After what seemed to be an almost unbearable week of no schedule, transitions with going to & coming from Ex’s house, and the culmination of summer, we managed to work all of the conditions just right so that we could get SmallBoy to Michigan for the weekend. Since I had to be home in time to sing at mass on Sunday, we had to return Saturday evening.
With the sky still dark, and just the beginnings of daybreak peering through the shadow of the dawn; with the Birdie-Birds starting to chatter and the world beginning to wipe the sleep from their eyes, we woke SmallBoy up at 5:18 Friday morning. He was a little reluctant to awaken until he realized that it was “Michigan Day!” Thankfully, his bag was already packed and all I needed to do was add a few more items for him – toothbrush, sensory tunnel, a couple extra pairs of socks & underwear…the basics. Once he was dressed and ready to roll, he went out to the car and waited patiently until PC and I caught up.
We were in need of something to start our engines, despite our unusual state of awakedness. The local coffee shop, just down the street from our house, opened at , and so we drove down on our way to the expressway, hoping that someone would be willing to serve us 15minutes early. Fortunately, someone was there and willing to take our money in exchange for coffee and muffins. SmallBoy split a lemon poppyseed muffin with me and, to his surprise, discovered that he LOVES almonds. Aha! Trying something new without knowing it! As we pulled on to the expressway, the sky a slightly lighter shade of gray, we reminded SmallBoy that the question, “are we there yet,” would only be answered affirmatively once we were actually parked in
The morning had finally made its grand entrance, though still gray and rainy on parts of our journey. When we reached Home, we decided to pass our entrance and proceed straight into South Haven and hit the Golden Brown Bakery to see if we would finally have the good fortune to happen upon fresh blueberry coffee cake. We rolled into town amid the morning hustle and bustle – I had forgotten that for the rest of the world, it was still a work day. The bakery, of course,was crowded, mostly with tourists waiting to get their fresh baked delicacies; in
Just south of South Haven, we turned into our park. What a breath of relief to turn that final corner and see our cottage, bordered with red and white impatiens along the deck, greeting us, welcoming us Home. She is nestled in a valley that is lush with greens and browns, trees, ivy, myrtle, sasafrass, ferns…it’s breathtaking. Our excitement to start out and show SmallBoy as much as we could in the next 36hours overtook our need to dive face first into the coffee cake that had been tempting our tastebuds all the way back in from town. We tossed our bags in our room, did a quick check for my camera, which has been AWOL since the last trip to
Within the last couple of weeks one of the nasty storms that rolled through south east Michigan did some damage to one of the decks that leads from the road down to the beach and we were anxious to see if it had been repaired and to see what the beach looked like as a result. As it is with the earth, rain has a massive impact on the appearance of, form, texture of the earth’s surface, so it wasn’t at all surpising to us when we reached the beach, after descending the fortified deck stairs, to see how much of the beach had washed out from under the stairs, how many rocks now made their home snug in the beach sand that once was smooth as a baby’s bottom. Not surprising either, was the size of the beach and how far in the wet sand came before the dry.
We strolled down to the water and tested to see if it was warm enough to swim. PC & SmallBoy walked right in. I started with trepidation and toe dips. After the initial shock of the cold had worked its way through my veins, my body adjusted itself and the water began to feel somewhat soothing. The guys set off ahead of me looking for stones and beach glass. One my favorite pictures, had I a camera to show you, was when PC took the time to stop and show SmallBoy how to skip a stone. He showed SmallBoy the kinds of flat, lighter weight, smooth-ish rocks to look for and then, with the patience of a father, showed him how to hold the rock, how to “wind up for the pitch”, and how to launch the rock. Now for SmallBoy, this is difficult, as skipping a stone involves throwing it with one’s arm at a very odd place, which for an Aspie is something COMPLETELY different. SmallBoy met it with great excitement. He got discouraged when he didn’t do it exactly right on the first try, but he kept trying. With PC’s constant cheering, advice, encouragement, guidance, and love, he managed to actually get a skip or two out of a couple of the rocks. I joined in the fun and, for the first time in my life, managed to skip a couple stones. It was such great fun!
We walked north along the beach, ran in terror from a couple of giant horseflies that must have thought we were invading their turf, skipped stones and danced our feet in the surf. We reached “The Circle”, which serves as homebase for our park, home to the soda bar, and some former hotel cottages. As we came off of The Green, the patio of the sodabar, we caught the quiet morning sun finally getting comfortable in the sky over the meadow, through which runs the
We spotted fresh foot and pawprints and it was evident that we were not the first ones to visit this particular place that day. Sadly, the frogs were no where to be found, either in hiding from the previous visitors or off adventuring somewhere else in the park. Instead of being disappointed, though, SmallBoy was enthralled as PC showed him the places where he, as a young boy, used to find frogs.
Eventually, the mosquitoes won the battle for my blood and we decided it was time to head back and slime up with bug spray. The good kind – which to most people is the bad kind….loads of DEET, because I was not ready to sacrifice any more of my blood, nor run the risk of
Stay tuned for the next installment.