Saturday, April 19, 2008

Home to a Perfect Summer Day

I spent my spring break in Michigan researching my family history. I left Sunday and didn't get far before I had a tire problem that delayed me 3 hours. At least I was still in an area where I knew my way around and found a shop that could get me going on a Sunday. I crossed into Ontario at the Peace Bridge without even having to show my ID! I'd never been west of Hamilton before. A good portion of the trip was quite lonely and my cell phone didn't work. I was concerned about the tire but it got me through. Crossing back into the US took awhile. They were checking every car fairly thoroughly including taking my keys so they could look through the trunk.

My time at the Bentley Library at the University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor, was amazing.... and extremely painful. I need surgery on both my feet and I have scoliosis so spending 2 1/2 days standing to photograph over 4 gigs of material was hard, but well worth it. You can read more about what I found at Apple's Tree.

Ann Arbor is a college town and there were things that reminded me of Syracuse. Ann Arbor seemed much more vibrant and a bit larger. The college kids were quite friendly, the other drivers patient and I quite enjoyed my time there. I loved having the opportunity to meet Jasia of Creative Gene. I felt bad that I didn't recognize her right off but she quickly forgave me and we had a wonderful 3 hour dinner at a pub.

I left Ann Arbor 1/2 a day later than planned and zipped across the state to Benton Harbor. The highway in Michigan was terrible in sections but I'm not complaining because they didn't charge me anything to drive across the state! In looking for information prior to my trip I stumbled across the Berrien County Genealogical Society website and found that another blogging friend would be giving a presentation on blogging. I wasn't going to miss that! Again I didn't recognize Juliane's granddaughter of Two Sides of the Ocean but when she was introduced she was easy to pick out ;-) We didn't have much time to talk then so she invited me to her home for a lovely luncheon and great conversation on Thursday.

I've been very fortunate in my meetings with other bloggers.

I spent a lot of time on Thursday lost on country roads. Berrien Co, MI borders Lake Michigan and is much like the New York counties that border Lake Ontario. There were tons of orchards and many more vineyards than we have in this part of NY. I had some disappointments in a couple of cemeteries and successes in others. By the end of the day Thursday I was exhausted and ready to head home.

Friday morning I had a short visit with my aunt and uncle. My uncle has Alzheimer's and had no idea who I was which was very sad. He had always been so animated when I had visited in the past. I enjoyed catching up with my aunt and learned that I have a new cousin that I didn't know about! I'm sure that Mom received the news of his birth but she sometimes forgets to pass things on to me. I'm ashamed to say that I didn't have any family pictures with me so I'll be sending some on to her.

I made a couple of other stops yesterday but most of the day was spent driving home. I chose to follow the south shore of the lake on the way home. It was a very long but uneventful drive.

John tells me that the last of the snow melted on Thursday. I had worked on cleaning up the sections of the garden that I could get to before I left but there was still plenty to do today. The weather was just perfect. We set a new record high temperature of 87°!

The boys will be here tomorrow and I'll be back in the garden. I'm anxious to start working with the documents that I found in Michigan but I'm just as anxious to be outside in the good weather!


  1. How fun that you got to meet another blogger and work on your family history some more.
    My grandma was very active in DAR and traced her history back to the Revolutionary War. She loved all the research.

  2. Glad you're back safe and sound, Apple!
    I'd wondered how it was going with your research out there.
    Welcome back to the warmth! Isn't it fantastic?

  3. What a great adventure you had, with a few ups and downs, but successful, by the sound of things. Glad you got to meet some other bloggers. That's such fun :)
    Yes, we all missed spring! I've been out in the garden a lot, and it sure feels good (except for my back)!
    The cats have been rolling in the dusty driveway...and then Jasmine and Maxine want to come in the house looking like that!
    I'll be interested to check out what you found at Apples's Tree when time allows.
    Welcome home Apple!

  4. Sounds like an enjoyable trip. Welcome home.