Friday, April 15, 2016

April 15: Queen Mary, Grand Rapids, Vacation

When I look across the street, I can't believe my eyes.  Right behind the road's shoulder are waves, waves whipped in rhythmically peaking scallops, racing downstream.  The hill where I watched the praying mantis lay her eggs is a waterfall that splashes into a brown ocean.  I can't even remember where the creek usually runs--it is everywhere now.  My log is gone for sure, I think--but in fact, I discover later, it holds, rammed between growing trees.  Only the cable suspending the steers' fence is visible, and not the fence itself; the steers' pasture is entirely in flood, a brown river.  The river leaps its banks and smashes into the woods where the motorbikes go, devastating all but the sturdiest trees.  The water is so deep and wide it seems as though you could navigate the Queen Mary in it, clear to Tinker Mountain.

Spring is rushing into Tinker Creek, a great brown sea that rewrites the entire landscape.  It's probably something that happens every year.  Downing weak trees, washing away pastures.  When all is said and done, after the snow has melted and runoff charged through, Tinker Creek will settle into summer.  New and wide.

Greetings from Grand Rapids.  It has been a long day of travel.  As we drove, we passed through valleys where spring runoff had flooded pastures, the waves practically lapping at the roads.  Yes, like Dillard, I saw quite a few bodies of water that looked big enough for the Queen Mary to come sailing by.

It was a relatively painless journey.  Yes, my seven-year-old son had a few meltdowns.  Yes, my daughter wanted to abandon her brother at a Subway in Gaylord, Michigan.  And, indeed, my wife over-packed yet again.  We came down here with a small grocery store in the back of my sister's van.

The members of our Grand Rapids landing party include myself, my wife and daughter and son, my sister, and my daughter's boyfriend.  We have three days of dance competitions and eating and shopping ahead of us.  I'm going to try to make the best of my time down here, because it will probably be the only vacation I get this summer.  (By the way, it is seventy degrees down here.  For a Yooper, that sort of feels like July.)

I am happy.  I'm with people I love.  The weather's great.  I'm about a half mile away from a Barnes & Noble.  Tomorrow, I get to see my daughter dance and have a really good steak dinner, hopefully.

Marty is a very happy saint this evening.

My daughter and her boyfriend

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