I was born in Michigan on a cold day in October 1952.
My Mom remembers the snowy night my grandfather drove her to the hospital to wait for me. She and my older brother (well, older as in 16 months old) were staying with my Dad’s parents on their farm.
My Dad was in the Navy and out-to-sea… far, far away from his wife as she went into labor with their 2nd child.
My Dad wouldn’t hold me ’til 3 weeks later.
My Mom was a city girl from Boston. She grew up with streetcars and streetlights and and next-door neighbors and city blocks. She was far from her Mom and her 5 siblings back in Boston on that cold October night.
But me? I was to be born in Michigan. I would forever be a mid-western girl, even though I would travel with my Navy Dad and Mom and brothers (there would be another brother 2 years later) from sea-to-shining-sea and everywhere in-between.
My parents would settle in New England when I was almost 9 years old, and I would stay here… but you just can’t get the mid-western roots out of me. No way. No how.
I remember my grandparents’ farm like I was there this morning. I’ve written about the strawberry patches and apple pies and road-side vegetable stand and great big barn and my Grandma’s gigantic hugs.
And today I was really, truly back there at my grandparents’ farm in Michigan. I was 8 years old, driving my Grandpa’s big old tractor down a cornfield path where I could see nothing but fields of mid-western dreams…
You see, I was there today because my Dad thought it was worth capturing…
I could smell the corn. I could feel my ponytail swinging behind me. I could hear my brothers laughing. I knew my grandparents’ dog Laddie was following us the entire way. And I could also hear my Grandfather and Dad running alongside the tractor!
I could feel the powerful pull of the tractor’s wheel… but it seemed as light and lithe as my spirit on that hot, summer, mid-western day.
Cornfields and strawberry patches and apple orchards mesmerize me to this very day.
I honestly feel home in them.
Just like I did today as I drove my Grandpa’s big old tractor down that Michigan dirt path.
That’s the mid-western girl in me. And I love it.