I love this time of year, when everyone is eager to soak up the sun when it's at the hottest, when gardens and farms are overflowing with fresh, local produce, and when summer school is over and before the hectic pace of fall semester is upon us. I have a whole list of blog entries in my head, begging to be written (along with a series of super short stories I want to play with), and in the coming weeks of freedom I shall.
Last night I enjoyed a delightful meal with my friends H and J. We reminisced about our great adventure in the Apostle Islands, shared photos, and ate delicious farm fresh foods: chocolate zucchini bread, toasted rolls, pan fried eggplant, cucumber salad, bibb and spinach salad with feta and olives, and the best beets I've ever tasted, roasted with maple syrup and spices (that said, I'm still not a beet fan, but these were tasty). We drank riesling and coffee and finished the evening al fresco, swatting mosquitoes and eating angel food cake with berries and whipped cream. My friends have a warm, welcoming home--they've put a lot of work into refinishing an old farmhouse, and it's gorgeous.
I've been packing my car: yoga mat, camping gear, fun reads, school reads, clothes for any occasion, shoes for any occasion, road snacks, my bike on my new Yakima bike rack, gifts, road trip CD's...
Tomorrow I'm heading out on my epic road trip (well, epic may be hyperbolic, but anyone who knows me well knows that I tend towards hyperbole when given the chance). I'll drive to the WI/MI border, where I'll stay at A and R's farm and share more food, fellowship, and friendship, before venturing across the wilds of DA YOO-P, EH. I'll follow the curves of Lake Michigan, cross the Mackinaw Bridge by myself for the very first time, and then continue my arc around the shore, through northern towns Petosky, Traverse City, before hitting the Peninsula and feeling like I'm back at my summer home, leaving M-22 behind and finding my way to the M's home on curvy, hilly back roads dotted with orchards and farm stands and wineries and all those quotidian pleasures that make my soul sigh and relax.
My journey will continue later in the week, as I follow the Lake through Manistee, Ludington, Grand Haven, and finally, pull in to my parents' long driveway where bright geraniums and Mom and Dad will greet me.
Ah, summer, Lake Michigan, friends, family, food, fiction, fun. HOME.