The Things We Leave Behind

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I lost a lot of my toys in the summer of 1984. That was the year my parents bought a house in preparation for the arrival of my little sister. I was sick during the move and spent most of that time on my Grandma Sprague’s couch, secretly happy to miss the hard labor involved with such an event. I couldn’t wait to get home and find everything “magically” moved to our new home.

I have no idea why I wasn’t worried about what I might lose. In fact, it took years to really figure it out. Even now I sometimes find myself remembering my childhood and thinking, “I wonder whatever happened to that….” Then I remember. I had never moved before, so I didn’t fully appreciate the steps of packing one’s belongings. After watching my husband weed through my daughter’s toy pile during our own recent move, I am thinking I probably lost more things than I originally thought. Continue reading

207 Weeks in Michigan

Lake Michigan

This is available to us any night of the week. Well, it used to be. This will be our last night in Michigan.

I used to take Michigan for granted. Growing up here I just thought all states were filled with endless natural beauty and small freshwater oceans. Then I met and married a man from Illinois and learned that cornfields the size of small oceans were also possible. We lived in that world for fourteen years before giving Michigan another try.

It made sense at the time. We had no family left in Illinois. The combination of becoming parents, having a sister in Michigan who was battling breast cancer, and our shared willingness to do something “different” with our lives is what paved the way. And after four years, we have learned that what’s on the inside really is what matters most- even when it comes to places.

Don’t worry Michigan. You will always be the pretty one. Continue reading