If you’re from Chicago, or anywhere else for that matter, it seems to me there are “Wisconsin People” and there are “Michigan People.” Depending on what year it was, I was one or the other, but never both.
As A kid growing up, the summer two week vacation was always in Michigan, and always centered around Lake Michigan. We started out in Saugatuck, then moved to Whitehall and looked so forward to seeing that Dog & Suds on the way into town after the long ride up.
My parents then made the smart choice to purchase a place of our own on what I consider to be the greatest of the great Lakes, Lake Michigan. The excitement of heading up to our own small spot on the Lake, not only in summer but all year, never faded. On hot days, the cold clean water revived us. On cooler days, the walks for miles along the beach with the waves crashing in at our feet were always awarded with that unique piece of driftwood. In the Fall the colors exploded with the deep blue water and lighter blue sky serving as the perfect backdrop. Fires and long talks kept our family so close. Then, old man winter blew his fury off of the massive lake but, oh, what a view we had through the long window icicles. You could see for miles and thought there was no end to the Earth over the Lake. Our hearts and souls were kept warm by the fire and also with the thought of the summer to come down at the Lake.
As time passed everything changed and our spot on the lake was sold. I married, and managed to pick a guy who grew up going to a small lake in Northern Wisconsin. Similar story, different Lake and different state. For the last 25 years my travels have taken me to Wisconsin and although very nice, something was missing. My thoughts and memories of Lake Michigan went into hibernation.
July 15th of this year we made a last minute decision to venture up to Mackinac Island to watch my brother-in-law complete his 28th running of the Chicago to Mac Race. The Beautiful Sunday drive to Mackinaw City awakened the sleeping Michigan giant in me!! We stopped at several places along the way, starting with that little sand pile known as the Warren Dunes. It was as though a missing part of me finally returned and all of the emotion of remembering my close family, that seemed to separate at the sale of the Lake Michigan House, overcame me. We had a wonderful week in Michigan from top to bottom. Standing with my toes embedded in the sand and the water drenching my pant legs gave me chills up and down. The chills didn’t come from the temperature of the water, they came from the feeling of finally being home with my family after a very long time.
There was only one conclusion to make; I’m a “Michigan/Lake Michigan Person” and my husband…. well, he’s not.
And that’s just the way it is.
Thank you, Kathy, for sharing this story with us!