I am back from my 3 night adventure with the Moms, a nice break from the same-oh,same-oh in the South. I do really need to get out more. Too much bleakness and pity parties in the last year.
Yesterday was mostly spent at Sleeper State Park on Saginaw Bay near the tip of the Thumb. We had perfect weather. The Bay is quite shallow which means the water warms up quickly. I spent an hour bobbing up and down gently with the waves clinging to an air mattress with a friend while the other two friends clung to another mattress. Up and down: up and down. Soon I had motion sickness compounded with a case of bad shrimp and a brief return to fried foods that I had been good up to that point abstaining from and too much wine the night before as we sat in the cool night gossiping away. I had to return to shore to the little camp we set up on the edge of the water with our beach chairs, umbrellas and our picnic lunches. I tan reasonably well but I knew my skin would not be protected from so much sun and I had sun screen on almost every part. Almost every part. I assumed my feet were used to the sun and besides, I was in the shade. But while I napped, my feet became uncovered as the sun shifted positions so now they are quite red and painful. Still I got off easy compared to some of the Moms who thought that just one application of suncreen would last through swimming including the easiest to tan Mom. The other two Moms are very fair but one was very careful to keep applying. It was a very pleasant afternoon and special for me.
A little girl near us was taking the rocks out of the water near the shore and making a pile. Good for her. These rocks really hurt my feet as I was returning to shore. The local rock is sandstone though there is also a huge limestone quarry nearby. Up the coast a bit is Michigan's most known ghost town; Grindstone City. All that is left are broken grindstones laying on the beach. From the girl's pile, after she left, we selected some attractive pieces for our gardens. Mine has different layers of green and black. This will be added to my mainly Michigan pink granite, a bit of chalk from Dover's cliffs and some green marble from Liguria, Italy.
The Thumb is amazingly flat and the drivers drive fast. Faster than the 5 to 10 mph over the limit I usually go. I was passed by huge trucks (many with liftgates my son designed). We went from small town to small town passing fields of sugar beets with deer nibbling the greens.
The local fish from the bay is perch so my friends sought that out in different restaurants. I am not a perch fan. I could have eaten the back-up fish, whitefish but instead, I had greasy, overcooken shrimp, not how it was described on the menu. I did have a nice meal in the cutest cafe ever in Caseville the next day.
These tiny towns are from a different world than I am used to. My friend, who grew up in one of them (where we stayed in her parents' place) itched to get out of there with its narrow options ASAP. The road I ran on one early morning was named and led to Deckerville, home of our homegrown terrorist of the Oklahoma City bombing fame.
Ladies in these towns liked to have pretty gardens which we admired on our group walk and on our car rides. They seemed to use different flowers than seen in Ann Arbor gardens. All of us keep gardens so it was interesting to us. As many of the trees in the Thumb were removed years ago, sun loving flowers are grown: lots of hollyhocks, unusual lilie, roses and petunias. No shade loving impatiens or tuberous begonias.
We would arrange in a circle outside drinking our wine at night coming in after the mosquitoes came out. We played silly games and laughed a lot. A good weekend.
Back at the homefront, Ms. Maya had gained enough to keep the doctor happy. At one year old, she weighs 9.05 kg or 19.9 #, 30%tile (as opposed to 5%tile at one point). I am used to babies being in the upper 90%tiles for everything. As she is 80%tile for height, she is not a chunky one. The doctor did not have most of the concerns the public health nurse had but is concerned about the lack of babbling and words so another consult with 'experts' is scheduled next week.
As Josh was also gone this weekend and Naomi was tending to the pets of one of the Mom's, Josh wanted to keep Sunny with Steve for the weekend. But Steve did not want to deal with Sunny's incessant demands (throw me the ball, please throw me the ball..) he said he would prefer to deal with my friend's animals and Naomi keep Sunny, the German Shepherd in her home turf. But it had taken a while for Harry the conure (type of parrot) to like Naomi and she was afraid that Harry would not like Steve. How to tell if a parrot doesn't like you? They attack and being bit on the earlobe hurts. Believe me, I know. Harry doesn't like me. However, if they like you, they groom you checking your hair for mites. Eventually Harry checked Steve's sparse hair for insects so that was a success.
And Shanna and Ramy will be homeowners this fall after much going back and forth with the sellers. They are moving to this cute community, Arlington, right next to Cambridge, where Ramy works. They had lived there initially when they first moved to the Boston area. No more living right on the ocean but crime will be lower and the schools will be much better. Houses cost so much more there.They would be able to buy a mansion here with what they will need to pay. But the Boston area has jobs; Michigan does not.
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