So how about a cup of coffee? How about a coffee cup?
Monday Mug Shot
Mackinaw City and St. Ignace, Michigan
I figure since I’m from Michigan it shouldn’t be a great shock that I’ve been to and over the bridge that connects the Lower and Upper Peninsulas of the state. When my brother and I were very young and my parents were just starting out as a family, we were avid campers. Camping was a fun vacation, a good learning experience and affordable for a couple just starting out with very young children. We very often went to a number of Upper Michigan State Parks; Indian Lake was a family favorite. We’d leave either Friday night or Saturday morning and be gone for the week, sometimes a long weekend.
When we got to the Mackinac Bridge, even if it was at night and we were sleeping, our parents would wake us up so we could see the bridge. I know they did that, but honestly don’t really remember it. I still appreciated that they did it. That’s what gave me the idea of quelling Tori and Rina whining about going to bed when they stayed with us when they were little. I remembered that I didn’t want to miss anything when I whined about going to bed too. I also remembered how much I appreciated being awakened for the bridge, even if I fell back asleep and didn’t remember it. So after an especially rough night trying to get them to bed, I woke them up at midnight to see a cartoon debut on Cartoon Network. They thanked me but went back to sleep. They didn’t remember any of it in the morning when we talked about it, but never gave me any trouble again about going to bed because they knew I’d wake them up if there was something really cool. Maybe that was my parents’ thinking with waking us up to cross the bridge?
The amazing thing about crossing the bridge during the day is Simon and Garfunkel’s Cecilia was always, and I mean always, on the radio when we crossed. Truly amazing! Mom and Pop liked the song and Dave and I liked the song and it didn’t matter how amazing a coincidence it was. We just sang and enjoyed crossing the bridge. Years later Mom confessed that she had a very old school battery-operated cassette player in the car when we camped.
Pop worked in construction, so our camping trips were usually in the spring or fall, when the workday was shorter and the workload was either still building for the season or waning. Cool thing was, especially during the week, we were usually one of only a few campsites that were full. This is how I fell in love with squirrels. At five or six years old, when there was no one else in the campground, I was allowed to walk all the way 2 campsites away with my bag of peanuts in the shell to sit at a picnic table and feed the squirrels. I was told to never touch the squirrels, throw the peanuts out for them on the ground. That worked at first, but as I got older, I started putting the peanuts on the table. The squirrels were slightly tamed by fall with a campground full of humans leaving them scraps all summer. One time I bravely put the peanut in my open hand and the squirrel on the table with me took it from my hand and cracked it open on the table to eat it. Most of the time, they took the peanuts to store away for winter. To this day, I love squirrels and they remind me of that moment when I was a child that I felt very special because the squirrel trusted me.
I love how sometimes writing takes on a my mind of its own. When I started writing today’s Mug Shot I thought I was going to write about the first time I drove on the Big Mac, as the Mackinac Bridge is known. Maybe next week I can repost the mug with a different story. So many of my mugs are reminders of multiple stories.
I’ll be back at my next break with Meet Me On Monday!