Well now I guess it is official. As of April 8, 2019 I have become a Michigander.
Six months ago my husband and I moved from northern Illinois to St Johns, Michigan – just about 20 miles north of the state capital of Lansing. Never in our wildest dreams did we think we would spend the last years of our life in Michigan.
Both of us were born and raised in Illinois. My husband was in the USAF for 20 years so he spent much of his early adult life out of the state. However, upon his retirement he returned to what was home.
I spent a couple of years out-of-state also but most of my 71 years has been spent in Illinois.
boyhood home of Ronald Reagan
Major winter storms, deadly tornadoes and spectacular heat and cold waves.
The worst state in the union for financial stability
Last October we moved to Michigan and rented a small house. We were not sure we would like St Johns and did not want to make a commitment until we determined whether we liked it or not. We followed our daughter and her family here and said we would give it a year’s trial.
After six months we like Michigan, we discovered we like Michigan.
The Mackinac Bridge – one of the longest suspension bridges in the world
Battle Creek – cereal capital of the world
So we purchased a condo and on April 8 – my birthday – we signed the closing documents.
All this week we have been packing boxes and moving the smaller items. Since we moved only a mile away we were able to actually hang up pictures and put up curtains. Today family and friends helped us move the heavy furniture.
So now here we are – officially Michigander or Michiganian or whatever!
On January 26, 1837 the state of Michigan became the 26th state in the United States of America.
That makes the state 182.
I have only lived here four months but I have found so much that is interesting and I can hardly wait until spring to begin exploring.
With 3,200 miles of shoreline Michigan claims more lighthouses than any other state.
Big Sable Point Light
Michigan touches four out of the five great lakes, more than any other state: Huron, Michigan, Erie and Superior.
The legendary children’s story of Paul Bunyan is believed to be based on a French-Canadian lumberjack Fabian Fournier, who moved to Michigan after the Civil War to take advantage of the high-paying logging industry. While Minnesota also claims Bunyan as theirs, two towns in Michigan make that claim. Ossineke has a giant statue of Paul Bunyan and Babe, his blue ox.
The Cross in the Woods Catholic shrine in Indian River has a 55′ foot cross carved from one redwood tree. Raised in 1954, a sculpture of the crucified Christ was added to the cross in 1959. My husband and I visited this shrine several years ago when vacationing in Michigan but I am looking forward to seeing it again come spring.
Mackinaw Island is high on my list of places to visit. The island sits between Michigan’s Upper and Lower peninsulas. Since I’m a history nut I want to visit Fort Mackinac which was founded in 1780. Another fort, Fort Holmes, was built during the wall of 1812 and has been reconstructed. No cars are allowed on the island so that should make travel interesting.
Mode of transportation on this island
Mackinaw Bridge is one my husband and I crossed on our first visit here. It is a little scary if you are afraid of heights. The towers reach 554 feet above the surface water. Five miles long it is the longest suspension bridge in the Americans. Known as “Big Mac” it links Michigan’s Lower and Upper peninsulas. When we planned our trip in Michigan a few years ago it included crossing this brige to the upper peninsula. I was fine until I read how high the bridge was. Then panic set in because I have a terrible fear of heights. When we drive through a mountainous area, I often have to close my eyes to avoid a complete panic attack. Caught between my fear of heights and my desire to see the upper peninsula, I started my day with my devotion before we headed to the car for the trip. What a pleasant surprise as I read the devotion for that day. So thankful that God cares even about our silly fears. The devotion from the book of Habakkuk that day said:
Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.
The Lord God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places
I was now calm and ready to go. My husband has no fear of heights and was not concerned about driving across the bridge. However, when we were about half way across the bridge I looked at him and he looked terrified too. It is a beautiful sight – but I’m not sure my husband is ready to drive over it again. We shall see.
There’s so much more to see, learn and explore. But for now, Happy Birthday Michigan!