steve went classic with a Swiss Mushroom Burger and a root beer, and I went with a patty melt on marbled rye, despite Steve’s reminder me that grilled onions always dog me later.  I was brave, and no Rolaids were required.  

We tooled around after dinner, because aimless driving is a favorite activity of Steve’s.  We visited all the towns on Red Arrow to ascertain what businesses withered in the abandonment of Michigan winters and an anemic economy. There is still a lot of junk outside of stores calling themselves “Antique Shoppes”.  I know- one man’s garbage is another man’s treasure- but really- a set of webbed patio chairs with no webbing and twisted frames should not be sold- they should be given away to a recycler or a handyman.  
We headed inland at Harbert, to visit Three Oaks, home of Drier’s meat market, Froehlich’s, and the Acorn and Vickers Theaters.  The arts thrive here, although I expected Andy of Mayberry to greet me- that is how retro-perfect Three Oaks looks. Think Prancer, because its exteriors were filmed there.  We exited town, heading home.  Danger loomed as we strafed the Four WInds Casino – Steve’s face lit up with desire to lose a bit of currency.  He reminded me that he is a player. I gave him the old “not tonight, honey” and he took it like a model prisoner.  
I was glad that dashing Steve’s jackpot dreams coincided with sunset, because it was a beauty.  Steve is not as riveted to the view of the sun dipping into the water, but for me it is almost a prayer.  I can stop and gasp at the beauty I forget when I am knee deep in life.  I can say a quick thanks for the panorama of blessings I am given every day.  Last night Chicago was clear as on the horizon- the skyscrapers look like matchsticks, each struggling to be the tallest.  I watched the fiery sun disappear  into the water.  In my head, I played Taps- day is done, God is nigh.  Then, back to life- dogs to feed, dogs to walk, blogs to write, books to read, Sox to obsess over, and sleep.  What a gift.P1010180.JPG

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