Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Ode To Michigan

John and I are Arizona natives, born and raised in the land of the sun! Kyle and Zach were also born here. Then when Kyle was 2 years old, and Zach was 10 months we moved to Michigan. We lived there for over 8 years. Erica & Lexi were born in Michigan. It's what the boys remember of their childhood years, when asked where they are from, the boys answer Michigan, not Arizona. They root for the Detroit sports teams before the Phoenix teams. Fall always makes me think of Michigan. When we first moved there we learned that the word Weather has many different meanings. In Arizona, we go from Sunny & Hot, to Sunny & Warm, and if we're lucky we get Sunny & Cool. I love the Sunshine, but I also learned to love having different seasons. In Michigan the weather changes often.

Fall was always our favorite time of year there. Remember we grew up with Palm Trees & Cactus, neither of which change colors. But the fall in Michigan is so Beautiful! All the leaves turn every color from Green to Orange to Bright Yellow and Red. It really is amazing. And one of our favorite things to do every year as a family while we lived there was to go to the Pumpkin Patch. We would ride the hayride out to the Pumpkin patch and choose our pumpkins, then get back on the hayride and ride into the apple orchid and pick a bushel of apples. (For City Folk, this is very fun and exciting!) Then the hayride would take us back into the Cider Mill where we would have Apple Cider and cinnamon donuts. Yum! Then we'd go home and carve our pumpkins and make & eat the pumpkin seeds. Great Memories! We have really missed this since we've moved away from Michigan.

Since that time, occasionally we have bought pumpkins from the store to carve, but it's hasn't really been the same. We moved back to Arizona after a couple of other states along the way. And we heard about a pumpkin patch up in Prescott. (about an hour and a half north of us here in Phoenix) So our first year here, a lot of my family all drove up there for a fun day, we were in 3 or 4 cars & vans. And right before we got there a storm hit. They closed the place down. No Hayride, nothing. They wouldn't even let us buy a pumpkin to take with us. We just had to turn around and drive back down the mountain. The next year that pumpkin patch was sold and closed down for good. So much for reliving our Michigan memories. The girls have gotten to go to a pumpkin patch on a school field trip when they were younger, but it's not quite the same thing.

We've been back in Arizona for almost 7 years now, and every year at this time we still talk about how much we miss Michigan and how much fun that was. So, last week when the kids were off school for Fall break and John was off work we did something about it. We found a local place that sells pumpkins, and they have a 10 acre corn field maze. It was fun. We made our way through the maze (3 & 1/2 miles). Of course, being in Arizona, we were in the middle of a corn field and it was 93 degrees out. (It was never 93 degrees in Michigan! But, anything under 100 is Fall to us!) And I kept flashing back to my teenage years when there was a movie out called Children of the Corn. But we made it through okay. We Choose our pumpkins and carved them that night and our Pumpkins seeds were the best! Here are a few pic.'s of our adventures, then and now.

We miss you Michigan. Know that we think of you, and talk about you often. Some of our favorite memories, and most cherished friendships are from there. (Don't worry Arizona, I love you too and we'll sing your praises in another post at another time, but right now is all about Michigan!) Good Times, Good Friends, Good Memories. We love you.


Darcine said...

It's so funny that you were missing Michigan. I too loved the apple cider and donuts. The fall activities were always so homey. However, autumn also makes me miss California. I almost go crazy. This is our second autumn away from sunny California. Although we didn't have a drastic change in weather, all the fall activities were starting. I'd see all my friends again, as well as the kids, because we were all shuffling back to school. The harvest is very nostalgic. The smells, events,weather, and even Starbucks (they have a pumpkin spice latte every fall) make me favor this season. I'd walk to the Starbucks with a friend and get our nails done. There is a sense of routine that comes over me. I'm very organized. Going to the beach was always so pleasant, too. It was very cool, but beautiful. All the vacationers are gone, and the beach is very quiet. Maybe autumn is just so fabulous because it brings in Christmas. I don't know, but I really love it. Thanks for making me cry. :O) I sure do love you, Star.

stefanie said...

I agree, fall does bring in nostalgia. What a touching ode you wrote, and the pictures were special too!

Ronnica said...

I've always wanted to live in Arizona. Love the weather. But I think occasionally I'd miss the other seasons, especially around the holidays.

Betty said...

I know what you mean about palm trees and cactus not changing color. For us, the first sign of fall is when we finally get some rain. I miss the falls in Canada. They were always so colorful!

Thanks for making my BATW day perfect yesterday!