What's up, Michiganders?
WOW, what a nutty week it's been. I got some totally unexpected praise
from Jay Nordlinger, managing editor of National Review.
I am stunned. And traffic to my silly little page of Michigan euphemisms has quadrupled. Thanks, Jay!
Given the new attention, I've been contemplating what to do with this site. I've been nursing it along, what, ELEVEN YEARS NOW. Started off as a page on AOL in 1995. I am so overwhelmingly busy at work that I cannot give it the time and attention it deserves, nor am I able to respond to all the people that write me. I'm sorry about that, Michipeeps! Work consumes most of my waking hours - bills gotta be paid and the dog needs his kibble, so there ya go.
Please know that I do read every email...I just find it impossible to reply to all. I get emails from people every day, giving me words and phrases they would like added to the Pronunciation Guide. The only problem is, 99% of them are already in the Guide, or are not unique to Michigan. I know, I know...who's got time to read the whole damn thing? And for that matter...who's got time to blog?
So I'm going to pull down the Submit Your Own Addition page and replace it with something different and fun. Keep your eyes peeled.
On being an expatriate...and missing the dirt.
I've been thinking a lot about Michigan lately. I love Washington State, where I currently live. It reminds me of a Michigan with mountains, ocean and bald eagles (which are incredible, by the way). But I miss the sound of robins...lots of robins...in the morning. Finding a turtle in the front yard. The Grand River. Stopping at the WhippiDip in Grand Haven for fries and ice cream on a hot summer afternoon. Driving down the Lodge with the radio blaring, or seeing the sunlight come through the trees on Pierce Stocking Drive at Sleeping Bear. Blowing snowdrifts. And fresh-squeezed cider and fresh-baked doughnuts at Robinette's Orchards
in Grand Rapids.
And I miss...and this sounds weird...the smell of the earth in Michigan. That peaty, mossy soil. Something about it smells...comforting.
Is that crazy?
I also think about having left, and the friends and family left behind. My family and high school classmates in GR. They're all great and I miss them, and it makes me wonder, what drove me to become such a gypsy, and for others to permanently settle close to where they grew up? I've definitely got the wanderlust...same stuff that drove my ancestors to move from New York/Vermont to Michigan in the 1830s.
Exploration brings appreciationAn online contact from Flickr
came out to Seattle on her cross-country roadtrip of nearly the entire US. Rachel hung out with us at a Flickr meetup, and it was so great to see someone from GR exploring the country. Travelling and living elsewhere makes you realize that there are a lot of really cool places in the US: and that while Michigan is just one of them, it IS unique. I appreciate it more having moved around a lot, and I encourage those of you who are able, to spend time elsewhere to get an open-minded feel for other parts of the US. You may return home or you may not, but you'll definitely notice the things you took for granted.
I hope you all have a great October. Go, carve pumpkins, hand out candy and watch high school football. You're on my mind!