Sunday, July 21, 2013


It's nice to be home again.  You appreciate home more when you haven't been there for a long time.  Michigan is a really beautiful state, especially in the northwest part of the lower peninsula, where I've spent the last 2 weeks visiting friends in Petoskey and Traverse City.  

My friend Barb and her husband Steve live on Lake Walloon, just south of Petoskey, in this beautiful log cabin-like house.  

Barb is president of a 200 member women's club and they were preparing for their annual fund-raising event.

I volunteered to help prepare the food for the Slightly Gourmet Cafe, a major source of funds for the club.  My first assignment was cutting up the 50 melons we purchased for the fruit cups and chicken salad plates.

Then I worked with this delightful group of women wrapping napkins around plastic tableware.  My job was to place an adhesive seal around the napkin to hold everything together.  I got an idea of what it might be like to work on an assembly line!

Two of the club's talented women provided lovely flower arrangements for every table in the cafe.

Barb worked tirelessly for three days, but took a minute to ham it up a little.  I had a great time, and I'm pretty sure the Women's Club set a fund-raising record.  

I worked hard, too, but every day got to come back to this beautiful view from Barb's front porch.  Walloon Lake is about 7 miles across and has 30 miles of shoreline.  Ernest Hemingway spent his childhood summers at a lakeside home here that is still owned by the Hemingway family.

I also visited my friend Grace, who is spending the summer in the beautiful Norman Rockwell-like resort community of Bay View on the east side of Petoskey.  Bay View is a private community of about 440 cottages, many of which are beautiful Victorian summer homes.  Bay View is truly a vacation community, because people who own these cottages can live in them only from May to October each year.  There's a wonderful lecture and music program available to residents from mid-June to mid-August, and there's also a private beach for residents.  

Grace is very well known in Bay View, so I met dozens of people during the three days I spent with her.  And I saw some beautiful sunsets over East Traverse Bay.

One day we had lunch with some friends of Grace's at a Polish restaurant called Legs in Cross Village, north of Petoskey.

This restaurant is on some beautiful grounds that overlook Lake Michigan.  You can dine outside in these beautiful gardens if you wish.

The decor was quite rustic and included this family of bears.

And there was driftwood all over the place--very interesting pieces, some of which were incorporated into the architecture of the restaurant.

Other forms of wild life were also present....Grace and I after a very filling lunch of Polish food.

Don and Ann were our lunch companions.

I spent another 5 days visiting with my college roommate, Linda, who lives on a small lake south of Traverse City.  For four of those days, we went shopping--in Traverse City, in some smaller towns in the area, and at an art fair.  

Everywhere we went, there were more beautiful lakes.  For those of you who aren't familiar with my beautiful state, there are over 11,000 inland lakes in Michigan, and then we are surrounded by the Great Lakes of Michigan, Superior, Huron, and Erie.  So this is a frequent sight when driving around the state.  In northern Michigan, you also have the beauty of rolling hills, very different from the flat farmlands of southern Michigan where I grew up.

Unfortunately, I didn't take very many pictures this last week--I guess I was brain-drained by all the shopping!  

It was really wonderful to spend a couple of weeks visiting three of my oldest friends.  I enjoy their company immensely.  I'm back in southeastern Michigan now, lodging with a newer friend in Farmington for the next five weeks--still a nomad, but in my home state where everything is familiar to me.  That feels good for a change!