In Search of…

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N. Gould City Road

I smile when I remember our search for the quilt store on N. Gould City Road in the eastern half of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. We decided to do one more camping trip before Jim got our away-from-home home ready for its long winter nap. Our destination was St. Ignace on the other side of the Big Mac bridge, where we could get Bessie’s Pasties (click on link to learn more about them) and explore back roads, small towns, and shorelines of that part of the Upper Peninsula.

Just before we left home I checked out the 10-day weather forecast for the second week of September (cloudy, really cold at night, and some rain) and if there are any quilting stores in the region (two). I made notes of important information on each store and collected squares of fabric I’m using for quilts I’m working on so I could get a new new fabrics. I put these very important items on the table with other items to pack in our electronic and reading bags. I felt so organized and so excited about spending some time in a different location – one with quilt stores I haven’t visited. I packed up my lap top and Jim’s tablet along with cords and chargers for my I-pod and Kindle. I packed assorted items for our reading enjoyment on cold, wet evenings as we have a cup of chamomile tea and molasses cookies. And I left my notes and swatches on the table; they didn’t seem to belong in either of those bags and I didn’t put them in my pocket or the truck.

No sweat – I knew what I needed to know to find the stores and get what I needed. Tuesday was suppose to be cloudy so I thought it a good day to look for the first quilting shop and because state highway 2 follows the northern edge of Lake Michigan, we could maybe stop for a stroll on the beach. I didn’t have the address but I remembered the road it was on, and remembered the map that was on their Facebook page. Jim was doubtful when we turned onto N. Gould City Road because it was a dirt road and looked very wilderness-like. But I knew it was right so he drove, and drove, we saw a couple of houses, and he drove, and drove, and drove some more. He suggested it couldn’t be on this road, and I said it was. He suggested we turn around, and I suggested we go a little further. And he drove some more.

We carry a very old book of Michigan county maps that has every road and fire lane ever created. Many years ago we used it to search for ghost towns in the Upper Peninsula and now we use it to track where we are when we are almost lost. We found the paved road that goes to the small town of Curtis and Jim wondered if the quilt store was there. I said it was on the dirt road and asked to go a little further. We eventually went back to Curtis.

It was very good decision because we found an ice cream store and we were the only customers. Wearing our masks, I ordered Mackinaw City Fudge that I ate while sitting on a bench watching the water gently moving around rushes on the shore of South Manistique Lake. The ice cream was the best I have had in a very long time and I had a loaf of cinnamon bread that the owner said made really good french toast.

I also popped in the Chamber of Commerce to ask about the quilt shop. There was a local man sitting in a chair across the desk from the woman who worked there. I could tell they were having a relaxed conversation and they invited me in. Keeping a good distance from them, I asked and they looked puzzled. I said it was on N. Gould City Rd. and that sparked a memory – must have been the Thompsons. He died a couple of years ago and she closed her business.

It’s strange how a dish of amazing ice cream and a loaf of cinnamon bread can ease the disappointment of not visiting a quilting store. We took some back roads to St. Ignace and enjoyed some delicious split pea soup for supper. What a good day!

Lesson in Perspective

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This is my last post for Becky’s Square Perspective challenge and I’m a little late but it is still July 31 in the Eastern Time Zone of the U.S., so I can still post my most intriguing exploration of perspective. And think about what I learned through my camera.

The above square is a photo of the flower of a hens & chicks plant. I have some growing along the sidewalk in a really dry area leading to the front door. I’m not happy when they bloom because I’ve never found the flowers attractive.

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I bought this single “hen” at the garden center in the spring but realized when I got home that I already had some of these with reddish leaves. I set it down in the garden thinking I would get to it later, and much later (like weeks later) I found it on the ground still not planted. My compassion for all things living compelled me to dig a hole and stuff it in. There. End of guilt.

To my surprise it bloomed just a few weeks later. No spreading, no chicks, and no attention from me. Just this one little plant with a big ugly bloom coming out of it. And I heard it begging me to take its picture as I was recording what was blooming in my late July garden. It had been a while since I worked at this type of macro photography so I decided to take a stab at using my camera to get a closer look. My aging body doesn’t do well getting down low to peer at little things close to the ground.

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What a surprise when I edited photos to find how beautiful the small flowers are. There has to be a lesson here, don’t you think. If I hadn’t gotten close and intimate with this flower I didn’t like, didn’t see any beauty in, didn’t even respect or appreciate it enough to give it a proper planting – if I hadn’t taken the time to care and really look at it I wouldn’t have ever known how beautifully unique it is.

Morning Perspective

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This is one of my favorite new flowers, especially when the first rays of sun peak through the trees to the east in a way that lights it’s golden petals. I love the loose blooming style and the red stems. They also have a long blooming season and are easy to dead-head. I wish I knew it’s name as I don’t think I got an information tag with it and don’t even remember where I purchased it. Can anyone out there help me?

This is in response to Becky’s Square Perspective challenge.