Smitten with the Mitten


Country MoonI am definitely “smitten with the mitten,” as the saying goes. I love being a Michigander and, more specifically, a troll being born under the bridge (Mackinac) as opposed to living in the Upper Peninsula and being a “Yooper.”

It is a law of nature, but I wish it didn’t take most of us most of our lives to figure out what was really important. When I was younger, the grass was always greener on the other side of the fence. Even though I loved growing up on the farm here in southern Michigan, I always longed to live in more exciting places.

I was intrigued by the western movies and thought it would be so neat to live on the sprawling ranches out west. Then there were the cliffs along the two oceans with breathtaking views. The charming little New England towns and rolling countryside in Vermont and New Hampshire intrigued me, too.

But it didn’t stop there. I remember when I was a teenager I watched a documentary on Australia and was in love with a whole other continent for an entire summer. I even researched land and prices and availability and begged my parents to see all the advantages of moving there. I think that by the time I got out of the notion they were ready to ship me there by myself just to have a little peace.

Even through my adult life I did not realize the treasure that I had right here in Michigan. I really had the life that I never imagined. I never moved more than a couple miles from where I was raised, but that all changed when I met Jim. He was originally from Pennsylvania and soon I also had family and friends out there. Over the course of 29 years we made several trips back to his hometown of Mercersburg, a charming small town nestled in the Tuscarora Valley. I fell in love with the place and the people there, so much so that at one point I wanted to move there.

Then, since Jim’s passing, I have spent quite a bit of time at Ron’s hometown of Economy in central Indiana. It’s safe to say that lies in the middle of nowhere, in particular amidst fields and fields of farmland. That is home to me, too.

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