Saturday, October 01, 2005

Michigan, Friends, and Family

Last weekend I went to Michigan. My reasons were twofold; to go to the combined birthday party of a couple of college friends and to see my parents. I've said it many times before, but it's worth repeating. I consider myself blessed with good fortune in so many ways, one of which is the great group of friends I've made in college. We've been through a fair bit of life together now, and it's nice having such a great group to count on. Sure, we don't necessarily see each other very often, or even talk to each other that frequently, but sporadically there will be a special occasion that brings most or some of us together, like, say, a wedding in Seattle, or a birthday bash in Michigan, or a New Years celebration in Colorado. These are the kinds of friends that when we do get together, in some ways it's like no time has passed at all. We can continue the old jokes and take comfort in the easy familiarity of each other's presence. Of course, in other ways it's like a lot of time has passed, such as meeting a friend's two-year-old son for the first time.

No matter how much time passes, I know we will continue to have a unique bond.

If any of you are reading this, I love you all.

I hope to have a picture of us all up here soon.


While I was home my dad and I did a 35 mile bike ride through apple orchard country. It was a nice, cool fall day, with a persistent threat of rain that was never made good. Riding through Michigan farm country, which starts not too far from the house I grew up in, made me realize that Michigan can really be beautiful sometimes. The whole countryside is much greener and lush than what I'm used to biking here in Colorado. Of course, there aren't any mountains in Michigan. I know I took it for granted growing up there. The suburb I grew up in straddled the boundary between the city of Grand Rapids and the farm country outside of it, leaning slightly towards the farm country. Growing up I witnessed the farm land develop into strip malls. This was sad for me at the time, in the sense that I lost one of our favorite fruit stands which was also a source of delicious blueberry milkshakes. I do so love blueberries. But I wasn't aware at any significant level of the implications, or the fact that there was still more farm country within a couple of miles. I wouldn't have appreciated it even if I did think about it. I simply took it for granted. Doesn't everybody live right next to sources of delicious fresh produce like apples, blueberries, strawberries, and sweet corn? I guess not.

The ride also took us next to somebody with a herd of llamas, I think, and somebody else with a herd of buffalo. The buffalo ranch had a sign out front advertising jerky. That had to be good stuff.

Below is a picture of my dad and I about to do the Michigan MS150 last year.


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