Dear Michigan...

I spent a lot of time in Michigan the last two days.

Not literally, of course. But online. I chatted with my friends still there. I dreamed my way through I rewrote a short story about snow for my writing class.

I spent a lot of time in Michigan.

It's where I learned to point to the palm of my hand and say, "I live here."

I lived here.

It's been decades since I've been there, but I can still feel the easy humidity of a warm summer's night spent running barefoot on the grass. The fresh, new air when bulbs push their first leaves through the damp soil in the spring. The crispy, crunchy footsteps of walking through a mosaic of fallen Oak and Maple leaves. And the blinding brightness of cold falling snow.

I grew up in Michigan. It's where I learned to ride a bike. Talk to neighbors. Swim in a lake. Sled down the street. It's where we played Lava in the house, and hid in the spaceship of our basement.

My mom's flower gardens. My dad's tomatoes. My brother working on his car. Typing out homework.

It's where I found my first stray cat. Played with snakes and raccoons. Learned how to layer clothing. Roast marshmallows. Camp in the backyard.

It's where my best friends once lived, and have returned to. Leaving a light on for me.

I love Bedford Manor. But I'm lonely for that light. For staying up late talking nonsense. Drinking coffee on the patio in the morning fog. Reaching hands to pray over dinner. I'm lonely for that company.

And I can't wait to return. If even just for a visit.

Keep the light on and warm the Mittens, Michigan. One way or another... I'll be there.

And Frankly, My Dear... that's all she wrote!

Molly Jo


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