A Crazy Day in Michigan

Clouds
Clouds

When I wrote the other day about soon needing to exchange jackets for winter coats, I didn’t expect it to occur so quickly. Meteorologists are forecasting snow for our area this weekend, although I don’t think it’s going to be measurable.

Meanwhile, today’s weather was rather crazy. The morning started out sunny and then clouds moved in. A lot of people don’t like Michigan’s cloudy weather, which is caused by the Great Lakes, but I love the dramatic touch they add to the scenery. A little later, pouring rain came in with a few rumbles of thunder. I looked out the window but didn’t see any lightning. However, we did get some half-inch hail, which bounced in the yard like popcorn.

Later in the day, the wind picked up and I looked out the window and saw leaves pouring from the trees like a different kind of rain.  If the rain of leaves continues, it won’t be long before the trees are bare.

JJ texted me from work tonight and he said he saw snow. Brrr. I don’t miss all the hard work of gathering a winter’s supply of firewood, but there is nothing like heat from a woodstove and I will miss its warmth.

Not long after we moved up to Northern Michigan, I contacted Cancer Services at the hospital to find JJ a counselor or support group.  Cancer really affects people in his age group and it doesn’t hurt to get help in processing the trauma. I talked to several very nice people and found JJ a counselor, but we couldn’t keep her because she wasn’t covered by our insurance. JJ asked me to find him another counselor, so I researched on-line and finally found two that I thought sounded good. He made the final selection. One of the counselors had the same name as the psychiatrist in the Batman stories who often used treatment sessions to experiment on patients at Arkham Asylum. JJ did not choose that therapist to be his counselor. It’s best to be careful.

JJ chose the other counselor instead and he had his first appointment today. He asked me to go with him this time. Since I wanted to get cat food at a store not too far away anyway, I agreed. We started off at about 9 a.m.

Oh, my goodness, the drive was absolutely gorgeous. There is nothing like driving through miles of forest that is dressed in vivid yellows, oranges, and reds. It’s a wonder that we didn’t end up in a ditch because I could hardly keep my eyes on the road. If I had not been driving, I would have taken millions of pictures.

The road followed the coast
The road followed the coast

The counselor’s house, which is where he had his sessions, was located on a beautiful peninsula. The road ran along the bay, with only a narrow strip of land separating the two. Because of the location, most of the houses were very beautiful and expensive. I really do love our more humble home and wouldn’t want to live anywhere else, but both EJ and I enjoy the architecture and landscaping of more expensive places. We don’t begrudge people enjoying the fruit of their labors. The counselor’s house was located up a steep driveway–much steeper even then ours. Unlike most places, there was no “turn-around” spot at the top so after JJ had met and gone off with the counselor, I had to back down the hill. I was still feeling the effects of yesterday’s anxiety attack so backing down such a driveway stressed me.

Viki, our GPS, helped me locate the “feed and seed” store where I bought two huge bags of cat food. I don’t want to run out of cat food in the winter and buying bulk is cheaper than the little bags at the grocery stores. I had lots of time left before I had to pick up JJ, so with Viki’s help I went back to the peninsula and wandered the winding, steep hills. I drove along the beautiful coast, and past many large beautiful vineyards and apple and cherry orchards. I pulled off the road at a scenic turnout and was stunned by the beautiful view: a large vineyard in the foreground with beautiful trees separating it from the lake. Click, click, click, went my camera.

Finally, I made my way back to the counselor’s. I didn’t want to go back up–or back down–that driveway, so I parked at an almost turn-around spot toward the bottom.  I always carry a book in my purse, so I got comfy and read while I waited for JJ’s session to be over.

I consider JJ’s sessions to be private between him and his counselor so I don’t pry. However, JJ told me on the way home that he really likes this counselor. The counselor was amazed at all that we have been through as a family and he said he was very proud of the progress JJ has made. We have told JJ this as well, but sometimes it feels more believable  if it comes from a stranger.

 

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