We are now in “high season.” This very week was 4th of July and, of course, still is Cherry Festival in Traverse City. Cherry harvest is a little late here in the northernmost part of Leelanau County, due to an unusually cold April. We’ve certainly had warm weather lately, though, and the summer people and tourists are swarming to restaurants, shops, tasting rooms, and beaches. High season is the busiest time of year for almost everyone in Leelanau County.
But Kim Schneider, my July 5 TEA guest, must have inspired me, because on Friday morning I jumped the traces for a modest morning adventure.
After hanging laundry out before sunrise, I made it to the farm market before official opening hour (most of the vendors ready for business), did bank and post office errands, and then took myself, with Sarah, out for a slow drive to Peterson Park and a stroll around the grounds for — hard to believe — my first visit of the year. Peterson Park looks different with the old dead trees taken down and new little trees of various species planted. Probably a lot like the early days, one third-generation local observed, except that this time a monoculture planting was avoided, which bodes well for the park’s future. With more open area, the views are longer and wider. There is a shaded picnic shelter and also tables in the sun, so take your pick. Whenever I go up there in the morning, with coffee or without, I think what a lovely vacation breakfast gathering spot the place would make, especially on summer Fridays. Fruit and croissants from the farm market, fresh coffee, maybe cook up some bacon and eggs on one of the park grills.
Sarah and I didn’t take the rustic stairs down to the beach. (That much time we didn’t have.) Peterson Park beach, though, is my favorite place to send people who want to hunt along the shore for Petoskey stones. Kim Schneider asked people who came to her TEA event for their suggestions of ideas she could add if 100 Things to Do in Traverse City Before You Die goes to a second edition. (Would an enlarged second edition have to be called 150 [or however many] Things to Do, etc.? I don’t know.) I’d definitely have Peterson Park on my list, and my other suggestion would be the pow-wow in August in Peshawbestown, an event I sometimes find difficult to fit into my calendar — so much going on all summer! — yet whenever I get there, the chance to relax under the trees and watch the dancers brings peace to my spirit. I call it “that pow-wow feeling,” and it’s another way for me to slow down and simply be here. Important to take advantages of quiet moments and hours along the way, isn’t it?
Back in town, I did my last pre-opening errand on foot, pausing on the corner of Mill and Nagonaba to appreciate what I've always called my "lipstick" roses. I rescued the bush when I was working in a friend's garden business and one client wanted all his old roses dug out and replaced with new hybrid teas. Unable to throw these old-fashioned darlings on the compost pile, I put the bush in my car instead to take up to Northport and plant next to my bookstore, back when Dog Ears was housed in the little bark-covered building on that corner that is now the home of Porcupine. They bloom still, my lipstick roses, with their brilliant shade that reminds me of the lipstick my mother used to wear when I was a little girl.
My mother's lipstick, working in my friend's garden business, the early days of my bookstore -- to me, all this history is contained in these colorful blooms.