Monday, May 18, 2009

During the 1950's, a recent transplant to Californian was called an "Okie." (I am told that term has since become extinct.) Thereafter, his descendants could legitimately be known as "Californians." If one originated in Utah, he/she was/is called a "Utahn." I suppose children born in Oregon are called Oregonians, and New Yorkers are just as their name implies. But what happened when you came from Missouri? Of all things, in the past you were called a "Puke." And if from Illinois, in the past you were called a "Sucker." And from Indiana, you are still known as a "Hoosier." (And while we lived there, someone was manufacturing for sale, a cement statue of an animal they called a "Hoosier Goose.") I mention all this, because we have learned that citizens of Michigan are referred to as "Michiganders." (No mention of what the Michigan women are called.) Interestingly, however, the state of Michigan consists of two parts--the upper peninsula, that is connected with the lower peninsula by a massive bridge called the "Mackinac" bridge, and we are told that those living in the southland of Michigan are referred to as "Trolls." (Why? Because they live "under the bridge.")

Just a lot of nonsense, but it is interesting to experience this local flavor. I will say, however, that despite the cold, if you happen to be a Michigander, you come from one very lovely state!

I mention this, because last Friday Ranelle and I traveled to the "Celestial City" of Petoskey, Michigan (you need to experience it to appreciate what I am saying), and along the way we gazed in wonder at the greening farmlands, interspersed everywhere by just-leafing-out woodlands. All along the way northward, the countryside is lightly salted with stately red barns, and elegant farmsteads that resemble, in some cases, miniature cities. We feel most privileged to be here!

P.S. An interesting note about Petoskey is that down on the "seashore" (of Lake Michigan) one can pick up "Petoskey stones" that are found only in that location, and no where else in all the world. From a distance they resemble common gray rocks. But when wetted, and examined closely, they have pretty little crystalline rosettes that are somewhat like cells that make up the substance of the stone. And my guess is that the reason Lake Michigan is so large is because people gather for souvenirs, so many of those stones!

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