Long, Strange TripSince my mom moved to the Midwest a few years ago, I've always taken my annual vacation to see her in the summer. This year, I opted for an autumn visit, and I think these photos demonstrate the wisdom in that decision. According to the locals, I missed the "peak" of autumn, but since my fall doesn't look like this at all, it was really a mute point to me. I recognize that some of the trees are bare, but we don't have maple trees in Southern California, so it was a visual feast for me nevertheless. Perhaps next year I'll visit in September rather than late October. This first picture is taken off my mom's back deck, and that white dusting is hail, not snow.
This cute little white house (cabin?) sits in the woods near the lake, Lake Huron to be specific. I shot this during one of myriad shopping trips/drives with my mother, aunt, and sister. OMG, my mom and aunt love to go shopping!
You'll notice the cobblestone chimney. While they exist in Southern California, chimneys like this are relatively rare. The reason? They crumble like a house of cards during an earthquake.
I really, really should make a couple light adjustments on this shot of the blue barn, but I think this is the finest picture from the trip. It's dark, but then, it was a pretty gloomy day. My aunt thought I might enjoy taking photos of her church, which I did; but across the street from the church was this neighboring barn which proved to be a more interesting subject. (It's better if you click to enlarge it.)
There was a short bus parked next to the elementary school at the church, and that fact doesn't require any commentary on my part.
While I try not to make judgmental comparisons between my home and my mother's, the one thing I find absolutely intolerable is the hunting in her region. Don't worry, you won't find any dead animals on this blog, but that's not to say I didn't see deer carcuses strapped to roofs of cars and trucks. I asked if it was hunting season (versus poaching season), and was duly informed that it was "bow and arrow season." So that means there are separate hunting seasons graded on varying degrees of barbarism. Oh, you can also purchase "bear bait" and "deer bait" at nearly every gas station around. The purpose of "bait" is to encourage your prey to pause and eat, thereby enabling the hunter to get a better shot. As much as mother tries to sell me on her little town, this will forever be a huge strike in its disfavor. That and driving on dirt roads like this, leading up to my cousin's summer cabin.
One of mom's neighbors turned their garage into a gas station. I have to admit, I'm impressed with the sense of playfulness and humor these people must have, not to mention their collection of vintage gas pumps and signage. The main house sits back and away from the garage, but this is what you encounter first from the street.
Overall, my sister and I had a nice visit with my mom, aunt and uncle, and many cousins. Mom has adjusted nicely to her quiet life as a widow. My dad never would have agreed to living in such a remote location, and this is how my mom always wanted to spend their retired years, so I'm happy that she's having this opportunity. That may sound funny. My dad was significantly older than my mom, so I always assumed she would survive him. So I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm glad she's still young and healthy enough to enjoy some golden years of her own.