We’re Living, Living, Living in Northern Michigan

Oct. 13, 2015 pm 011
The view out the library window.

It began to rain last night and it has been raining off and on all day. I love how rain makes our forest appear wrapped in mist. The various weather changes the appearance of our forest from day to day–and even hour by hour.

With the rain came cooler temperatures so we have to wear jackets. Soon enough we will need to exchange our jackets for winter coats, hats, mittens, and boots. I washed all the coats a week ago in preparation for colder weather. I will have to hunt for our boots. They are somewhere among the boxes still in the garage.

The trees were even more colorful this morning. In fact, I almost think I can see the leaves becoming more vivid right before my eyes. I wonder if it’s possible to overdose on beauty? If so, I’m sure I’m nearing that point. Every time I glance out a window, I have to pause in amazement and say, “Thank You!”

Oct. 13, 2015 Morning 001
This morning in the Forest

The meteorologists are saying that the color peak will occur in a few days. Already the leaves are beginning to fall. We can see the red roof of the neighbor’s house more clearly now. The red roof makes me think of Lincoln Logs cabins. I told EJ and JJ that we will have to plant evergreen trees at the bottom of the driveway so no one can see us even when the other trees lose their leaves. I like feeling safely hidden in our secret Enchanted Forest.

I took my camera outside with me this morning in yet another attempt to capture the beauty of the leaves. I laughed as I envisioned myself taking millions of pictures of our Enchanted Forest every year so that there would be billions and billions of photos of our trees left behind after I died.

I thought that maybe a video would be better than photos at capturing the autumn colors so I took a video as Danny and I walked down to the mailbox this morning. I was afraid that I had lost the video by accidentally turning off the camera instead of pushing the video stop button which, to my dismay, sometimes happens. I never said that I was a good photographer, or even an adequate one. Just in case I had lost the first video, I took another one as we were walking back up the driveway after getting the mail. It turned out that I didn’t lose either video, but then I couldn’t decide which one to share here. I liked them both because they each show a slightly unique perspective of the forest and also of Danny. The first video is shorter than the second one but doesn’t show as much of Danny’s personality. I have a friend whose cute dog is very energetic and races all over, but Danny just quietly goes where he wants at his own pace. Well, I decided I’d share both videos and let you decide which one–or both–that you want to watch.

Walking to the Mailbox

Walking Home

A flock of turkeys walked through our yard early this afternoon. EJ saw them first and whispered, “The turkey’s are here!” I don’t know why we always whisper when we see the turkeys, even though they can’t possibly hear us when we are in the house with the windows closed. I think we are just so thrilled each time we see them. We always pause and watch them when they appear. We have developed a love for the beautiful birds.

This weekend was rather difficult for JJ. It was the two-year anniversary of his cancer diagnosis and first surgery, he went back to the old house with his Dad, and then he’s trying to figure out how to enroll in college next year. Very emotional stuff. Not long ago I read an article that said a study revealed that teens and young adults are greatly affected by cancer because it happens at a time of important development–when they are beginning to become more independent from their parents and preparing to leave the nest. Because this was interrupted, they often really struggle to get back on track. JJ sometimes feels that he needs to catch up to his peers who have forged ahead with their life plans, and some of his peers who don’t understand cancer or PTSD tell him that he is simply unmotivated, etc. It’s really hard. I tell him that he has a job, he’s working towards college, and he’s doing really well, so stop putting so much pressure on himself.

I also just read that there is a high risk that people who get cancer as teens or young adults have a high chance of getting cancer again later in life. That is really, really scary. I don’t know if we could endure cancer again. The experience sure has affected us all. But we keep telling each other that we are up in the beautiful North to recover, and to rest, and to enjoy life again. We will get through this.

The UPS truck brought us a box from Amazon today. When I was growing up, we never spelled out the name of the company: U-P-S. Instead, we called it UPS, like the opposite of down. We would yell, “The UPS Man is here!” like he was some sort of superhero. Maybe he is–after all, he brings us lots of good stuff. I still yell “The UPS Man is here!” sometimes. Old habits are hard to break and I think UPS sounds more whimsical than U-P-S letters. Anyway, we order quite a few things from Amazon because it’s often easier and cheaper than trying to get to a store. We have Amazon Prime so the shipping is free and, hey, why not just have stuff delivered right to our door?

Today the UPS Man brought the three flashlights I had ordered. Our current flashlights aren’t powerful enough to light up the dark Enchanted Forest night. The new flashlights were very inexpensive and the reviews said they were very powerful and their light reached a good distance. I want to have a chance to see what is getting ready to pounce and eat me when I take Danny out at night. A couple of weeks ago, when EJ and I took Danny out, we saw eyes shining from the forest, but we couldn’t see what animal it was. EJ said he didn’t think it was a deer or bear because of their color and size. He guesses maybe a coyote.

The UPS Man also delivered brackets so we can build simple inexpensive floor-to-ceiling bookshelves in the library. We don’t have the wood for the shelves yet, and with EJ working overtime I don’t know when he will have the time to build them, but at least I have the brackets. With brackets, I can dream of getting the books out of the boxes.

This morning one of the Northern Michigan Facebook pages shared a video that really describes the beauty and joy of living in Northern Michigan. This area has a bit of everything: incredible natural beauty, outdoor summer and winter activities, history, cultural events, libraries, and food. Many people who have visited this area long to return and people who move into this area say that it’s like heaven and they will never move south again. I told EJ that I found our theme song. He said, “We don’t need a theme song!” Then I played the video for him and he said, “Ok. So I guess we do have a theme song.”

Can you believe it? This is where we live now! We are living, living, living in Northern Michigan!



One Comment on “We’re Living, Living, Living in Northern Michigan

  1. You have the love of the North and the peace of the Lord all around you, and you let JJ know that we are very proud of him. We should never judge ourselves where others think we should be. Only JJ and those who journey with him truly feel the trial of such a disease. We admire and love your whole family, stay close to one another.
    Love, ya!!!


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