When my mom and dad open the door and walk outside, this is what they see across the street:

The house of my brother's family

The house of my brother's family

When my brother, sister-in-law, three daughters, one son (now in Florida) and three little dogs walk outside this is their view:

My parent's house (and my childhood home)

My parent's house (and my childhood home)

There is so much to share about Life in Yale.  Where to start?  What to do first?

Dad decided we might want to buy a cappuccino this morning uptown.  (It’s of interest to me why in some towns you go “uptown” while in other towns you go “downtown”. )  I decided to walk and meet him.  It’s less than a mile.  Maybe less than a half mile.

It’s such a nostalgic walk.  My friends and I walked this walk a hundred times over the years, maybe a thousand times.  Yale is a rather small town, maybe 2000 inhabitants. We live on the acreage of an old farm and farmlands, which was turned into a subdivision back in the 1950’s and ’60’s.  We moved here when I was five.

Back then the landscape was flat and barren (except for an old apple orchard in our  backyard) with very few trees.  In the ensuring years it has grown into a shady tree-laden area.  It feels peaceful and very “small town”.  At noon the Noon Whistle blows.  Actually, it’s a fire siren.  You can hear the church bells peal on the hour.  It’s quaint.  Almost Norman Rockwall-like.

Mill Creek

Mill Creek

The Mill Creek runs through town.  It’s the wild overgrown uncultivated wilderness.  A few years ago I convinced a couple nieces to wander along its shores.  Now THAT was a wild and crazy adventure.  Can you imagine how muddy our shoes were when we finally found our way to their house.  Their mother probably wanted to send Aunt Kathy back to the Upper Peninsula, immediately. 

Where chestnuts will ripen later this summer

Where chestnuts will ripen later this summer

The natural landscape of a place stays with you, even after you leave it.  A chestnut tree eventually litters chestnuts all over the sidewalk on the walk uptown.  I still dream about this tree.  Also about the smell of the dirt.  It smells so different than the dirt in the Upper Peninsula. This smell brings a nostalgia so deep and poignant.

Not the poison ivy. I am not fond of poison ivy down here.  We don’t have a great relationship.  And, for some odd reason, it’s still challenging to identify this plant.  Even though folks have shared photos and warnings for years.  Thank goodness there’s not much poison ivy in the U.P.  At the Tom Brown Jr. Wilderness Survival school (actually his Philosophy workshop) in New Jersey in the early 1990’s I contracted poison ivy on my wrist in January.  The only place of exposed skin.  Very susceptible to the ivy’s charm, you can see.

After cappuccino, I wanted to walk back home via the oxbow swamp, but  school was letting out for the year.  Hundreds of students, cars, loud music, gleeful shouts ensued.  I couldn’t cross the road and ended up on a twenty minute detour.  You wonder how this can happen in a small town.  Fortunately, my childhood best friend lived on the detour, so it was fun to stop by her home to say “Hello!”

Another childhood friend, the daisy fleabane, smiled up along the way.  Our daisy fleabanes are not yet blooming in the U.P.

Daiy fleabane, aren't they cute?

Daiy fleabane, aren't they cute?

My mom loves to landscape around the house and has some interesting flowers.  This clematis winds up a trellis on the patio.  We have enjoyed so many summer dinners out there.  Today my dad and I moved the outdoor furniture from the shed to the patio.  If the weather ever warms up we shall sit out there in the late afternoon (perhaps with a glass of wine or cup of tea) and admire the back yard.  Perhaps you shall see more pictures later.

Pretty pink clematis

Pretty pink clematis

And finally, would you like to see a picture of two of my three beautiful nieces? They were just over at the house.  We had a delightful time laughing and sharing stories.  The main reason for this year’s trip downstate is a high school graduation party for the young lady on the left. 

Oh so beautiful nieces (& there's a third one, too)

Oh so beautiful nieces (& there's a third one, too)

We’re headed down to Port Huron soon for dinner and perhaps more photo opportunities.  Goodnight all!

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