A Mother’s Day gift

ESCANABA — Ten years ago, just before Mother’s Day, the following was submitted to the Daily Press for the Chamber’s Minding Our Own Business article. Many things have changed since then, but the message is still worth repeating.

In mid-April, family and friends traveled to Lower Michigan to celebrate the marriage of my son to an absolutely wonderful woman. It was a glorious weekend as we welcomed Meghan Marie to our Micheau family.

We were greeted in Frankenmuth with sunny skies, warm weather and blooming daffodils, tulips and forsythia. The beautiful weather continued throughout the weekend.

As we headed home on Sunday and drove closer to the bridge, we complained because the temperature dropped a bit, the skies grew a little darker and sightings of snow patches were more frequent. Then, as we crossed the bridge my mom simply said, “I don’t care, I love the U.P. and its four seasons — snow and all.” While it was music to the ears of a U.P. Chamber director, I was more grateful that my appreciation for our waterfront community was a gift from my mother.

Thinking that the subject would be good for this column, I prompted the discussion about what my family liked most about the U.P. and Delta County in particular. From St. Ignace to Naubinway, there was non-stop conversation about why we love it where were live.

My husband, who spends all his waking moments outdoors in the summer, talked about the golf courses and about how anxious he was to start bicycle riding again. He’s not a huge fan of winter, but with the onset of nice weather, I’m certain he’ll quickly forget about this past long, cold season.

Our discussion about the natural beauty of the U.P. had my dad talking about his favorite fishing spots that are just 15 minutes from home. After swearing me to secrecy, he disclosed the rivers and streams where he catches the most beautiful brown and brook trout. He refers to his fishing expeditions as therapy in the woods.

My mom said that she understands how happy the snowbirds, who spend their winters in southern states, are when they return home for the summer. With the water, trees and the people, what’s not to love? She then summed up her feelings with, “I guess more than anything, I love it here because it’s home.”

This Mother’s Day weekend, I hope we all spend time talking with our families and sharing positive thoughts about the area. We can start at home to create a positive identity for our waterfront community and build a strong sense of civic pride. A positive attitude will help foster growth and a sense of unity. That’s a gift that will keep giving for generations.

What’s changed in the past ten years? My dad is now watching over his favorite fishing spots from his heavenly vantage point. Our family has been blessed with two beautiful grandchildren and another due in September. My husband is now a fan of winter since he started ice fishing. What hasn’t changed is our love for the place we call home — thanks, mom, and Happy Mother’s Day!

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Vickie Micheau is executive director of the Delta County Chamber of Commerce