The best of all worlds is in southwest Michigan

Published 3:48 am Friday, October 24, 2008

By Staff
I have been anticipating a trip to St. Paul, Minn., for quite some time, first to see my granddaughter, now 5 years old.
I also was excited to see the fall colors.
Driving into Wisconsin I couldn't help but notice the colors seemed so dull compared to those I left in southwest Michigan.
Arriving north of St. Paul, I realized I missed most of the good colors by a few weeks. Some of the trees were already bare.
Coming come, the colors were brilliant, with lots of oranges and reds.
I was thinking about how we really do have some lovely country here.
My son thought since it had been so dry in Minnesota, the colors might not have been as good as here, where we had almost too much moisture at the end of the season.
Though he loves the area he has chosen as his home, he complained that they had much less snow than we did for winter sports last year.
All they got was the cold.
I am sure the season felt too short last year for those who wanted to be on their snowmobiles each day, but it certainly was longer than they got up there.
My snowplow guy finally got paid up and I just hope my piggy bank can handle the anticipated snowfall expected for this year.
He actually traveled over to the other side of Wisconsin to go fishing.
He did pull in a 30-inch walleye, but had to travel to do so.
Here we have lakes all over the place with great fishing and also good hunting.
I love that we can travel without being stopped by so many traffic lights, though we do have to be on the lookout for deer.
There are plays you can go to, concerts and other entertainment, at much less cost than a big city.
With all the area community colleges and universities, our children can stay at home and still receive a college education.
Adults can also continue their education easily, even while still working.
We do have our disadvantages, such as our salaries certainly aren't at the same level as the big cities, but then again our basic expenses of housing and food are also not at the higher levels.
Still, I really like it here.
We may not have a dozen restaurant choices five minutes away or super-sized department stores and malls within a few-mile radius, but do we really need them that close?
Though I often could use a Popeye's chicken place closer than Benton Harbor or South Bend.
If we do want to fly somewhere we can easily make connections, either in South Bend or Grand Rapids. If we want a big city to visit, we can drive or take a train to Chicago.
Being centrally located, we also don't have as many weather worries, such as tornadoes, hurricanes or wild fires.
It may not be the perfect place to live,but it isn't bad.
The one thing we can't seem to find here, though, is cheese curds.
I couldn't wait to buy some on my way back through Wisconsin.
It is difficult being so far from my granddaughter, who entered kindergarten this year.
She looks so cute in her little blue plaid uniform. It reminds me of my black and white check skirt with matching beanie.
My daughter-in-law is doing well after her stroke four years ago, though is still on medicine and must have her blood monitored.
Living so close to Mayo Clinic in Rochester makes the trips for her much easier.
She can be e-mailed at