Thursday, March 26, 2009

Things I Still Miss From MI

This weekend we are travelling to MI to see friends- the last time I am allowed to travel by plane before D-Day. So I thought that I would write about the things that I still miss from MI, and hope we can do a few of while we are back.

1. Friends and family that we have known for years. Everyone out here at our new church is great, but there is just something that comes from knowing the same people for years and years. Job changes, relationship changes, happy and sad life events are not something that can happen in a few short months, and I am looking forward to knowing people here as we do back home. And our families, well, they have to accept us, no matter what, and nothing else is like that.

2. Campus Kitchen-- I miss General Tso's chicken. Cheap and good, and Jim misses it so much more than I do. I miss going to the ponds at WMU and feeding spicy rice to the ducks, being able to eat well for $5 for the 2 of us. I miss Rasa Ria-- the Malaysian restaurant with the square egg rolls and stuffed tofu. I'm sure we will find "our Campus Kitchen" and other places out here, especially because of our large SE Asian community, but it again takes time to discover new places that meet our requirements.

3. I miss saying, "The Mall," and having everyone know exactly where I am talking about. Here it most likely means The Mall of America (MOA) but it could mean the Nicollett Mall downtown, or any number of other suburban malls surrounding the metro. There was something so easy about that. The same goes for Targets-- I recently counted and we have at least 10 that I have visited more than once-- no surprise with the headquarters being here.

4. I miss being close to the Great Lakes. Duluth is the closest and it is 1 1/2 hours away. It was so nice to just decide after work in the summer to head out to Lake Michigan for the sunset, and to enjoy festivals and fireworks.

5. I miss East Campus. Where Jim proposed, and where I have enjoyed looking out over the city many a time.

6. The roads. Getting from point A to point B-- so simple. Only 2 highways! So few names for towns-- no 70 or so suburbs and 30 or so neighborhoods like in Minneapolis. The roads really are in such good condition too. There is really nothing to be done with the cold around here; potholes are an inevitability that is really hard on the car.

7. My parents house on the island. I miss boating- kayaks, speedboats, rowboats, canoes, sailboats. I miss sitting in back of the house in summer with a fire going. I miss eating cheese souffles, and 4th of July watching fireworks all around the lake. I miss my parents and my brother's companionship.

8. I miss the Taylor's basement. Well, the whole house really. Where Jim and I met, where I have learned so much in small group, Veritas, work meetings, making soap, wedding and baby showers, and just getting together with friends.

9. On a related note, I miss small group. So funny and quirky-- Thanksgiving in February, white elephant gift exchanges, and Super Mario DDR. One of, if not THE longest running small group from The River.

10. Popping in to visit kids I once taught at school. Either at a party, or a concert, or on a random day, it is always wonderful to see how they have grown and succeed.

11. Lunch after church at Panera, QDoba, or Saladays.

12. QDoba!

13. Water Street Coffee Joint.

14. Visiting my dad at the fire station. (Not really possible now that he is retired, but it was always nice to hear what was going on, and to go up in the Ladder truck.)

15. Driving around campus and rejoicing that we are done with WMU and its horrible parking.

16. Attending shows at Miller Auditorium. I could count regularly on someone from the group of my parents friends deciding not to go to a show and me being offered a ticket. Or covering a show for the paper.

17. Getting to cover cool events for the paper.

18. The Edison Task Force. I never thought I would miss getting sweaty, stinky and covered in paint, but I miss hanging out at John's house and painting.

19. Driving up to Traverse City. North Peak Brewing Company, Scalawags fish sandwiches, and just relaxing on the pier or in the park.

20. Going to the UP.

I know that we are not meant to come back or anything, but every time we visit, there are so many memories, both good and bad, that flood my mind. I hope that our son will get to experience some of these things. I hope that he will still feel some connection to MI, even though he will be a born Minnesotan. That he will know that mom and dad are both irrevocably tied to this state and the people that we miss. Love to you all and see some of you soon!

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