Archive for the ‘Michigan’ Category

Summer Scrapbook 2011

August 29, 2011

Click to magnify the majestic mightiness that is this self aggrandizing landscape photo.

The Summer of 2011 has been a most majestic and mighty season, rife with victory, spiced with bravado.  It is a rump roast sliced from the hind quarters of a noble beast (perhaps a liger), turning on a spit over the fires of glory.  As we savor it, our hearts swell with secondhand triumph made bittersweet by the piquance of sorrow, for despite its lush and verdant beauty, its free-floating firefly constellations at night, the dancing gold of its lakes, ponds, and oceans by day, each succulent bite consumed brings us ever closer to the simultaneous bitch slap/nut punch/horrifying full nelson of winter.

For me, the Summer of 2011 was a barely-averted altercation with a stranger at a camp store.  It was hiking the rocky bluffs at Devil’s Lake in Wisconsin.  It was almost getting my ass kicked at the Am Vet’s Lodge in Higgin’s Lake Michigan. Yet it was so much more. This summer brought the Resurrection of Santa’s Village kiddie amusement park, a jaunt to the Circus World Museum, an encounter with John Muir‘s clock, as well as the Ghost of Peter Falk.

Without a doubt, my particular cut of this delicious creature was rich and rewarding.   I pay tribute to it today in the only way a middle-aged midwestern woman such as myself knows how: in scrapbook format. (more…)

Getaway! Day 4

July 9, 2009

Obligatory Arm's Length Family Photo

Obligatory Arm’s Length Family Photo

  • After 4 days of unrelenting aerosol mist precipitation and ass-clenching Septemberish temps, the Thompson-Durham family finally take a hint and pack up the goddamn tent.  We leave exactly one day sooner than planned, which is fine by all concerned.  Besides, we’re out of Snap Pops.   And the camouflage pants are beginning to reek of a smokey funk that can only be compared to a well-worn gym suit made of bacon. (more…)

Getaway! Day 3

July 7, 2009


  • Mabel has befriended a bossy little girl she calls “Emma” and a preternaturally small boy she calls “Dandle”.  The two indulgently attempt to coach Mabel into joining them in song but Mabel, never a slave to the agenda, regards them with stoney superiority.
  • A sign at the entry of the park reads “Michigan Critical Dunes.”  What makes them “critical”?  Did they, too, drive here from the suburbs in a foreign car festooned with hipster stickers, an MA folded up in the glove box?  No?  Well, just who the hell do they think they are, anyway? (more…)

Getaway! Day 2

July 5, 2009
Realtree camo tightness, teensy adorableness, and big, obnoxious, smokey fire!

Realtree camo tightness, teensy adorableness, and big, obnoxious, smokey fire!

  • The Giggler fled the campground at the break of dawn, immediately followed by the hippies.  The Cocker Spaniel RV Kennel Club stands amid the smoke  like a lone patriot on the field of battle.  Impressed, I doff my cap in the general direction of all the barking.
  • We venture to downtown South Haven.  A local bookstore is going out business, so we take advantage of the opportunity to pick over its one-dollar remains.  I notice there’s plenty of Irving Wallace to be had, but no David Foster Wallace (to whom this blog owes a certain debt).  This disappointment actually pleases me as it stands as a bracing reassurance of my place outside of the Reactionary Recreational Overlap. (more…)

Getaway! Day 1

July 5, 2009
The Griswolds ain't got nothing on us.

The Griswolds ain’t got nothing on us.

The tale you are about to read is true.  Mostly.   On June 30, 2009, my partner Kate, our two year old daughter Mabel, and I packed up our Honda Civic and set out for Van Buren State Park near South Haven, MI.  During our 4 day stay, we endured less-than-ideal climatic conditions, sub-gourmet “camp food”, the occasional mosquito bite, relentless whining, and mind-bending sleep deprivation.  Oh!  What fun we had! (more…)