Seven of us from the continuum care complex left our campus in two cars to go on an adventure. Destination: A cottage on Lake Michigan down between South Haven and Benton Harbor about hour and a half drive way from home. It’s owned by a couple of ladies that split their time between our CCC and their summer place. Once on the Blue Star Highway---which most Michiganders know---we had to take a narrow, winding fire trail through the wooded dunes before getting to a cliff top where five cottages perched along with more birds than I’ve seen in ages, all greedily eating at their bird feeders, ignoring the fabulous panoramic view. But few people could view that lake and not be awed by the power of seeing the water, hearing the waves lapping the sand and breathing in that first breath of fresh, water-cooled air. I could feel myself relax and tensions slip away.
If you read my last post you’ll know I wrote about not liking the idea of riding in a car with another 80 year old at the wheel but of the two cars going, I picked the right one to get in. The other car left last and got there before we did and when we arrived my neighbor, a retired physiologist, said the ride made her a nerve wreck because their driver drove too fast and played hop-scotch with the 18 wheelers. That driver who probably weighs all of 90 pounds laughed and said, “Everyone tells me that!” When it was time to leave my neighbor crawled in the back seat of the other car saying, "I don't want to see out the front window this time."
In previous posts I’ve called the couple we visited the Skinny Minnie Twins and I guess I’ll continue to do so in this post. Neither one of them has an ounce of fat on them and yet they say they each love sweets and especially Crumbl Cookies. But they also go up and down a 130 steps to get to their sandy beach on Lake Michigan where they swim and walk two miles each day. I and three others in our group rode their incline elevator while others in our group tackled the steep steps down to the lake and they did it with none of them having a heart attack.
Crumbl Cookies are supposed to be the best cookies in the world according to their press releases and the Twins which is why we bought a box of twelve cookies to take out to their cottage. $48 and if those are the best cookies in the world then I’m the real Santa Claus. To me, they were like eating raw cookie dough which apparently a lot of people do enjoy because the chain is growing fast and furious. Over the day I ate a half of two different flavors---milk chocolate chip and sea salt taffy, wasting 480 calories that could have gone to something I actually enjoyed. Why do I do things like that? Finish reading a bad book, finish eating something disgustingly sweet and barf worthy? The lunch they serve, though, was a wonderful array of healthy finger foods, deviled eggs to die for and fresh fruits. It was a fun day and their lovely cottage (a converter garage with a six sided, two story ceiling) was very modern with lots of light coming in and exactly like you’d expect of two graphic designers---all white with touches of red and Herman Miller furniture.
Looking out at their million dollar view was a great reminder of massive size of Lake Michigan and if you’ve never been there its like looking an an ocean. You can’t see across to the other side and the entire horizon is nothing but sky and water unless an occasional freighter is out in the shipping lane. They haul taconite, limestone, grain, salt coal, cement, gypsum, sand, slag and potash out to the St Lawrence Seaway headed to the Atlantic Ocean. If you don’t know what potash is, I’m glad you asked since I had to look it up---it’s a potassium rich salt used to make fertilizer and apparently Michigan has a lot of it.
We didn’t see any freighters that day and the waves weren’t very high for the few people we could see along the beach playing in them. Lake Michigan waves typically get between 3-4 feet high and up to eight on a windy day, with the tallest ever recorded being ten feet. And in case you’re wondering there are a few places along the Michigan coastline where they surf---Marquette, Muskegon, Grand Haven, Sleepy Bear and St Joseph. I was a fish when I was a kid but now I’m too bumpy and frumpy to ever get caught with a bathing suit on but if surfing had been a thing when I was a kid I might have tried it if not for the fact that our little inland lake didn't get those kinds of waves. The Twins kayak the shoreline when it’s calm. That’s more my speed and I did have a canoe (and sailboat) when I was young and was spending my summers at a lake. All in all it was a wonderful road trip. Well, except for eating the cookies which I’m still kicking myself for doing. ©
Photo from the South Haven visitor's center.