Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Something I Love about Michigan

I just came back from the farmer's market, which is one of my favorite places in the universe.

I love everything about going there - the farmers that I buy from, the people I haven't seen in a while, catching a cup of coffee with my husband at Zingerman's, the other maniacs who like to be out and social at 7 a.m. I love it so much that one day I was crazy enough to come home and write 15 haiku in one sitting. (Well, maybe that was Leslie's fault, but still...)

I had a particularly nice surprise this morning. As I was sitting at an outdoor table enjoying my coffee and catching up on the week with DH, my cell phone rang. Now, keep in mind this was at 7:27 a.m. And it was my friend L, who wanted to join us for coffee. And that's when you know you have a really good friend - when they know you intimately enough to know exactly where you'll be at 7:27 on a Wednesday morning and that they know you well enough to know that calling at that hour will not only not ruin your friendship, but will be welcomed. So, DH went off to work, and I got a little time with L.

But, see, here's what I love about Michigan: I won't be able to do this for much longer.

And why is this a good thing?

Because it means the next season will be upon us soon, and there will be new delights. And while I dream of being in a more temperate climate or moving to the Netherlands or New Zealand, the seasons and the pace of daily life here are two things I adore with a passion. And yes, I have my "special" seasons. In fact, Fall is probably my favorite so I'm excited about the upcoming change, but what I love most is treasuring each one and savoring each one so much that eventually I'm ready for the new one to come and take its place. And in my family's quest to leave less of a carbon footprint and eat locally and buy from small local businesses, etc., I'm all the more aware of the joys of each season.

So, I'm saying goodbye to fresh tomatoes, huge and ugly and bursting with sweetness; goodbye to this season's never-ending blueberries, which have made me a slave to lemon-blueberry bread production; and goodbye to walking the streets at 7 a.m., picking up our CSA share; seeing Carol, the blueberry lady; and Richard, the owner of our CSA; and our standing order of "one croissant, one ginger scone and two coffees for here, one chocolate croissant to go." I'm saying goodbye to sitting with a cold drink on my porch and reading under the sun umbrella. Goodbye to snipping the budding flowers on my basil, to making pesto, to making sure that DS isn't spending too much "screen time" on a free day, to driving to the lake, to living without a schedule, to being the B&B that so many of my exchange children use, to visiting the lakeside areas where my friend S. lives.

Hello to going to the high school early each morning, PTA meetings, time to write - every. day., correcting papers, planning classes, seeing my completely, totally WONDERFUL students(!), snuggling up to DH on colder nights, sitting on my porch with a warm drink, less gardening, pulling the plants inside, playing with piggies, taking long, fall walks, apple cider and donuts, fall visitors, the first fire in the fire place. Sitting by the fire and reading good books.

We are so lucky and so rich in seasons here.


anno said...

And we are lucky to have you writing about them. Lovely post.

Goofball said...

We are rich in seasons too, if the weather doesn't get confused about them. Nevertheless I am not too fond of the fall and I have difficulties saying goodbye to the summer that easily. I can't find much attractive in the fall: weather deteriorates, vacation is over, summer festivals is over, it becomes more wet and cold and dark, the summer food is over, ...It is not that bad of course, yet I am very reluctant to let go of the summer.

Anonymous said...

Until I read this post, I had completely forgotten that there was seasons in NW Ohio/SE Michigan.

Other than the beautiful Norwegian maples going from green to yellow to red and finally to orange, it seems like we have ten months of winter, one month of summer, and one month of autumn.

It becomes rather depressing. You have provided a lift to my spirits, and I thank you for it.

Rebecca said...

I love the change in seasons too - I live in a part of Australia where we really do have four very different seasons - and I love spring and autumn the's lovely to welcome the change.

Enjoy your shorter days, warmer drinks and cosy fire. Great post.

soccer mom in denial said...

I love the fall. It is my favorite time of year.

Anonymous said...

I love the seasons. I can't imagine life without them. You wrote about it so beautifully.

Fourier Analyst said...

Seasons aren't the same here and as this summer has hardly been what I would call warm, I am not looking forward to a "change". It depresses me to even think about the days getting shorter. Can't share your wonderful optimism, but will be calling on you when S.A.D. is in full swing!

Luisa Perkins said...

Oh, don't you love CSAs? They are the best invention. I love our farmer's market, too.

Jenn in Holland said...

So rich in seasons is just about the greatest thought ever written down! I love this post Jen.

jennifer said...

I love fall, too, Jenn. Soon the aspens will be changing, what I think is one of nature's greatest shows. I need the changing of the seasons to feel sane.

Jen said...

I'm sorry I'm late responding...

Anno - thanks!

Well, Goofball and FA it seems like Europe was short changed this year in terms of summer. No wonder it's hard to transition to fall! I felt that way at the end of last summer.

Thanks for stopping by, Jake - I'm glad you got a bit of a lift.

And Rebecca - enjoy YOUR nice spring weather and the feeling of sun coming in!

SMID and Jennifer - I agree! I just love fall. And Jennifer, the one time I saw it, I was just dumbfounded by the beauty of aspen time!

Jenn - THANKS for the grand compliment!

Leslie - thank YOU, too!

Luisa - yes, our CSA means a great deal to me! And I'm really hoping they're the wave of the future.

Mikaela said...

I just bragged about MI fall to one of my class mates the other day. And I brought up most of these things=)