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Saturday, February 4, 2017

A Snowy Day

Ezra Jack Keats published "A Snowy Day" in 1962 and took home the Caldecott Award for best illustrated children's book that year. His story tells of Peter who goes on an exploration of his neighborhood after the first snowfall.


Rick and I went on an exploration of different territory, though for him it was territory he knew well. We were on a road trip to visit his godparents in St. Joseph, Michigan (with some extra business for him) and we decided to take the scenic route.


It wasn't a snowy day when we left. Some of the roads were a little gnarly as we were on the back roads. But it was still lovely with recent snow.


Have you ever wondered what a blueberry farm looks like with no blueberries? Pretty rosy, I'd say!


We stopped in the town of Richmond where for $5.99 we had a great grilled cheese, home made chips and coleslaw. Couldn't beat the price and it was delicious, a proper grilled cheese!


Our next destination was Bloomingdale. This tiny village is a stop on the Kal-Haven trail. Rick was instrumental in the creation of one of Michigan's early rail trails and the trail is his special spot on earth, his life legacy. (Here's a link to an article he wrote about it. THIS ARTICLE points out some of the challenges Rick and others faced.)


The museum, built in the old train depot was closed, but it was a good walk about and good memories.


Our journey continued and the weather had turned. White churches with red doors blended into the landscape.


We turned down a road and Rick pulled into one of the trail's openings.


No cyclists were coming down today and we parked for a minute and he led me on a short walk. There was no shortage of critter tracks as we made our way between a tunnel of trees to a bridge.


It was there that Rick told me that this was the spot he wanted to be scattered in the (hopefully) distant day he's no longer on this earth.


I can't really imagine a prettier spot, near a cold stream, in the woods on the trail he loves most.


Yes, he was pretty happy to share that!


We had a grim reminder that he could be there sooner rather than later if we didn't pay attention to the now icy roads. Though this spot only lasted for a few miles it was a great visual to carry as we continued our journey.


Our time in St. Joe was spent (for me) with his godparents, Judy and Barney. Judy was in rehab for a knee replacement but we enjoyed a wonderful dinner with Barney.


The next day he drove me around is city, which is charming. Many old homes and great views of the lake.


Of course, the lake was looking pretty nippy! No one was taking a dip today.


We also spent time with Judy. One of the lovely things about her rehab center was this bird cage with six or seven different birds.


When Rick got back from him appointment we hit the road for home -- and not a minute too soon. The roads were treacherous and the trip was a fist-clencher. I was reminded of the sign we saw on our way down.


And we did!

34 comments:

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

Oh my! I would have been a nervous wreak! But I sure love seeing the Rails to Trails and enjoy hiking and biking on them. What a wonderful gift they have been to all of us that like to get out on the trails! Give him an extra hug for his contribution! Hugs, Diane

Joanne Huffman said...

What a wonderful legacy to have helped make the Kal-Haven Trail. Good for Rick! Frankly, I'm happy to be spending the winter in Florida.

Lynne said...

Love the trail sights . . .
I will go back and read up on Rick's efforts.
I would have convinced Mister Irish to "pack it in," and find lodging . . .
So scary to drive on ice,
Happy you made it back home safely!

Lynne said...

Kudoes Rick . . .
Although I don't bike like I used to it is something I used to really enjoy.
I can claim having done some great rides in Wisconsin, Iowa and Michigan.
Nothing like being away from the "busy" and enjoying the quiet, sights and fragrance of the outdoors.
Thank you for your efforts for Michigan Trails.

Jenny Woolf said...

It can certainly be fun driving through a snowy landscape, and how nice to have a special place to visit en route (as well as some special people to visit at the end). I do find icy roads a bit disturbing, possibly because I'm not really used to them. Think I might end up staying over until the thaw - but I know that in your part of the world that can be a long time! :) Glad you got home safe and sound!

Sandra Cox said...

That bird nest/cage is so precious.
And the red door on the church is very striking.
Kudos to Rick on his accomplishment.
Have a great weekend.

krishna said...

so much snow!!!! beautiful pictures..

Please visit: http://from-a-girls-mind.blogspot.com

Marilyn Miller said...

Except for the icy slick roads it sounds like it was delightful. You pictures share the beauty. How wonderful that Rick was involved in developing that trail and loves it so much. It would be a beautiful place for ashes some long from now future day. I hope his godmother is healing well.

Carola Bartz said...

Glad that you returned home safely. Icy roads are no fun. We had them often in the winter in Germany and even though I had become quite an experienced driver in these conditions I still dreaded them. This is something I certainly don't miss here.
Your photos are beautiful - I love the wide open spaces and the beautiful lake. I would love to walk there a bit and take it all in. Thank you for taking us on this ride.

La Table De Nana said...

We've driven through everything w/ Jacqus white knuckling it :(

The mountains in Pennsylvania are horrendous in Nov..

so many areas are snowy alread then..in fact one year..Oct 29th..we were in the Carolinas.in the ountains..to a blizzard snowstorm! Imagine..in shorts.
Looks like a beautiful spot..you do get around!
There is an Instgrammer that shoots white farmhouses in white snow..stunning.the other day..a clothesline had pink and turquoise sheets on the line..the only pops of colour..gorgeous..
red and winteer go so well:)

Joyful said...

Lovely photos Jeanie and some very pretty scenery.

Seeing your photos reminded me of my outing yesterday to try and film bald eagles at least an hour from my home. We got lost for a bit until I used my google maps, he he. The weather was cloudy but it was lovely traipsing through the snow and seeing the scenic winter wonderland.

You solved a mystery for me. I saw red bushes just like the ones you are showing. I didn't know they were blueberry bushes.

Like you the drive home was a bit treacherous and closer to home lots of accidents, police blockages, slow and heavy traffic and buses that could not make the hills due to the slippery ice that forms when it snows in a wet climate. I was glad to get home. Today it is still snowing heavily and I'm staying indoors ;-)

Have a great weekend. xx

Joyful said...

By the way, after all I wrote above I forgot to say a big "kudos" and "thank you" to Rick for all his efforts and accomplishments. It's thanks to people like him who toil away to make things beautiful and accessible to the rest of us. Well done, Rick. He's also picked a lovely spot where he wants to be laid to rest in the hopefully far future.

I need orange said...

Glad you guys made it home safe! I'd have been plumping for a hotel. I do not like scary roads.....

What a wonderful legacy -- that beautiful trail. Good work, Rick, getting that land turned into a space that people will enjoy traveling for generations to come!

A good trip and visit to loved ones, despite the slick roads.

My name is Erika. said...

Winter in the country is always pretty. It sounds like an a good trip-minus the roads. Always a little scary to be out driving when the roads aren't good, but good you made it home ok. I find I always appreciate home a little bit more when I get home after one of this drives. Happy weekend. Hugs-Erika

Deb said...

You two are always on the go.I love the shot of the trail opening. It always draws me in when a photo is of a never-ending path. It's nice that you were able to visit Rick's 'special' place and his god-parents.We already discussed the icy roads. Awful!

Tammie Lee said...

I am glad you had a safe trip.
Sounds like you had a mix of experiences, from food to prints in the snow, beautiful nature and some city exploring. A good time.

Shelia said...

Looks like another wonderful day for you except I'm cold seeing all of that snow! We have snow here too but I just stay in a look at it! :)
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

My city voted down a Rails to Trails path and I was crushed. It was not put to a city wide vote, but voted on by our city council who didn't want to spend the money. So glad Rick had much better luck.

That wreck looked scary, especially after seeing the beauty of Rick's path. He DID look happy as he walked over the bridge to that beautiful area.

Your photos are simply stunning, but of course, made me cold. I still loved the beauty of the snow and rural scenery. It was all so very lovely.

So glad you made it home safely. I know I would have been on pins and needles if I'd had to drive it.

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

There is beauty even in the in between of winter and spring, and you found it. The grilled cheese, the handmade chips, the barren fields waiting as anxiously as us to bear blue joy. Oh Jeanie, LOVIN' IT!

Rita C. said...

Kudos to Rick for his being so instrumental in the rail trail. After reading the linked story, that IS quite a legacy! We have numerous rails to trails in our state, but not all interconnected. I can certainly see why Rick's wish for his remains would be to be among that serene and accomplished area.
Loved the image of the blueberry farm in winter - pretty!

Katie Clooney said...

What a wonderful adventure and your photos are beautiful, dear Jeanie. Love the one of the birds! Enjoy your Sunday.

Roz . Russell said...

It looks so cold I almost wanted to turn up the fire it made me shiver, I love to see the snow through the window in fact I always get quite excited, but I hate having to go out and walk or drive, that said it must have been so nice for you both to go and see places of your past, I am guessing grilled cheese is what we would call cheese on toast, those little birds look so cosy in their nest, what a beautiful place to have ashes scattered I can see why, I want mine put in a firework 😁

shoreacres said...

My favorite photo's the one that shows the cluster of trees along the trail. Of course, a close second is that grilled cheese. There's a restaurant about a hundred miles from here that makes the best grilled pimento cheese sandwich, on thick-sliced homemade bread. If my day wasn't already planned, I might be heading down there right now.

I've been in various assisted living facilities, rehab centers, and such, that have the birds instead of (or along with) acquariums. I think they're so much better. Fish are pretty, but they don't chirp or look at you, or sing. The birds provide much more stimulation.

It clearly was a good trip -- well, except for the ice and the accidents. Here's a sort of amusing footnote to that. Back in the 1970s, when so many people were moving to Houston from Michigan, every time we got ice on the roads, Michiganders in downtown office buildings would cluster in the walkway over a particularly busy stretch of freeway and laugh at Houstonians trying to drive in ice. We're terrible! (Well, not me. But Daddy taught me how to drive on the stuff in Iowa!)

Victoria Zigler said...

I'm glad you both enjoyed, and even more glad you got home safely.

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Wow, that sounds like a very stressful drive! Driving on icy roads is the worst. I'll take snow over ice any day! Glad you guys made it back safely. I can see why Rick would want his remains scattered in that beautiful place!

The French Hutch said...

What lovely scenes of winter, picture perfect Jeanie. I know the trip was wonderful for you and Rick but being from the south the though of driving in the snow and ice would have me in a panic! So glad you had a safe trip. Have a wonderful week........

Jemma@athomewithjemma said...

I adore reading about your adventures. Enthusiasm, warmth and zest always fill the pages!
Beautiful photos too, Happy Monday my friend!
Jemma

BeachGypsy said...

Mercy it looks cold there!-- I can almost feel the frosty air looking at the pretty snow pictures! I sure love coming upon pretty old churches like the one pictured, they are so old fashioned and I love hearing their history! I enjoyed the previous post as well--I was a life long Girl Scout beginning with Brownies and all the way up to Senior. Loved earning those fun colorful badges! And of course we sold cookies every year......all planning for and always planning for and looking forward to SUMMER CAMP! We did Fall and Winter camp too, but summer was the best. The tents, the nightly campfires, the SONGS, the skits, "s-mores", the HIKES!, the swimming in the pool and in the lake, it was such fun for young girls back then. And we learned so much and had fun doing it. Were you a Scout?

jellyfishbay said...

Ah, you were in my neck of the woods. I'm with Rick - I love the Kal-Haven Trail, but the last time I was there was New Year's Day. If you ever get back in May, check out the trail between F and G ave. It is designated as a wildflower restoration area and several of my photos are up along that section showing what is in bloom in that particular spot. You may very well see a group of master gardeners pulling up garlic mustard and chinese bittersweet.

Pam Richardson said...

Jeanie, what an adventurous drive...coming from the South, we cannot drive on snow and ice! What a sweet walk with your hubby in that gorgeous scenery. I enjoyed traveling and walking with you both!

Red Rose Alley said...

Your snow pictures are so pretty, Jeanie. I never tire of seeing snow pics. That picture of the bird basket with the sweet birds is precious. And I love that picture of the of the cars on the icy roads. It shows us what's going on in your area, and it always interests me to see what is happening in other states. :) It's still raining a lot here in California, and I appreciate that immensely.

~Sheri

jenna meon said...

I had an Aunt and Uncle that lived in St. Joseph and we visited them every summer! I loved going to their house which was right on the edge of Lake Michigan. Unfortunately they lost a lot of land to erosion, and the edge of the bluff kept getting closer and closer. The last time I was there was many years ago, and my aunt and uncle have long passed. The grilled cheese sandwich looks like it was worth the icy trip!

Jenny Woolf said...

I meant to say too that the Ezra Jack Keats book was a big favourite with my older daughter, some American relatives sent it and I can see it in my mind's eye, even though I don't believe I have read it since she was tiny! I specially remember the snow angels. This was a new idea to us. I don't think we generally get enough snow here for kids to have developed ideas like making snow angels!

Kathleen Grace said...

The west side is beautiful, but we don't plan any trips this time of year because I detest getting caught in storms. You're braver than I am! The trail is beautiful. We have one just down the road from us, the Pollyanne trail. It is a rail to trail too and we just love walking it. Glad you made it home safe!

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