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First of all, I have no photos of the dead possum.  We’re not even certain it was a possum.  It was a tragedy for the little animal which ran directly into the path of our car as we drove along Lake Huron. 

Thank goodness we didn’t swerve.  There were cars coming toward us and behind us.  The poor possum simply wanted to cross the road and reach the woods on the other side.  My mom and I both felt terrible as the sickening thud sounded when cute little animal crunched beneath the tires.

Perhaps we shouldn’t talk any more about it…but we both felt bad for the little fellow…

Swan in the Lexington Marina

Swan in the Lexington Marina

After we shopped at the Port Huron mall and lunched on salads at Garfield’s, it was time for an outdoor adventure. We had read that a Civil War Re-enactment was taking place in Lexington, a town less than a dozen miles to the north.

So off to the Civil War Re-enactment we drove!  However.  I am once again sad to report there are no photos of civil war heroes.  No guns, cannons, muskets, Union or Confederate flags.  We never could really locate the hub of activity.

Instead we meandered along the shore, walking along the pier, truly luxuriating in the beautiful June afternoon along Lake Huron.  Everyone reading this blog would have enjoyed it.  You could have even bought a cup of coffee before your stroll.  Like I did.  Except poor Mom had to keep holding the coffee cup while I took pictures.  (She didn’t seem to mind!  What a good Mom she is !)

Rather tame Red-wing blackbird along the pier

Rather tame Red-wing blackbird along the pier

We pondered why we don’t do things like this more often.  The best part of this blog and outdoor commitment has been that it keeps all of us active and trying new things.  Instead of staying on the worn and beaten path, we try new trails.  We linger looking out over the lake.  We congratulate ourselves on trying new adventures.

Laughing young girls enjoying the afternoon

Laughing young girls enjoying the afternoon

Speaking of laughing young girls, it was delightful spending time with the nieces and nephews again later this afternoon (after our time in Lexington).  Our nephew flew in from Florida in the middle of the night and regaled us with stories about his life down in Fort Myers.  So fun to see him.

Here is a photo of another niece, the youngest, surrounded by three lively and engaging dogs.  Guess you’ve seen all the nieces now! 

Another beautiful niece (plus Chloe, Mazy and Cami)

Another beautiful niece (plus Chloe, Mazy and Cami)

Finally, I wanted to take a photo of the very last standing live apple tree in the backyard. When we were kids, at least a dozen apple trees, maybe more, served as our playground.  We had a sandbox, swings, tire swing, forts and all sorts of fun beneath the apple trees.  We climbed them, dreamed in them, and played in them for most of our childhood.  My two brothers and I loved those trees.

The apple orchard was planted years back when this sub-division was a sprawling farm.  An old wooden wagon nestled beneath one of the trees.  It’s kind of sad and nostalgic to say goodbye to the apple orchard…unless perhaps one of these baby apples might drop to the ground and re-seed another orchard sometime in the future.

Remnants of Johnny Appleseed...

Remnants of Johnny Appleseed...

Tomorrow is the graduation party, and by tomorrow night at this time a friend and I will be driving north.  Back toward the Upper Peninsula, after a wonderful week here in the Lower Peninsula with friends and family.

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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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