Missing early onset of hoodie weather

Family Matters

One of the things you can be guaranteed in the U.P., (even on the Fourth of July), is that when the sun goes down the hoodie goes on. I attended many of the July 3 fireworks over the years and took it for granted that I’d have to either wrap up in a blanket or put on a hoodie.

In 1991, I lived in Georgia for almost a year and remember disliking that I never needed my winter jacket. My best friend from high school, (I moved there to fill in the empty slot in the house full of submariners), and I even played tennis on Christmas Eve due to the weather being so warm, (in the 60s).

Now, my wife and I are in Harbor Springs, still in Michigan, but we haven’t had a hoodie day all summer. I take that back, we went “home” for a weekend and I wore my hoodie around the campfire.

There’s been no rain in a month in Harbor Springs. The grass crunches under your feet, (in the poor person’s yard; like ours), where in the yards of the rich-and-want-to-be-famous the grass is lush and looks more like the greens at the Calumet Golf Club in July than a yard.

The homes on Bluff Drive overlooking the harbor are straight out of “The Great Gatsby.” I half expect to see Gatsby standing on the porch, (or whatever rich people call their porches), in a white suit, yellow tie, with a cigarette in his hand. Instead I see people who look exhausted from a lifetime of chasing money or a lifetime of keeping up the appearances of their inherited wealth.

If I sound a little bitter, I apologize. I’m waiting tables and have been talked down to a few times, “to split a check just use your device and divide by two.” I need two Hamiltons. He’s on the 10.”

I skipped the DeVos party, (as in didn’t work it) for fear of not holding my tongue. Harbor Springs is beautiful, the landscapes, the million-dollar ships in the harbor, the sunsets. None of it compares with home. Why will we stay?

We moved to be closer to “downstate,” to being able to travel five hours or less south to see Briana and five hours north to see Bethany and Hannah. We’re in the middle of the children but only one-sided difference of five hours from “home” for the rest of the friends and families.

It might seem like I’m complaining, but in reality, I’m adjusting. Our new duplex is now furnished, my work schedule is slowing down, and the excitement of working for a new college and in the public schools is something to look forward to.

Having a neighbor on one wall walking up and down her stairs and hearing her doors open and close will take some adjusting to, but we’ll manage.

Last night was the first night I could have worn a hoodie but instead we went to the ice cream shop in town because I knew the tourists wouldn’t be out past 8 p.m., when it’s under 75 degrees.

Home is where you make it, (just ask Joe Dirt). Life is also a garden — can you dig it? We miss home for the people and places but not the things.

The adventure continues. Maybe September will be hoodie weather?