I just enjoyed a lovely week in downstate Michigan with my parents.

Dad steadies the ladder to hang the new hummingbird feeder

Dad steadies the ladder to hang the new hummingbird feeder

This is the childhood home where my two brothers and I grew up in Yale, Michigan.  Yale lies about twenty-one miles from blue Lake Huron with its freighters blowing lonely fog horns in dark nights.

Hummingbird feeder

We celebrated my brother Scot’s birthday last Sunday just after I arrived.  I won’t tell you how old he is, except he’s four years younger than me, so he’s just a baby.  *grin*

I try to help.

I try to help.

Two of his daughters, Keely and Tianna (and Tianna’s boyfriend, Josh) arrived to eat my mom’s delicious dinner, as well as cake and ice cream.

Mom's "courtyard"

Mom’s “courtyard”

I’ve eaten so well this week it’s impossible to get on the scales.  Simply impossible.  The jeans are starting to feel way too tight.

Lovely geraniums

Lovely geraniums

The weather here in Yale has proved bi-polar.  The first few days it felt like mid-summer with temps around 88 degrees.  Then the temperature dropped thirty degrees.  We’ve had frost here the last two mornings, although, thank all the stars, it didn’t damage my mom’s flowers.

Hey, there's my mom!  (She doesn't like getting her picture taken so one has to be quick & sly to succeed)

Hey, there’s my mom! (She doesn’t like getting her picture taken so one has to be quick & sly to succeed)

Barry said I haven’t missed anything exciting back in the Upper Peninsula.  He says it was a miserably cold week.  It’s promising to improve–everywhere in Michigan–within the upcoming days.

Shining green leaves

Shining green leaves

I still think it looks like summer down here compared to the U.P.

Cute little paver

Cute little paver

One day had the neatest homecoming experience.  Walked into the grocery store to help my mom and found her talking with her friend, Ann.  Ann is a very special person from my childhood and we hugged tightly.  Then, in walked Barbie who cut the cake in our wedding when she was nine years old, and who now runs the local newspaper with her brother, whose husband won the Bologna King at the Bologna Festival last summer.  (No, kidding, my little hometown has a Bologna Fest every July.)  We hugged even harder.  Then in walked in ANOTHER friend of my mother’s–another Ann–and it felt like one of those magical homecoming moments.

Sometimes I can spend days here in Yale and not see anyone I remember.

Pink geraniums

Pink geraniums

What else have we done?  Besides eat?

We attended two of Taylor’s t-ball games.  Taylor is my brother Tim’s grandson.

Across the street--my brother Scot's house

Across the street–my brother Scot’s house

I drove over to London, Ontario, to meet with an Internet friend.  Another childhood friend came a’visiting.  More about that later!

My mom and dad in their beautiful new sun room

My mom and dad in their beautiful new sun room

I walked and walked and walked through the town.

Here's a couple pics of my niece, Jillian, modeling in Detroit's Style Line magazine

Here’s a couple of pics of my niece, Jillian, modeling in Detroit’s Style Line magazine

Traveled to the mall and shopped for jeans, unsuccessfully.  It is challenging buying jeans these days!  Don’t even get me started about jeans and classic fits and low-riding fits.  Won’t even ruin a good homecoming post by thinking about jeans.

Newly  planted impatiens plants

Newly planted Impatiens plants

We bought more flowers and Mom planted them.  She basically wouldn’t let me help, saying she has her own spacing requirements.

We read books.

We ate more delicious meals.

Love some of my mom's decorating touches

Love some of my mom’s decorating touches

And today it’s time to travel those 550 miles back Up North.  I’m only traveling half way today so will check in here later to see if any of you have commented.  Then I’ll stop in a coffee shop tomorrow and check again.

Love these long solo road trips…  Thank you for reading!

See you later, dear home!

See you later, dear home!

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
This entry was posted in May 2013 and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

91 Responses to Home

  1. sybil says:

    Looks like a wonderful trip “home”. I love your mom’s courtyard.

    Weather everywhere has been on the crappy side this spring hasn’t it ? We’ve just had a week of rain and chilly temperatures. I don’t think I should have to wear my sweat jacket AND a rain jacket at this time of year — do you ?

    Glad you had a good visit.

    I too sometimes enjoy travelling alone.

    Safe travels.

    • Kathy says:

      Syb, my mom will love your comment! She has been working on the sun room and courtyard for the last two years. She is such a good decorator. Her daughter did not inherit her skills. Gosh, did you see the pic of me above? Had to wear a WINTER fleece the other day. Shameful. 😉

  2. Kath Usitalo says:

    No place like home, and you obviously treasure the simple pleasures of time spent with your folks and the rest of the family and hometown friends. Nice!

    • Kathy says:

      Kath, thank you. I LOVE the simple pleasures of being with my family. Only wish we didn’t live so far away and could do it more often… Just wondering, have you ever been to the Bologna Festival here in Yale?

  3. Have a safe drive this busy weekend. Do you ever travel M66 rather than the freeway? I like it when traffic going north on the freeway gets to be too much.

    • Kathy says:

      Cindy, one of the reasons I picked Sunday to travel this weekend is because of the traffic. Think all the “up north” traffic will already be at their destination and tomorrow most of the traffic will be going south. It’s not fun being on the expressway when it gets too busy. Heck, I’ve become so much of a “country driver” that it’s challenging to see 10 cars! Are you the same way?

      • Absolutely! I am also accustomed to being able to choose my speed based on the road and weather conditions. When I travel the expressway, I need to sit down with a glass of wine as soon as I reach my destination!

  4. P.j. grath says:

    What a GREAT trip, Kathy! That fortuitous meeting of all the old friends – wow! But I want to know, did your dad go up that ladder to hang the hummingbird feeder, or did you or your mom?

    The “courtyard” looks very inviting…. Nice that your brother lives across the street….

    COLD here, too! Looked outside nervously this morning, as it was the first night I’ve left my vegetable and tender annual plants out (brought them onto the porch every other night), but while there were spots of frost, the little plants were all right. If they’d had frost on them, I would have sprayed them lightly with the hose before the sun touched them, a trick my grandfather always used to swear by.

    Looking forward to hearing about your side trip to Ontario. And curious about your halfway overnight stop on the way home. ???

    • Kathy says:

      Hi Pamela! (Have to quit answering comments soon and finish packing and Mom is making a scrambled egg & pepper breakfast, mmmmm.) No, guess who went up the ladder? I did. At least they let me be that helpful. Then it fell down next day in a windstorm and fell down and broke and we had to go buy another one.

      Have heard of that hose trick! Barry swears it works (probably via his grandfather too.)

      As for the overnight stay, simply enjoy taking the nine to ten hour trip in two stops. And love stopping at a motel. Makes it fun!

  5. Jillian says:

    I love seeing your pics of home… I also love being famous on your blog and at Nanny and Papa’s house, too! 😀 Nanny has done a fantastic job on her courtyard. Hope you had a wonderful time. Love you!

    • Kathy says:

      Jillian, I LOVE that Nanny and Papa always have a current magazine with your modeling sitting in the sun room. At least we can remember what you look like! 😉 Wish I could see you when you come visiting later this summer…

  6. Dawn says:

    What a wonderful time you had with family! Great spot your parents live, and how cool you got to see so many friends from ‘the olden days!” Your folks look great! I love traveling alone too, and definitely would have taken two days just to make the trip last longer!

    • Kathy says:

      Dawn, I can tell you understand the allure of the long slow trip from one peninsula to the next. It makes it so much more fun, doesn’t it? I spent last night in Manistique. It was a tad out of the way, but something different.

  7. You should have dropped in–I only live about 30 miles from the Windsor Detroit border–100 miles from London. You sounded like you had a great family time, and there is nothing better than that.

  8. jeffstroud says:

    I am glad you had an opportunity for family home and friends.

  9. A wonderful courtyard and sunroom. I like your Mom’s decorating style…looks clean and not fussy! I think it would be nice to have a child living across the street from me but then maybe not! Never know until it happens.
    Knowing I could go home and find my mom and dad there kept me centered and self assured for so many years. Then they were gone and I had no where to run to…no more of those great mom made breakfast and lunch and dinner….or rather dinner and supper. I miss those days and hope that those with parents will take the time to visit taking back roads home.
    It is a lovely place from your photos. Glad you had this respite. Your niece is very lovely.

    • Kathy says:

      Oh, Linda, I can not imagine how sad it will feel when my parents are gone. Simply can not imagine it. I can see how it keeps us centered and self-assured. I think my mom and dad are really enjoying having my brother across the street because he helps them so much when they need it. Only wish I were closer… (And surely my mom smiled when she read your comment about her decorating.) Thank you.

  10. xwaysseries says:

    Nice post, thanks for sharing, lovely pics too 🙂

  11. Ohhhhhhhhh Kathy – I just loved this post and the photographs of your folks and their home. I’m vicariously enjoying your solo homeward bound journey so make sure to have a blast!

    • Kathy says:

      Laurie, thank you! Glad you enjoyed this little familial pictorial. (tee hee, don’t those words sound funny?) I was tempted to put hourly updates of the trip on Facebook but held back!

  12. Barbie Stasik says:

    Seeing you made my heart feel so good! I was so excited to get that hug. I was remembering running across the orchard, you and the boys playing with me in the sandbox and wanting to be up in that fort even though I was too little. Your kindness has lasted a lifetime. I’m so glad our parents started a friendship that has continued through generations. Come home again soon…. Dear old Yale will always love you

    • Kathy says:

      Barbie, I loved seeing you, too! It’s funny–Christie Eagan was visiting on Saturday and mentioned the fort, too. I had forgotten about it! But will never forget about the sandbox and Scot playing out there for endless hours. Still keep looking for little Matchbox trucks and cars to come out of the dirt from where the sandbox used to be. So glad that our parents were friends, too, and that you are such a kind-hearted soul shining in Yale. Hoping to come back in August!

  13. So precious to meet your parents this way, Kathy.

  14. Stacy says:

    How lucky you are, Kathy, to have your childhood home to visit again. That kind of stability lends itself to wonderful memories….and the opportunity to make new ones. I love your mom’s window with the “home” blocks.

    Happy Memorial Day! ❤

    • Kathy says:

      You are so right, Stacy. Not too many people have their childhood home in which to return when they are, well, older. By the way, I told my mom about the purse theory at dinner Saturday night. She’s not buying it! lol!

  15. penpusherpen says:

    Very jealous of your Mum’s sun Room and courtyard Katy, both look like lovely sun traps. And as for tightening waistbands I totally sympathise, it’s just the ‘feeding up’ your mum’s given you, (mine used to do the same, and not allow any ‘lending a hand’ on visits) … Your hometown visit sounds full of love and special friendships revisited. . happy times are so lovely to share.. Many thanks Kathy…I really enjoyed the experience with you.. xPenx …

    • Kathy says:

      Pen, my mom’s sun room is so light and airy you could sit in it for hours! As for tightening waistbands, I vow to do better now at home. I vow. Will you hold me to it? (Glad you enjoyed the blog. Will be writing another one of the two friends I met while there.)

  16. Brian Noller says:

    Thanks for the memories. I haven’t been back to Yale for about six years now.

  17. It looks like you had a lovely trip home. Meeting up with family and friends you haven’t seen in a long time is always wonderful. It makes me miss my brother all the way out on the west coast!

    Impatiens plants were one of my mom’s favorite indoor plants, too.

    Your beautiful niece certainly belongs on the pages of that fashion magazine! 🙂

    Wishing you a safe trip back to the UP. 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Withershins, do you just have one brother? I have two, but only saw one during this trip back home. Also wondering if you plant impatiens yourself? And, happily, I am back home in the UP. And it’s warm!!!

      • I have one brother at the west coast. We only get to see him and his family every few YEARS. 😦 My other brother lives just out of town and we see him and his family every couple of months, sometimes more often.

        As for the impatiens plants, that was Mom’s forte, not mine. Unfortunately I did not inherit her green thumb. Plants do not grow for me, probably because I lose focus and forget to water them! lol

        I’m glad you’re home safe and sound – and it’s finally warm there! We may not be getting much sunshine here, but the temperatures are high enough to be comfortable. 🙂

  18. Carol says:

    What a lovely home and yard your parents have. I’m glad you didn’t ruin it with talking about buying jeans – that is frustration!

    • Kathy says:

      Gosh, Carol, it’s a good thing I didn’t go on and on about that jean shopping frustration. It was so close. I tried again to shop on the way home. NOTHING! But we’re not letting that ruin a perfectly nice visit. We won’t. 🙂 P.S. I am sure my parents loved your comment!

  19. Christie says:

    Kathy, it was so good to see you along with your parents. For those of you who have never seen Kathy’s parent house in person it is even more beautiful than the pictures can demonstrate. Her mom has a special touch for decorating, my house needs her. Safe travels back to Barry and the UP can’t wait to see you again on your next Yale trip.

    • Kathy says:

      Christie, your house isn’t the only house that needs her!! So glad we were able to get together this trip. Be prepared–I will be writing a blog about our get-together next. When I have some time! Just got home this afternoon and have to go to work tomorrow morning and try to get caught up, can you imagine? Hope we can connect again next visit. This was really fun.

  20. lisaspiral says:

    How nice to go home. I’ve been wishing for an “escape” all alone to my parents house this last week. It won’t happen, but it’s a nice thought. I get some of my best “thinking” done on those long solo car rides.

  21. What a wonderful-sounding trip, Kathy! Isn’t it grand to be on your own–just you for a road trip? Oddly, the photo that really caught my eye was the one of the sunroom with your smiling parents and those gorgeous chairs!

    • Kathy says:

      Patty, I love these on-my-own-road trips. Of course, they are equally fun with Barry or the kids, but it’s possible to get in “the zone” when you’re solo. I love the zone. How I love the zone. Glad you enjoyed my mom and dad in the sun room. My mom is probably still glowering that I snapped a picture of her. 🙂

  22. Barb says:

    And while you were visiting in the south, we took a couple of days to visit the astonishingly beautiful Pictured Rocks Lakeshore and several waterfalls. While it was indeed cold up there, and everywhere that we ventured, it is quite beautiful. And we certainly enjoyed some time spent with our lovely daughter and son-in-law!

  23. Janet says:

    Your childhood home looks so inviting and homey. Small towns are great, aren’t they?

    • Kathy says:

      Small towns are the BEST, Janet! Did you grow up in a small town, too?

      • Janet says:

        I did not grow up in a town as small as yours, or the one I am currently living in. However, it was a close knit community and being from an Italian family, everyone was my cousin. 🙂

  24. bonnie says:

    It is so nice to go home to family and have wonderful visits, and celebrate birthdays, go to T ball games, watch while others plant and enjoy special meals. You are fortunate to have such a nice family, and the opportunity to share time with them.

    • Kathy says:

      Bonnie, you have me thinking. Is it called tball? or TBall with a capital T? It was great to see everyone. I know I am so fortunate to be able to visit with family. Just wish it was possible more often…

  25. Lori D says:

    What a lovely sunroom … and visit. I guess I thought your parents lived in Florida, but I’m seeing that they’re snowbirds. Sounded like a wonderful visit. It’s always so good to go back home.

    • Kathy says:

      Lori, ok I’ll secretly share their Florida snowbird schedule with you. They go to Florida from mid-Oct. to mid-Nov. Then they fly back to Michigan and return to Florida the week after Christmas. Then they come back to MI in April. There will be a quiz. Just kiddin’!

  26. Barb says:

    Your parents’ home and property look so restful – all those colorful blooms. Hope they aren’t climbing on ladders too much though. I can see your Mom roll her eyes if she reads this. She reminds me of my own Mom – plenty feisty!

    • Kathy says:

      Barb, I was so happy to see blooms. Colors. Signs that spring really does exist. I am a little concerned about them on the ladder re-filling the hummingbird feeder, though. I climbed it while I was there, but it’s a long summer. My mom is feisty though. Let’s hope she’s quit reading these comments by now!

  27. sonali says:

    What a lovely place it seems to be. I love the lawns and the flowers. So neat! I can imagine how nice it must have been. Good to see the pictures.

    • Kathy says:

      Sonali, it would be so interesting for you to see both our Lower and Upper Peninsulas. So very different from one another. I am lucky to have known both–and happy to share them with you.

  28. Brenda Hardie says:

    Kathy, thank you for sharing pictures of your Mom and Dad and their lovely home. Your Mom has a wonderful eye for flower placement and for making the yard area feel so welcoming. I’m glad you had such a wonderful time visiting with them and other family, running into old and dear friends, celebrating the birthday of your brother, and meeting up with an internet friend. You have had a very full week! But you have created new memories which I’m sure you will treasure for a long time ♥ Safe travels the rest of the way home Kathy ♥

    • Kathy says:

      Brenda, YOU have such a wonderful way of making everyone feel good! You are right, Mom does have a great eye for flower placement. Can hardly imagine having that skill! Loved reading your comment. Also happy to be back at my “other” home here along the shore of Lake Superior, a lake we both love. Thank you.

      • Brenda Hardie says:

        Aww thank you dear friend ♥♥♥ May I ask a favor?…Please go wiggle your toes in our favorite Lake because I am missing it so much! I was talking to a clerk at the local garden center here and she was from Iron Mountain so I asked her why she left there because I love that area so much and would love to live there. She said she left because there is no work. I’m glad the nursery wasn’t terribly busy that day because we stood there visiting for a little bit, sharing our thoughts of the beautiful UP ♥ And now I feel really homesick for my favorite blue lake and the beautiful surrounding areas.

        • Kathy says:

          Brenda, next time I’m near the lake will promise (brrrrrrrr) to take off shoes and socks (brrrrrrr) and wiggle these toes (brrrrrrrr) in our favorite lake!

  29. john says:

    This is the ultimate feel good blog. I am so happy you had such a wonderful trip! Your parents are so precious.

    • Kathy says:

      John, thank you for saying that. They are very precious. I am so happy to still have them in my life–and want to spend lots more time with them, both in Yale and Florida.

  30. bearyweather says:

    Glad to hear you had a nice trip … when Spring finally comes, I feel a need to get out and travel … Spring is like a door opening up to the rest of the world … don’t you think?

    • Kathy says:

      Yes, bearyweather, I so agree! Spring does get our feathers going for some travel. Hopefully you can travel a bit when school gets out. Even if it’s simply traveling out to your favorite places in the woods and along the shores of Lake Superior.

  31. dorannrule says:

    You are so fortunate to be going home now and then. Your parents look so sweet and their home is beautiful. Reading this post was riveting from beginning to end. Safe journey to the UP. P.S. I love it that your town has a Bologna Festival!

    • Kathy says:

      Yes, I am fortunate to be able to go home, Dor. Glad you enjoyed reading this and *can you believe* there’s such a thing as a Bologna Festival? It’s because people always enjoyed a local grocery store that made homemade bologna. Imagine that!

  32. Heather says:

    I can’t believe you travel alone. Tony and I are inseparable 😉
    I love when the already great trips back home turn into magical homecomings. Our list visit home was like that – full of friend reunions. Happy birthday to your baby brother, and safe travels!

    • Kathy says:

      Heather, I think it’s wonderful that you and Tony are inseparable. That is so sweet! Barry and I have been soloists (ha ha) since the beginning. For one thing, he can’t get off work for a week. For a second thing, his back gives him problems in the car long-distance. For a third thing, I get in “da zone” when I travel alone and it’s one of the best parts of my life. Weird, huh?

  33. lucindalines says:

    So wonderful that you took us on this trip with you. Sounds like such fun to see those old friends. Also love that owl wind chime.

    • Kathy says:

      Lucinda, so glad that you enjoyed this. It is interesting how many seemed to like this peek into my childhood home. I loved the owl wind chime, too. So cute!

  34. Nothing like a visit home, is there? And I love your description of the weather as bi-polar!

    • Kathy says:

      You are so right, Inger. Visiting home can be so special. As for the bi-polar weather, what other words describe it so accurately? It’s up, it’s down, it’s all over the place! Thank you.

  35. me2013 says:

    It sounds like you had a wonderful time Kathy, lovely memories to take home with you.

    • Kathy says:

      Lovely memories, indeed! I am back home now and so happy that it was possible to take that trip downstate and spend more time with Mom and Dad.

  36. msmcword says:

    As I was reading this post and looking at your wonderful photos I felt as if I was visiting your family with you.
    Thank you for “introducing” them to me.

    • Kathy says:

      Nancy, happy to have provided an introduction! It’s so interesting how so many seemed to enjoy this post. Glad to have shared with you.

  37. I can’t believe you’d even dare to breathe the words “jeans shopping” into an otherwise lovely post — creates storm clouds for me when I think about pants shopping after our never-ending winter! 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Kat, it was a pretty close call there. I almost got in a clothes shopping rant. Phew! Thank the Universe for stopping it in time! LOL!

  38. Sounds like an awesome trip! Love the flower pictures. (Of course). 🙂

  39. Robin says:

    Sounds (and looks!) like a beautiful visit/trip. 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Thank you, Robin, it was! Hard to believe that it’s been two weeks now since I hugged my parents in their garage and drove back up north…

  40. Reggie says:

    Your mom and dad have the most beautiful house, with so many pretty, homely touches – love it!

    And imagine meeting so many friends from your past all in one go! Warms the heart…

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