37 Comments

I live not too far north from the UP, so knew instinctively what a Yooper was. Welcome home!

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Love your voice and your storytelling. Looking forward to more! Have a lovely pine-scented weekend.

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May 28Liked by Ramona Grigg

Come from Away was magnificent. I read the book a few years ago, heard about the musical, and several months ago watched in on Apple TV. It's coming to Burlington this coming winter, and I'll go again, plus I plan to watch the movie/play again. Beautiful story in all respects. As someone who has done theater with students for years, every time I watch I see more nuances. That in itself is its own story - I need to get on that one.

Dean and I "did" the UP twice in our cross-country travels. The first time was the north shore, staying in Marquette at a motel across from the Leake, but too foggy to see anything - then headed to the canal and came back to Vermont the Canadian route. The second time was in 2013, along the southern route. Being a Vermonter at heart, it was like coming home We kept stopping at pull-outs to walk the beaches, watch when folks pointed out eagles, and stayed in St. Ignace (which I still want to pronounce wrong), and had a great meal in a small diner. Spent the night sitting on our third floor balcony, watching the lights flicker on in Mackinaw, reminiscing about our first trip there in 1989. Way up north it stays light so much longer...as in Vermont, but we hardly ever get to see the Northern Lights. I understand the draw - Vermont does that to me. I'm a Flatlander, Dean was a Burlington boy, but we met in Vermont, and I have incredibly fond memories of so many great experiences teaching and doing student theater here. My Lake Champlain isn't as big as yours, but it has always felt like home. But then, so does Maui - first teaching position, and I'm drawn to the mystical of the indigenous Hawaiian, as in three years there, and one trip back, the island is and will be always with me. I want to visit you, Maui, and Route 100 in Vermont again. It's that not being able tom drive myself that's forever bugging me.....Thanks for the memories.

I don't think our winters are too far apart...that's why I've been to Tucson for the last two winters for a month or so...but last year we had snow in Tucson in February...so wrong....Love "chatting" with you!

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May 28Liked by Ramona Grigg

I'm there in UP with you ... The woodsy laundry, fruit cocktail cake, new teeth, and the countless reminders of Ed. Giggles between tears. Thank you.

I was also 'there' on 9/11. By 'there' I mean in Nova Scotia which also accepted over 40 diverted planes when American airspace shut down with 20-minutes notice. I accompanied the Premier of Nova Scotia when he visited the relief centres, which had been quickly assembled in school gymnasiums. At one site I counted 11 different languages being spoken and left my government-issued cell phone behind so passengers could call worried families in various countries to assure them of their safety. The many acts of kindness I witnessed that day secured my faith in humanity. An unforgetable experience.

I adore 'Come From Away.' Roughly the same number of planes landed in Newfoundland, but Gander is a tiny town, so the impact was far greater. I think you'd also enjoy the documentary that covers a reunion event. The reflections of passengers, crew members and locals are fascinating. And to get a genuine appreciation of Newfoundland humour (the best in Canada), you should watch "The Grand Seduction" - one of my all-time favorite movies. Tho, I'm one-quarter Newfie, so I may be a bit biased. Lol.

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founding

I'm a Michigander (Detroit and Grand Rapids) and I would love your Fruit Cocktail cake recipe. I was "home" about 6 weeks ago and I still marvel at the smell of Michigan (that's a good thing) when I deplane in Grand Rapids. Welcome home!!

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May 28Liked by Ramona Grigg

I am reading this essay at our home in Harbor Springs (we are only here part time-alas) and I would love your fruit cocktail cake recipe!

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May 28Liked by Ramona Grigg

Ah, we have Maui in common! We might have been there at the same time. I taught at Baldwin High School in Wailuku from 1970-1073. Was very involved with establishing the community theater there as a charter member. So expensive to live, especially as a single teacher. I took Dean to Hawaii for our 20th anniversary, and if I thought the changes were extreme when I was there in the 70s, it was nothing compared to `96 - and I can't imagine now. All the public beaches in Kihei seem to be gone, and I'm sure the nude beaches out Makena way are all built out. A lot of Boone's Farm apple wine was consumed on those beaches. With Haleakala, sometimes when school got out and the mountain was completely clear, I would drive up for the sunset, narrowly missing some cows. One time, the sun was setting over the West Maui mountains and the moon was coming up over Mauna Kea. I have pictures...and even with drunken rides back from Lahaina over the Pali, I still looked for the woman in white. I miss standing on the North Shore Pali on Oahu - such magic in the air. Such a short time of 3 years, and yet I feel it in my DNA. And yes, would love moo figure out a way to get back to the UP...in the summer. If I could fly to Lansing.......

I'm kind of waxing poetic. I turn 75 in July, and I Amy coming out of my fog, a seismic shift as I'm calling it. I'm bound and determined to make this a coming decade to remember....starting with Spain and Portugal in October.

I do so enjoy sharing with you. We seem like kindred souls. Also, have you watched Shrinking on Apple TV? Absolutely a gem, as are certain episodes of Ted Lasso...especially the one titled Sunflowers. One of the best bits of TV...and a tribute to Donald in Mathematic land.

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founding

I also lived in Tucson for 10 years and the smells of Arizona are very different - but wonderful after a rain. My two favorite places, Michigan and Arizona. Still getting acclimated to Denver and the mountains.

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I know that missing - and in a way I am glad. Life goes on and I have no complaints, but he is missing - I don't want to totally forget what was.

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May 29Liked by Ramona Grigg

Per usual, I love your storytelling. I only infrequently have been to Michigan (but may get there more now that my niece will be attending U of Michigan!) but enjoyed it when I was there. I've never visited the UP but now I want to go! It sounds like such a magical place.

The conversation here in the comments has been phenomenal. I've learned so much about Novia Scotia, Hawaii, Vermont, and Arizona! We're planning on moving northeast, so I hope we can go to many of those places soon.

The 9/11 stories are fascinating. I was a professor in the Counseling Psychology department at the time. They closed the university before lunch; I sat in my office watching the clogged roads as students fought to go home. My husband worked in the federal building in downtown Dallas and I couldn't reach him right away. This was when we didn't know how many attacks there were and Dallas could've been a likely target. He was fine but it was scary for a while. A local Dallas TV station asked some of us to come down there and do a mental health hotline. The drive was like the zombie apocalypse had occurred. There was NO traffic! I was the only car on the road which was amazing but also creepy. I thought they'd shove us in a small room but they put us on the air taking calls. They even interviewed a few of us but I don't know how I looked because no one I knew was watching! The hotline calls were so interesting. Many were parents wanting to know how to help their children not be so afraid. My first piece of advice: turn off the TV! Kids don't understand that the footage was repeating, so they thought there were constant airplanes crashing into buildings. Many of the parents didn't even consider that. Then there were the students who wanted to know if school would be cancelled the next day (LOL). Other calls were from people who were frightened or wanted to tell someone their theory as to what happened. It was an interesting night. I definitely plan to see Come From Away. I could use a little faith in humanity these days.

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Thanks so much sharing your thoughts. As for Ed, I'm glad you had so many years, but wish you could have had many many more. We're reaching an age where I wonder more and more which of us this is going to happen to and how we will deal with it. But humanity has been dealing with it forever, so I know we will manage.

I know the story of Come From Away and just hearing what happened makes me tear up and grateful for the good in humanity.

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May 29Liked by Ramona Grigg

Welcome home Mona! You embrace it all so sweetly. And your home embraces you.

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May 29Liked by Ramona Grigg

Right back at you Mona. πŸ’–

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author

Okay, here's the recipe for the Fruit Cocktail Cake. I hope you like it as much as we all do. I'll add it to my post, as well.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ii6a_1GJOFd03lloGVw-cB1Fb9U_Cr762ASs-hmH-_Q/edit#heading=h.k6vgkkanbfev

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May 29Liked by Ramona Grigg

Love the rocks and woods of the UP. We spent a few days there (in summer)as siblings, saying goodbye to our parents in one of their favorite places, Marquette. We were smalll enough when we lived there to remember only bits and pieces, so coming back was like uncovering a hidden part of your past. Glad you're home!

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So nice to think of you back where "you belong." And, I suspect, after the stories that have revealed themselves in the comments, that you could knit together an Anywhere, U.S.A. 9/11 recounting as a future Constant Commoner piece. Welcome home, Ramona!

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