My Mom always said old friends were the best. Those we’ve known practically since our beginnings! Beginning school, being the new kid on the block, starting college or career, newly married, having kids. All those fresh starts we have in life where we gravitate to folks like us….eventually bonding and sharing and growing along until one day; they’ve become life-long forever friends. Since so much of who we are is based on where we come from, it’s natural to continually reaffirm and….
Savor Old Friendships!
Spending time back home in Michigan the past few summers, my husband and I connected with family and pals from childhood, high school, first jobs and those who were there when we met and married! Lots of retelling……and rehearing…..the same old stories, but the laughter was always fresh! We needed to rehash, recall and relive some of those important moments in time that tend to stick. And as always these days, the conversation eventually turns to our children…yikes, how can they be pushing 50 while we’re still so young?…and our grandchildren! From a brand new great-grandchild to a granddaughter off to college, we nodded and clapped and shared in each others’ pride and joy in these precious rewards we receive for raising our own kids!
Road Trip North
Sometimes a 2 hour trip by plane,
but usually a two-day road trip each way! Oh what fun we’d have! Blue highways where you can take your time and see small town America; try Mom and Pop diners and pizza joints, see farm after farm with dairy cows, corn fields, bales of hay and handsome horses grazing around every curve in the road! It’s always a favorite to see the Amish folks in Northern Indiana out and about in their horse pulled carts. One time we were passing through local town Festivals…..so the carriages were filled with families and they were everywhere. I have so much respect for these people and was especially pleased to see some had embraced safety over modernization and installed stop lights and blinkers on their carts!
We listened to Kid Rock and Seger CDs in Michigan of course, sang along (over and over again) to “Ain’t that America, you and me; ain’t that America, home of the free” all through Mellencamp’s Indiana. By Tennessee we’d moved onto Travis Tritt’s “Here’s a quarter, call someone who cares”……..and then a little Huey Lewis and Adele thrown in as we made our way home via more back roads! Great fun…….singing along as the miles go by always seems shorter! Reluctantly, we’d have to tune it down, hook up with I75 and join the freeway-free-for-all the last couple hours.
No photos to post……..but oh, so many pictures captured in our hearts. The spilled wine, the scenery, the shouts of “I love your hair/love your shoes,” and that side-hug-and-a-handshake guys do. Our old campus has grown and changed so much it’s hardly recognizable; and the welcoming smile of the pizza lady who’s still there……where my kids stood on those same little steps to watch the pizza dough twirl……she’s still there!
The Roots That Grow Us
As time flows on, our friends mean more and more because we’ve all made the same journey together. Maybe not side by side in the same town, but certainly soul to soul and heart to heart over the years in phone calls, Holiday cards, visits home or shared vacation spots. Thanks to each of you who always found time to be with us for a few hours!
Now it’s Michigan time again; only I’ll be going back alone this summer. I’m flying, the vibe will be different…but home is home. During the years we lived there, Winter Wonderland was fun as we skied and skated and sloshed through snow as if there was no other way of life. But after moving south and making regular visits home to see my folks,the highlight for me was driving under the Say Yes to Michigan sign after hours of driving! And although Pure Michigan addresses all that this great state has to offer, including the inland cities that cater to agriculture, hunting, industry and shopping; my favorite is the new Lakeshore Galore slogan.
The Great Lakes state has over 11,000 inland lakes, one on which we owned a house for many years. Friends and relatives have lake homes ‘up north’ and ‘down west’ as the smaller lakes that lie along and are fed by Lake Michigan are referred to. This year I can’t wait to visit a few more, have new adventures and make new memories!
Read more from Joan Stommen on her blog, Gramcracker Crumbs