The weather was excellent today. Spending my afternoon at the park drinking porter and enjoying good conversation with a close friend.
There’s a tree in Ypsilanti Michigan in Riverside Park decorated with bottles. Newcastle beer is drinkable in small quantities I think, like a cap or two, but I read recently that the coloring is made using ammonia. The article “8 Beers That You Should Stop Drinking Immediately” annoyed the hell out of me but I couldn’t figure out if it was done in humor as it lists Newcastle as the only cancer causing beer on the market..really?
When I first saw this tree I was little put off. I consider myself sort of a tree hugger. I mean I’ll burn wood and cut a tree down so I guess that means I’m not a true tree hugger, plus the fact that I use the term tree hugger to describe those who like trees will likely exclude me too. Do people who devote their time to protecting trees take offense to being called tree huggers?
But what I was getting at was I was put off by the bottles. Some of the strings broke and the ground was littered with glass under this tree. I wondered if the clever artist would return to clean up the glass. I wondered too if the tree liked the bottles or the way I climbed it that day.
Considering the close proximity to the waterfall these “tracks” are likely the result of years of erosion. When I first saw these rock holes they seemed to be ancient footprints as though something walked across this area a long time ago.
If you should ever find yourself in northern Michigan I highly recommend a visit to the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. The photos below were taken on our first or second time there, five or so years ago, and our first time down at the beach. On this day it was windy but warm.
The sun shines bright in Arizona but sometimes there are cloudy days. Even with the clouds the sun shines bright. I see this as a lesson in life. Today is a cloudy day for me in terms of current life events that I can’t control. I could focus on those clouds or I could be thankful for life and the fact that the sun will still continue to shine.
The hill is one of our favorite places to hang out during the warmer months. There’s not much I like to do outside in the winter months so when my youngest suggested we stop at the hill on the way home I wasn’t overly enthusiastic about it.
She said, “we can walk up the hill and eat these strawberries.” I like eating strawberries at least but on a hill when it’s cold out, not so much.
Life is short and kids grow up too fast. With kids it’s good to allow yourself to go on adventures you might see as less than adventurous. The thing is my 11-year-old is the only one left who thinks it’s cool to hang out with dad. It might be flying a kite, going to my favorite restaurant or walking the trails of the botanical gardens. There’s never been a time when I’ve regretted her suggested adventures even on this cold day eating strawberries on a hill.
As a kid I used to play in this huge cemetery. Most of it is secluded along rolling hills and ending at woods. The woods were huge and we lived on the other side.
Exploring the woods one day we walked out into this cemetery and it became a place where we visited when we were particularly adventurous. There are graves here from the early 1800’s up to current markers. Some of my childhood friends are here.
Today I went there, as I often do, to pay my respects and think. If you go to the back there are secluded spots to walk around and look out unto the woods which drop down to a valley. You can even see the water tower in the distance.
Last summer I took the kids north on a vacation that was to be spontaneous. I’ve done that two years in a row and both times it turned out great. The first year we covered a large area starting in Mears about three hours NW of home, drove up the west side of the state and ended up at the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in the Upper Peninsula almost seven hours from home. We had a great time but there was a significant amount of driving and I crammed so much into five days I felt like I needed a vacation after the vacation.
The next year I decided to plan it out a little better. Instead of just jumping in the truck with a general idea of where to go I mapped it out and decided on particular stops without venturing so far north. Our first stop was just south of Pentwater to visit Little Sable Point Lighthouse. We’ve been there at least a couple of times but this time the lighthouse was open so you could walk up to the top where I took this photo,