I was born in New Jersey, at Fort Dix Army Base [my dad was stationed there in 55 & 56, preserving democracy in NJ and PA ] but bascially grew up in Brighton, which is just north of Ann Arbor. Aside from about five years in Denver, where my daughter was born, I've been in this vicinity since. Traverse City is beautiful...one of my favorite spots.
I'm taking a break from the moving odyssey to go to the mall [ ] with Brianna. I HATE malls this time of year...it's so crowded.
How are the holiday preparations going for everyone else?
Heh Vicky and Kate,
My family vacationed in Traverse City and Macinac Island when I was a child. I have such wonderful memories. More recently, our last family vacation, 3 1/2 years ago was in the UP in the Les Cheneaux Islands. What a special place! We treasured the experience, even more so now that all that we enjoyed is inaccessible to my husband. I hope our children will return someday.
Upon arrival our 15 year old daughter was terribly upset... what could she possibly do here!!!! Our cottage was tiny, though quite clean. Imagine a vacation with a family of 4 in a cottage with one, minute bath, a kitchen with space for one person at a time, 2 bed size bedrooms, no AC or TV or phone. A teenage girls nightmare, so she thought. At the end of the week she was sobbing because it was time to leave. We learned that dinner at a friends house could mean a 30 minute or more boat ride to get there. And even longer ride home when one of our boats' motor went out and the boat full of children needed a tow. Playing cards in the moonlight while being towed home by another boat... Priceless! Sunday Brunch at Bush Bay meant countless boats converging in one spot (navigating around huge rocks, both above and under water) for an annual gathering of friends and visitors. Sharing a meal cooked over an open fire in a glorious wilderness (we were actually on the mainland, but we did not know that at the time).
We were on 8 different motor boats, kayaks, and canoes, and went sailing with an 80 year old scotsman as our captain. Date night was motoring out on the bay with friends on a wooden boat to a distant restaraunt. No cell phones, no worries, just enjoying the distant shoreline and occasional compliments to our navigator. Our children enjoyed the freedom of boating off to islands unknown, camping on Government Island, parties around the campfire with teenagers from all over, ice cream specialties at the local ice cream parlor and cappacino at Shells (I later learned this was the gas station variety). We dove into icy waters from the roof of a boathouse, bathed in warmer waters, water skiid, hiked, jogged, golfed (arrived by boat). Wow! It simply does not get any better than this!
Heh Vicky, have you been white water rafting down the New our Gauly River yet? (please excuse my spelling errors)
Nice to meet you, Kath--
Those are lovely stories! It's good to hear how it is to visit; the view is pretty opposite when you're the one who watches people come and play. As a teenager living year-round in Traverse City, I was determined, determined to get away. Couldn't stand the place!
We worked the restaurants and fudge stores and sweated out long days in the cherry orchards--and watched enviously while the tourists came and enjoyed "our" beaches. I remember nights getting off work at 1 am and smoking dope and skinny-dipping in West Grand Traverse Bay, in a spot hardly anybody knew about.
When winter came, it was just us and the snow, and nobody had a job. I was last there a few years ago to visit my long-left-behind siblings; everything was built up and beautified, changed and not changed. I haven't taken a vacation there yet, but someday I might. The islands you describe in the UP aren't familiar, but they sound perfect.
Today was good. Rain, relentless. After dinner, I drove both girls down to church so the younger could be at her choir practice. On the way home, she said she LOVES being at our church, wishes she could go every day, LOVES knowing that everybody there knows who she is and what her story is. I told her how I first went there with her dad before we were married, and how I sat in the pews and watched a service put on by the youth group, and how the sight of those kids--so respected, so nurtured, so KNOWN--made me feel . . . I wanted so much for my own kids, if I was ever lucky enough to have any, to belong in that way to something that real. A good moment, and then we drove through the darkness down our street, lined with Christmas-lighted houses. Yeah. (Hi, Bruce, if you're reading this! We miss you. See you Friday.)
Best of luck on your big move tomorrow. May you be ecstatically happy in your new home and your new life!
Vicky, Ditto what Martha said!
"Almost heaven, West Virginia"!
Tough times don't last - tough people do.
I can't tell you how sick I am of cardboard and tape!! Tomorrow's the big day..and I can't wait. Once we get there, and settled a bit, I'll post another entry in "our" journal.
Now, if the weather will just cooperate!!
Well, we made it through another week! This week husband had a root canal, another UTI, worse arthritis, allergies/headaches, a couple of minor AD attacks, and probably other fun things I'm leaving out. The alpha foster dog has bonded too well with me and goes crazy if I leave the house. He can unlock and open the sliding door (even with a bar wedged in the lower track), escaping and taking the others with him. The local cops have brought them back 3 times this week -- not amused. The small lab broke her leg on one such foray. The alpha has also torn down the drapes in husband's room, climbed on my desk/computer and torn down my blinds, otherwise fairly well ransacking the room. Minor computer damage. I took them to animal control but couldn't "do it" once I got there. Hope everyone else had an exciting and fun week!
Martha, how is it you can make me smile at what sounds like way more than anybody's share of shit?? If my dog could open the sliding door, even with the stick in the track thingy, I'd feel obligated to get him his own cell phone and email account! Surely an animal that smart could be taught not to pee on your carpet!
What happened today:
Younger daughter had a soccer game on a muddy field in driving rain and gusty winds. Field was NOT accessible, so Bruce and I stood outside the locked fence for the first half (yes, he stood, in his walker) . . . at which time some of the other dads came over with tools and dismantled said fence and let us in! Very cool, except they lost, and she had on the wrong kind of shoes, so couldn't play with her ordinary fierce gusto without slipping on her butt about a million times.
Christmas tree fell over for no apparent reason this morning . . . not a cat climbing the trunk, not the vibrations from the lift, not an earthquake. Just suddenly, PLOP. No harm done, but kind of spooked daughter-person.
Bruce home yesterday from Florida, YAY, and leaving again tomorrow for Salt Lake City. Doing sit-ski training at Snowbird all week, where the instructors and equipment and snow are all top quality. Someone at church last week asked me if I wasn't nervous about him skiing. Answer: HELL, no. Bruce-not-skiing is Not-Bruce. I like being married to Bruce, not some other guy, and I don't care if he's on the mountain standing or sitting. His accident (yes, skiing, for those who don't know!) was a fluke, a never-to-be-repeated mistake of the gods. PLUS I love to see him happy. Oh, yes.
and only a week to go. In choir we're learning this marvelous Rachmaninoff thing, which we have to sing in Russian on Christmas Eve. I'm new to the choir and always stand (if I can) between a couple of well-seasoned altos who can actually sight-read the music . . . which seems like plenty of miracle for me. One of the baritones knows Russian, so he coaches us on proper pronunciation. The choir director is intense, gifted, and gay, and his partner has an advanced case of AIDS-a circumstance that adds poignancy to everything he does and says. We sing our heads off for him.
Bruce is in Utah. We talk to him every night, hungry to hear that the snow is good and the skiing is going well, and that he's enjoying himself. Yes, yes, and yes, so far. He spent the first two days on Chickadee, which, if you don't know Snowbird, is the baby run where they teach little kids how to snowplow. He's on a monoski--harder to maneuver than the double ski he was using last winter, but ultimately capable of getting him back to the high terrain he loves.
I'm teaching bored teenagers how to prove the Pythagorean Theorem, and how to use trigonometry to find the radius of the earth. They're thinking about the new Lord of the Rings movie and pretending to listen. I'm driving the girls all over town, listening to the Dixie Chicks sing "Landslide". I'm avoiding housecleaning. I'm listening to you all, hoping you're well.
Ladies at least your lives could never be called boring !
Martha , you aren't alone in dog training problems .i have a 10 week old sheepdog pup , bonding is going well . a bit to well , if i am to slow closing the door into the house she is straight inside [she is meant to live outside ! ] and takes great delight in piddling on the carpet ! got another endearing habit of finding every bone and fresh horse manure in about half a mile radius then bringing it to the back door to show me . don't worry too much about having the cops return your dog three times in a week , i have mates who the cops drag back to the family hearth about this often after a bit of neck oil at the pub .makes for loud silence from their wives .
Kate , i remember not being particularly attentive in trigonometry classes but find i use it everyday building things in my workshop and for very important things in life , like calculating the maximum amount of beer i can fit in a fridge .
have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone,
every day i wake up is a good one .