May 24, 2012

Living In Harbor Springs, Michigan - May 2012

It has been nearly 6 weeks since Mark and I moved from Athens, Ohio, to Harbor Springs, Michigan. So much has happened! I am going to let my photos do most of the talking! These are not in chronological order, but neither are the happy memories, visual experiences, and feelings that swirl around in my heart and mind as I become acclimated to this new hometown.

When spring finally arrived, Mark and I went down to the Marina after dinner and enjoyed seeing the first boats docked in the Harbor Springs marina on Lake Michigan.

This is the most recent photo, taken  May 24 at Petoskey State Park, about 10 miles from our home. I lived by the Gulf of Mexico for 17 years. It is good to live near water again!

I loved this plant, growing on the sand dunes.

We have become more active recyclers in our new town. These "friends" appear at the various recycling collection stations.

Here is my Hipstamatic pic of the marina in May. Soon, this place will be full of boats!

A few days ago I went to the Goodwill in Petoskey. It is the nicest Goodwill I've ever been in. Bright, clean, well organized! I bought about 10 books, hardcover, that were just like new, 4 sweaters, 4 tops, 2 pairs of shorts, a bunch of brand new socks for myself and Bryce, a cotton dress.... for $60. 

Perhaps you think I'm cheap. Perhaps you think I'm dowdy, dressing in someone else's "old" clothes. No, these clothes were in like-new condition. Why not spend $6 on an Anne Taylor shirt and save the extra money for things that really matter. Wearing designer clothes has never been important to me and as I work from home, it is not an issue.

I did not eat this. Someone I was sitting with did. He loves hamburgers. This was the tallest hamburger I've ever seen. It was served at Birchwood Farms Golf and Country Club.

I love seeing the flowers around the downtown area. I remember the beautiful summer flowers and the photos I took of them when we visited last August.  

Okay, I love to take photos of food. Here is Mark's serving of French Onion Soup at the New York Restaurant in Harbor Springs.

I am learning to play golf. Well...I am learning to like hitting golf balls while I enjoy the outdoors and trees and ponds. We'll see about the rest!

Here is the interior of the New York Restaurant, where the French Onion Soup was served. I loved the decor of this restaurant. 

I love the map/GPS feature on my iPhone. I use it so much and it makes me feel much better about driving places, especially by myself. The photo above shows just how far north in Michigan we now live... the Tip of the Mitt!

Here is a screen shot I took while talking with Bryce via Skype. I miss both of my sons, but am glad we have new technologies to stay in touch. 

When I drove to Philadelphia to visit my younger son for my birthday May 7th, everything was still wintery. The trees were just starting to bud. I had my winter coat on. When I returned six days later, the trees had their leaves. This photo of our Chihuahua Jackie was taken on Mother's Day.

After driving 17 hours to Philly and 17 hours back, and a wonderful visit too, this is how I spent Mother's in hand, talking with my kids...holding my dogs...reading and eating the great food prepared by Mark.

Before the season brings all the tourists, Mark and I visited American Spoon. I learned the difference between jams, jellies, preserves, conserves, and butters! We bought some delicious products.

If you click on the photo below to enlarge, you'll see they are putting in a new street lamp on Main St. of Harbor Springs. Something I've never seen done before.

Back to the Philadelphia trip: Jesse and I had a great day at the Brandywine Museum seeing works by my childhood painter-hero, Andrew Wyeth. It was also interesting to see Jamie Wyeth's paintings of Nureyev, who was also my childhood hero.

This photo was taken from inside the museum of folks paddling on the river.

After the museum, we went to Kennett Square and ate lunch at this nice deli.

This bakery in South Philadelphia would be my downfall. "But we deliver!" they said.

We had a delicious dinner at "The Dandelion" in Rittenhouse Square. The drawing below is their logo.

This was my meal at The Dandelion!

This is an historic house in Philadelphia.

Here is another historic house.

When I returned home from Philly, I drove past the lake between Petoskey and Harbor Springs (one day I will know all of these places names!). I wanted to see if I could get a photo of the swan Mark and I had seen as I had my telephoto lens with me. I discovered there were two swans. And more on the way!

 When I left, it was winter. When I returned six days later, it was spring!

And the flag was flying.

And the trillium were in full bloom, all throughout the forest floor in our neighborhood, which is kept as a preserve. Residents must promise to keep their property in a preserve-like state.

Aren't these above the happiest little flowers you've ever seen?

I fell in love with these violets. We had violets in Ohio, of course, but these are the prettiest ones I've seen.

I bought flowers for our front porch from the wonderful garden store in Harbor Springs: Christians' Renolda Greenhouse & Garden Center. I like shopping at locally owned stores.

While in Philly I had the pleasure of meeting with Rachel Simon. We talked for two hours and it was wonderful. We had so many things to talk about. She is an incredible person, a kind friend to so many, and, as you probably know since "The Story of Beautiful Girl" is a BESTSELLER, an incredibly gifted and hardworking (funny how those two qualities go together) writer!

Before leaving on the long drive home on my birthday, I also met with wonderful editor Anne Dubuisson Anderson. Anne is working with me on making my work-in-progress, "Finding Pletonia," be the best it can be! Thank you, Rachel, for introducing me to Anne.

One of the highlights of the past six weeks included meeting Larry (aka Mr. Paws). Larry is my "grand-dog" who lives in Philadelphia. He was a rescue dog and is a wonderful wonderful little guy. I can't wait to see him again!

The last six weeks have been exhausting, enjoyable, exciting, happy, bittersweet, sad, a lot of hard work, and a lot of adjustment. I made the difficult decision to close my publishing company of twelve years, Lucky Press. I made the positive decision to concentrate my work efforts on my book design, editing, and illustration services, and on writing and illustrating my own books. The last six weeks involved a wonderful drive and time spent in Philadelphia. It also involved 3 family birthdays, and one right around the corner, and Mother's Day. It also involved the emergency hospitalization of my son, Bryce, who had a serious reaction to some new medicine. He was just released Tuesday after four days, and is doing pretty good. We think everything will be all right, but it was darn scary and all these events, layered on top of each other, combined with unpacking hundreds of boxes (art room, business room, book shelves, Mark's office, living spaces!)...well, it's been a big deal.

New neighbors and friends, new stores and roads and habits (the post office here closes at 4:30!). New foods and newspapers and plants. New opportunities. Newness can be stressful too, but then it starts to settle in. It becomes less new. We adjust. We stop thinking about everything being so new. Before we know it, we just think it is "home." I'm not there yet, but I will be before too long. In the meantime, I can BREATHE in this beautiful Pure Michigan air. Even in the forest, with the trees I love. 

Here are some additional photos:

After our move, I finished up the interior layout of Upon Silver Wings III. This book was written by a long-time client of mine, CarolAnn Garratt, who has written three books now on her flights around the world in her Mooney plane. CarolAnn does these Earthrounder trips to raise awareness of and money for ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease) research. I am so happy to be a part of her book projects. 

As I was learning my way around our new house and town, I was also learning my way around Adobe's InDesign, as this was the first book I ever designed with that software (having always used QuarkXpress in the past). All went well until we were just finishing up to go to print, then a weird glitch occurred, stumping even the tech person at the printer. Well, I ended up finding a way around the problem. Isn't that often the case in life and work? Let's hear it for creative problem solving and teamwork! 

Before the Big Move, I had a chance to meet with my creative friend, Flo Clark, who lives in Florida. She was visiting her son and his family in Athens. Flo's paintings of her dog, Daisy, and a poem of hers have been featured on this blog before. It was great to spend time together.

Dear Forsythia Bush in Athens, Ohio. I will miss you more than you know. Every spring day when I looked out the dining room window I saw you in all your brilliant glory. I needed no store-bought flowers. You were more than enough.

Right at the time we were moving, Two True Blue Dragons by David Boyce, illustrations by me, returned from the PRINTER! Hooray!!!!!

We put the tiny paw-paw tree in a playpen and it went with the movers. It had two teeny leaves. They did not survive the move, but today I noticed ONE NEW LEAF. So, hope springs eternal, but I am not so sure paw-paw will grow this far north. We're almost to Canada, don't cha know?

Also, recently published, was Asylum on the Hill by Katherine Ziff. She was kind enough to mention me in the Acknowledgments and that made my day, my week, my month! I recommend this book to everyone interested in mental health history, or treatments, or Athens, Ohio, history. It is published by Ohio University's Swallow Press. Here is Kate's blog. (Please excuse the poor photo of the cover, this is a photo of the actual book I purchased.)

Two weeks before we moved, my good friend's husband died of cancer. I don't have to tell you what that was like. I will tell you that more than 200 people came to the Wake. The memorial service was filled and as a long line of cars made their way to the cemetery, traffic on Main Street in their town stopped as people pulled off the road. It was a beautiful tribute to a man who left his family way too soon, and left a community to which he had contributed so much. 

My friend has horses and I asked if I could meet her and her kids at the stables and take photographs of the horses. It was such a special morning. The photo above was my favorite from that day. I hated moving away at a time when I wanted to be a better friend. 

After the movers picked up our belongings, we had to sleep in the OU Inn. Here are Jackie and Tyler, comfortable in the hotel bed. They had spent the previous night at the vet's kennel, so were glad to be with us, although they didn't understand what was going on. Little Jackie (9) had the most difficult time with our move. She has heart failure and is on three medications. She is seemed very tired during and after the move. But about a week later, she bounced back and she is fine now. We had her checked out by her new vet, who was very caring. 

Here is the moving van arriving in Harbor Springs. They arrived about four hours after we did; it all went very smoothly.

Not long before we moved, I took this photo of the OU basketball stadium. The trees were in full flower. It would be about six weeks before the trees were in flower like this in Northern Michigan.

This photo was taken shortly after we moved into our new home. I was mesmerized by the shadow of the light hanging in the stairway. This is where I think we will live for the rest of our lives. Or at least, for many years. I'm glad because I am not ready to move again anytime soon!

All photos copyright 2012 by Janice Phelps Williams.
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