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Ramblin’ Road: Our return to Michigan is approaching

by Phyllis McCrossin

In less than two weeks we will be leaving for Michigan. The winter has flown by.

Last week I wrote about the “check engine” light going on in the truck. After I sent my column out to Dave and King and I were in bed for the evening, he rolled over and said, “Remind me to check the gas cap in the morning.”  That was it. Problem solved. But we have made an appointment to have the sensor checked on Tuesday.

Sigh. I miss my Dad’s 1965 Ford.  In fact, I’m all for trading in our computerized truck for a 1965 model with a manual transmission. (It’s not going to happen).

We spent a busy week with the grandsons. The boys spent Saturday night camping with us and on Sunday we took them out on the Sunrise Highway to see the last of the snow. There was not much left, but they had a good time playing in the patches of snow we found in the shade on the north sides of the mountain. Our daughter’s goal is to someday take them to Big Bear for a week of playing in the snow – the real stuff, not just patches of it.

While our daughter is bracing herself for six months of juggling work and the boys’ schedules, our children in Michigan are asking when we plan to return. As our 21-year-old granddaughter put it, “I don’t see you that often when you are back in Michigan, but just knowing you are closer makes a difference.”

King and I are making our plans. First on our agenda when we get back will be scheduling our COVID vaccines. Yes, we will be getting them.  We happen to believe in science. We social distance and wear masks.

In the meantime we have one last outing planned for here in California. Our daughter has booked a whale watching excursion.  I’ve been on one once before – the only time the entire season the charter spotted no whales. Maybe this time will be more successful.

I’ve spent a lot of time on the open water from the time my father had a sailboat he took out on Lake Michigan.  The fresh air and wind were always exhilarating.  So I was quite surprised with myself two years ago when I got just a tidge seasick on the whale watching trip.

I was, in fact, relieved that the failed whale watching excursion was over — that queasy “oh my God I can’t believe I feel this way, and please don’t make me talk,” feeling was something I’d never experienced. This time I will take Dramamine and take my chances with falling asleep and swear off the Bloody Marys (I rather like olives).

So while it is rather iffy if I will have found my sea legs on this trip, we already KNOW King does not do well on the open water. The one time he ventured out on Dad’s sailboat was also the only time my mother slapped me.

It was October, he and I were home from college for a friend’s wedding.  A group of us decided to go for a sail on a Saturday afternoon. We packed a picnic lunch and enjoyed sloppy joes, brownies and potato salad all the way through the Saugatuck channel. (I think you know where this is going).

We got out onto the lake and the swells were five to six feet. I climbed out to the bow of the boat to untangle some lines for the sail, turned around and said, “Gee Michael (his real name) you look kinda green.” That was when my mother slapped my legs (she was sitting in the hold, I was standing on the seat). “Be still” was all she said. Mom NEVER, even in dire circumstances, ever said, “Shut up.”

In this instance it probably would have been appropriate.

It took poor King three days to feel normal again. To this day he turns a little green simply driving a boat on an inland lake for skiing.

King one for the grandsons.

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