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Thursday, April 20, 2017

A Very Quick Road Trip

What am I showing you?

We drove down to Kalamazoo on Saturday and back home on Sunday. A “flying visit,” David called it. The occasion was the first birthday of our twin great-grandsons, and fortunately we left the rain behind as we drove south, so the indoor-outdoor birthday open house took place on a beautifully sunny, felt-summery day. Those little boys were good as gold, as well as infinitely more precious!

Boys with their parents

With their mom and great-greandparents!

All the warm sun on Saturday and a little overnight rain meant that things were really starting to pop by Sunday morning. All over southwest Michigan, flowering bulbs and spring ephemerals were up and doing their thing, and trees too were starting to burst into bloom.

Trillium! Flowers not open yet, but still!

But of all the growing things I saw along the way down and back, nothing impressed me more than the pine trees I planted with my first husband about 40 years ago in Barry County. They were big the last time I saw them, but now they appear to my eye as giants! My opening photograph shows me showing them to you, but you need to step back to get the full effect:

We planted five hundred little trees back in the Seventies. I'd have to walk three sides of the 10-acre property to see how many survived and thrived, but how can they be so huge, i.e., how can I be so old?

House and barn look good, but I was disappointed to note that installation of new siding lost the old wide board under the roof overhang that served as an architectural clue to the age of the house, indicating that it was built before the Civil War. 

barn and garage


This might be the first trip, road or otherwise, that I’ve ever taken without bringing at least one book along, but I knew the hours away would be more than full and that I would be very tired come bedtime on Saturday. Back home Sunday I finished Claude McKay’s Home to Harlem (was close to the end night before travel) and returned to an ARC (The Mapmaker's Daughter, by Katherine Nouri Hughes) I’d barely started before the trip, but my mind is also very full with ideas for our evening on May 9 with Sarah Shoemaker. Big plans are taking shape! Here's a hint: Think about showing up as early as 6 p.m. for the 7-9 book event. What's up? You'll hear all about it very soon!

Ah, spring! Exhausting but wonderful! And a very big season coming up, too.

A tired dog is a good dog!


Deborah said...

Loved reading about the trip. I'm absolutely amazed at how large those trees are! And of course seeing the photos brought back memories of visiting you and Ian back there. Great birthday photo of twins with Great Grandparents and their Mom Lyric!

P. J. Grath said...

Lots of memories for me there, too, Deborah. My vegetable garden, the song sparrow who sang from a fencepost back by the garden, the baby pony I rescued, cabbage butterflies coming to puddles in the driveway, trips to Delton to visit the old library in the little red brick bank building. Building is still there, but there's a big new library. Bowen's restaurant is still on the edge of town, also, but no more drive-in, and they got rid of the sign we loved so much, "Chicken by the Bucket"! And yes, b'day party was great!

Barbara Stark-Nemon said...

What a delight in every way!

P. J. Grath said...

There was even more, Barbara, thanks to an evening spent with old friends.