Seeking Spring

by Marci

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It has been a very long winter. Snow in May can be quite disheartening as it feels like the rest of the country is reveling in flower petals and warm sun.

A couple of weeks ago Caleb was in Chicago for work and I was home checking the weather after a long day with Abel Wilder. Another storm was blowing in with another foot of snow. That night at 9:30pm I decided to get out of town. My folks live 600 miles south of us in Kalamazoo, MI, three hours north of Chicago. I told Caleb to skip his return flight and meet me in Kalamazoo.

The next morning, I closed down the cabin, grabbed our dog, baby, and miscellany and made the difficult trek to our jeep. Freezing rain, punching through our trail into thigh deep snow, baby on my back, pulling a heavy sled loaded with our stuff, and of course a whiny wiener dog who didn’t want to walk.

600 miles of driving alone with a 5 month old is slow going. We stopped a total of 12 times. Abel Wilder stayed in his first Motel and I enjoyed seeing the growing evidence of spring as each mile passed. We visited my grandparents in Amish farm country in the middle of Michigan’s glove. They loved meeting their fifth great grandchild and we had wonderful meals together at their round antique dining table. We watched pretty birds at their feeders and Abel Wilder and I took an evening walk in the woods and breathed deeply the earthy green spring air.

Back on the road again after meeting up with my dearest aunt for breakfast, Abel Wilder and I pulled into an emerald green rest stop. Plunk, down he went to sit in the soft dewy grass. He loved it. I will never forget the look of bliss on my little guy’s face! He’s never known any thing but snow.

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We made it to Kalamazoo tired but happy to be in a place with family, friends, and lots of warm sun.

What was meant to be a two week hiatus has now been three and the snow on the ground in the UP (upper peninsula of Michigan) has gone from 48″ to 8″. It is time to return.

Yesterday, our visit took an unexpected turn. We bought a house in Kalamazoo for $12,000. It was too good of a deal to pass up. With a lot of sweat equity and cosmetic fix ups and a few larger fixes we are hoping to have it ready to rent out by August. With renters in this house we could pay off our cabin property in no time. We’ve never wanted to be landlords and by golly we sure had some very different plans for the summer other than fixing up this house, but we are excited about this investment and a little flabbergasted at the speed with which we became house owners.

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As we head back north this weekend we have a lot of planing and reprioritizing to do. We miss home, our dog, the woods, and our friends. It will be good to get back but this spring get away was much more than we’d expected.