It’s the first “real” vacation since a trip to New Orleans, in oh, over 15 years.
I did travel to Connecticut about 6 or 7 years ago,to see family,
but didn’t consider that a vacation, back then, anyway.
This year, seeing that part of the family is considered a vacation, for two weeks, no less.
but first stop is home.
My true slice of home is Michigan.
The place where Grandma lived.
The place my Mom was born.
The place I lived until I was 5 years old, when my Dad died.
The place that holds some of my fondest memories, my roots, and sense of family.
A place where 4th of July celebrations were truly celebrations.
A place of HUGE family reunion picnics.
A place of country roads, drag and sprint car races, fireflies, clothes hanging on the line across the yard, and Grandma’s 1/4 acre of cherry trees (which is now a car lot or something)
A place of warm summer rains.
A place with my own private tree, just outside the backdoor, that I would sit under to watch the train go, waving feverishly at the conductors and the caboose as they passed, twice a day, right on schedule. Always wanting Reading Railroad when we played Monopoly. (Grandma lived on Reading Avenue)
A place with the “perfect” hills for cardboard surfing.
and yes, some food memories too.
Coney Island hot dogs, flint style; Vernor’s ginger ale; Fresh maple bar donuts from the town bakery; walking to the DQ for chocolate dipped cones, and “Buns” candy bars.
I visited often during my childhood, but I haven’t been “home” to Michigan since we buried my Grandma back in the 80′s.
I hear that our small, small town has changed alot.
The DQ building is still there but closed.
I hear there is a McDonald’s now.
Also heard, Grandma’s house had been a tattoo parlor for a short bit.
I’m sure tons has changed but the fond memories haven’t.
And yes, I will indulge in a coney island or two. Once in a blue moon splurge.
I am only in Michigan for 3 days. Road trips with my bestie…a cousin who is more like my sis.
But I will be emptying out a lot of baggage in those 3 days…
Ahhhh…home sweet home