We are here, smack dab in the middle of summer. But the weather is trying to convince us it that it hasn’t left the ground! Another cloudy, humid day that beckons us to cozy up rather than get outside. But still, we are marked by summer’s progress by the passing of berry season, beginning of cherry. Those Michigan cherries are getting sweeter every week! The berries, a very low price now.

The lake water is still cool but as fragrant as ever as we walk along a the shore of a tiny beach in my town, or bike along the path on the open waters of Lake St. Clair that follow a very fancy road where all the very fancy houses stand majestic. Many for sale, many even unoccupied.

No big vacation plans this year. The economy has left our household income so low we have nowhere to go but back to basics. Overall, we are content to know that we have our health, each other, and so far…at least one income to count on. Furloughs, paycuts and loss of bonus aside, we can make ends meet.

But I have to tell ya, as much as people fret over the gloom and doom of our economy right now, being “stuck” in back to basics mode in Michigan is not the worst of things. We have our lakes. It many not be the ocean, but it sure the heck ain’t the middle of Iowa, either. (But they DO have their corn fields!) And I love the stories each lake has to tell. Some are sandy, some very pebbly, and in some parts of Lake Huron; in a town called Grindstone particularly, there are boulders so big, they seem like dinosours.

As I listen to so many stories of families who have been left to the ravages of part-time income, paycuts, loss of jobs and every other enonomic impact being felt from the struggling auto industry, I feel sad when I hear people talk negatively about our beautiful home of Michigan. When people talk about the auto industry or the economy it is often referred to as being directly correlated to MICHIGAN. Yes, the economy sucks here. Yes, the auto industry rose and fell here, but the PEOPLE in Michigan are to blame. Not this beautiful state.

Detroit bears the reputaion of being ranked among the most dangerous, dirty cities in the nation. Human beings made Detroit, and human beings destroyed it. What remains? The river. The land. Nature. Nature survives no matter which people come and go, what they build or destroy. Actually, in Detroit, nature is not only surviving, it is TAKING OVER!

So when we talk about the devastation we are experiencing as a result of what is happening economically here, give credit where credit is due. Michigan herself did nothing to hurt anybody. The land we stole, planted a flag in and gave a name to has given generously of her natural resources to satisfy the insatiable hunger of the humans who so greedliy settled here. “Michigan” should be spoken of with reverence and honor. Michigan has provided us with an abundnace of beauty and sustanance for centuries.

I realize how many familes have no option other than to leave to find work. I understand one must do what is necessary to support their family. But for those who feel inclined to get out of dodge just to take their greed elsewhere because the property value of their million dollar home has gone down or because they might have to sell the Porche, know that YOU are Michigan’s problem to begin with. Not because you have those things, because you covet them. Because you will sell out for them. Because the moral price you are willing to pay to have them outweighs their value.

So if the roots you put down in Michigan only reach as far as your bank account, all I have to say to you is THANKS FOR THE KARMA. Hope you enjoyed your visit.

3 thoughts on “Michigan Summer

  1. This is a great piece. I swear in light of everything happening this is a publish-worthy piece. Very true, we can’t see the beauty right before our eyes.

  2. unfortunately, I think so many people leave (either the porsche owners or the college students) because most people who live in this region have forgotten what it even means to live in a city. I have met a number of people in Oakland County who have NEVER been to Detroit. other than sports, many people see no reason to go into the city (Big Beaver is their downtown). and when your “city” looks like every other suburb in America, with the same chain restaurants in the same big-box parking lots, it doesn’t seem like that big of a deal to move to a suburb of Tucson.

    the sad thing is, many in the metro detroit diaspora love to puff up their chests in California or North Carolina and say, “I’m from Detroit.”

  3. Awe…In Cali they just say they’re from Detroit because it makes them sound edgy.

    In Boston, everyone keeps a tight lip about their hometown here. Even the Southies raise their eyebrows in fret when you mention it.

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