Off Topic Thursday: Michigan

29 Nov

I think everyone is proud of where they’re from. I know I am. I was born in Metro Detroit and after living in southern Indiana for four years, I moved back and I’ve been here ever since. I’m very proud of where I’m from and I’d love to give people an idea of Michigan that’s not a bankrupt murder capital. I mean, that’s not wrong, but it’s not the whole truth.

When I was in fourth grade, we focused on Michigan history. We talked about Detroit (day-twa) founding Detroit and the Native American tribes that were common in this area. We visited Lansing, our state capital, and learned about state government. The summer after that year, my mom took my brother and me on a trip around the state that I’ll never forget. She was intrigued about the things I’d learned that summer. She wanted to see the Mackinaw Bridge, the boat wrecks in Lake Superior, the cherries in Traverse City (TRAV-erse), and the waterfalls in the UP (upper peninsula). So we spent a week driving around the state and seeing all these things. So when my brother started fourth grade, he’d already seen it all.

I’ve been lucky to see the city of Detroit change. When I was young, we didn’t go downtown. No one did. Unless you worked there, you never went and if you did work there, you came home right away. When I came back from college, things had started to change. The crime was better controlled and businesses were starting to see the future of the city. There were desirable things to do downtown. We went for fun and if there was a sports game, we’d go early and grab dinner or stay late and have a drink. Detroit is a rare city with four professional sports teams (Lions, and Tigers and Wings, oh my! [and the Pistons]) so there’s often a good reason to visit. I’ll be graduating from a downtown university soon and I got used to being in the city by myself and enjoying my time there.

The metro area is hugely diverse. The city has a majority African-American population and ten minutes west, in Dearborn, we have a majority Arab population. The high-tech automotive industry draws educated people from around the world. My husband’s high school was 40% East Asian. I went to high school in an area that was so heavily Jewish that we got Jewish holidays off in the public school district. Moving to Indiana, I really missed this diversity and never had appreciated it until it was gone.

I’ve made a point to visit more of my home state now that I have the means to. My husband and I had a wonderful camping vacation in the UP a few years ago. We explored old copper mines and had a campsite right on Lake Superior. My parents have a cottage 20 minutes from Lake Huron and we go up a few times a summer. One of my running goals is to do a race in every county of the Lower Peninsula and I’m making steady progress (though it will take some time!). As much as we’re known for Detroit, a lot of the state is rural and forested. There are a lot of farms and deer hunting is a major past time in the fall.

So I hope I can give some of you a slightly different look at Michigan. We’re not all Eminem and only a small part of our state still doesn’t have clean drinking water (Flint Water Crisis). Not all our cities are bankrupt (just the biggest one) and it’s not always cold. I love my state and every terrible and beautiful inch of it. I bet your hometown is great, too, but I wouldn’t trade Michigan for anything.

Until next time, write on.

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11 Responses to “Off Topic Thursday: Michigan”

  1. Becky Ross Michael November 29, 2018 at 10:32 AM #

    Yay for our beautiful state! I’m from Tawas City on Lake Huron and most recently lived in Sault Ste. Marie with a view of the St. Mary’s River and near Lake Superior. I always miss it, but maybe not quite as much in the winter:)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sam November 29, 2018 at 11:10 AM #

      I love Tawas! I do the triathlon there in the summer and love riding through the national forrest. It’s about this time of year that I think of leaving but I remember how beautiful the summer is. Happy reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Kacey Lewis November 29, 2018 at 12:02 PM #

    Hey fellow Michigander 😉 I was born and raised in the UP before relocating to WA almost 5 years ago. I always joke that if there was less snow I’d consider moving back, but until then I’ll stick with rain 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sam December 1, 2018 at 4:42 PM #

      How fun! I did a great vacation with my husband to Ontonagon a few years ago and we loved it. The trolls have less snow so that’s an option if you ever want to come back! WA is wonderful, I’m glad you’re loving it.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. nickimags @ The Secret Library Book Blog November 29, 2018 at 1:02 PM #

    Such an interesting post for someone like me in the UK.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sam December 1, 2018 at 4:42 PM #

      I’m glad I could share! State pride is a big thing. College and professional sports perpetuate it for sure.


  4. Jackie R December 3, 2018 at 5:28 PM #

    Glad to hear it! I’m moving from NY to the metro-Detroit area in just a couple of weeks and this makes me feel even better about my decision 🙂


    • Sam December 4, 2018 at 8:04 AM #

      Welcome! I love it here and I hope you will, too!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jackie R December 26, 2018 at 4:51 PM #

        Thank you! 🙂


  5. carhicks December 10, 2018 at 6:12 AM #

    Great post Sam. I live in Windsor, Ontario and travel often to Michigan for concerts, shopping, golf and more. There is so much to see in do in Michigan, that I definitely hope to do more. One goal I have is to visit Mackinaw Island.


    • Sam December 10, 2018 at 9:40 AM #

      I visit Windsor a few times a year for work but I haven’t been able to spend much free time there yet. I hope you can make it to Mackinaw! It’s really fun and such a unique experience.

      Liked by 1 person

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