Last summer we flew to Minneapolis to retrieve our daughters from a Japanese camp that they had been attending. We decided to take a side trip and drive to visit my brother and his family in Marquette, Michigan. My family and I were raised in the suburbs of Detroit and all migrated away from the Midwest, except my brother, Tim, who put down roots in the U.P. I had been there once before in about 1978 but had very little memory of the town of Marquette. I had never seen his house, except in photos. It is sad, but my family is large, we all wander a bit, and we don't really stick close (geographically) although we are all pretty close emotionally.
Anyway, It was great to go there and to spend time with them doing the kinds of things they do in their small Northern, Midwestern town. They had a garage full of old bikes and we all hopped on and rode all over the place. We hiked up a steep trail to this vista overlooking Lake Superior. The view was awesome and when I scanned in close, I saw this magical bit of lichen and star moss:
We rode bikes out onto Presque Isle (almost an island but connected by a small strip of land big enough for cars and bikes). After a hot bike ride, we were brave enough to jump into the chilly water of the greatest of the Great Lakes. It was glorious!
The town was also very well suited to community and culture. There were great shops, cafes, and parks. The library was world class, and the university had an amazing art gallery.
It was such a pleasure to spend time with my brother and his family. He and his wife and 2 daughters are all such easy-going, creative, health-concsious people. We got exercise, ate really healthfully, listened to them play their Irish music (they are all accomplished musicians), and had fun political discussions!
I wish the world weren't so big and we didn't have to be so far away from the ones we love, but at least we get to travel and see so many wonderful places. They visited us in Arizona and I hope they will come to see us in Sydney!