When I first arrived and suffered through the very first of your winters, when everything felt wrong because you did not resemble your beautiful cousin California, and when I sat there in the school assembly room without knowing a single one of the other parents, I really didn’t like you! In fact, I dreamt about writing you a goodbye letter listing all the ways you were all wrong for me and how I was SO not going to miss you – ever!
Fast forward 5 years, and here I sit in the middle of the space formerly known as the living room. Surrounded by boxes of stuff I didn’t have 5 years ago and with red eyes from crying and missing you even though I haven’t even left you yet. This space that I wanted to leave so badly, now suddenly echoes with memories of sleepless nights where I was watched by the dog, there are stains on the walls from kid’s birthday parties gone crazy, and so many dinners cooked for friends in the kitchen. And now it feels like you and I were made for each other.
Thank you for showing me Lake Michigan sunsets and the magic of fire flies in the summer nights. And thank you for toughening me up and making me forgive your winters every single one of your wonderful summers (sometimes I didn’t stop looking out for ice patches on the sidewalks until we reached August and then it was close to starting all over again……). Now my favorite tree is the red maple in the early spring when it lights up in nature. You even made me love geese! No sound predicts spring as much as geese making their honking way up north in February, when I had stopped believing that winter would ever end. And every time I see someone wearing blue and maize I want to run over and introduce myself and say “Hey, I am from Michigan too!”.
I am leaving you with a mitten shaped hole in my heart and I hope that I will still get to stop by and see you for a cup of coffee and a chocolate covered cherry. Actually – why don't we make it a dinner and I’ll join you for home brewed beers and venison roast!