Blue Water Healthy Living

This is Michigan

By Mary Bisciaio

Mary Bisciaio

Michigan has finally embraced summer.

It took a while for winter to let go of its ugly grasp on our state, but spring finally won and within a week, we went from forty to eighty degrees.

Those of us who have spent our entire life in Michigan are never surprised. In sub-degree weather in January, we claim to love the change of seasons, by April we mentally change to lighter clothing, and by Memorial Day we hit our many beaches and bring out the barbecues. June through August we travel our state in record numbers to familiar places like Mackinac, Copper Harbor, Traverse City, and St. Joseph. Close to home but still a vacation. In October we bundle up our children for the rainy chilly temperatures of Halloween then a week later we catch a dose of Indian summer, and by Christmas we’re driving through the snow, sleet, slush, and ice, all the while laughing at our southern neighbors who close schools with a half inch of snow.

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I love Michigan.

I’ve seen heat, storms, hail, a drastic cool down, and tornadoes—all in the same day, but I truly love this state, and even with our travels since retirement, we haven’t found somewhere we’d rather live.

I love the South and hate hurricanes.

I love the Southwest and hate 120 degree temperatures.

I love the Northwest and hate the winters that are worse than ours.

I’d like to see California someday, but I’d tire of the constant sun.

Our state has boating, swimming, beaches, lighthouses, water skiing, kayaking, horseback riding, snow skiing, tobogganing, fishing, hiking, camping, biking, zoos, planetariums, art and science museums, and Detroit sports, and that is just the beginning.
And, here is the best thing, we’re a friendly bunch in Michigan.

We have the friendliest people in the country. (You may want to keep that under your hat.) Yes, the South may be more charming and polite, but I’m still amazed at Michiganders. We chit chat in grocery stores, with our neighbors, in campgrounds, in banks, and at fast food restaurants. Anywhere is a new place to make a friend even if it’s only for ten minutes till we reach the front of the line.

One summer we took a road trip to the Northeast. Pretty country, but locked in a car with two little boys for hours, I remember little except the constant complaining and the shoveling of snacks to the back seats. Two memories, though, are as vivid as the day they happened.

First, we pulled into a rest stop in New York, and I went to the ladies’ room. I was happily washing my hands and being my friendly Michigan self, and I was getting blank stares and some obvious underlying hostility. I looked up in the mirror and realized I was proudly wearing my Detroit Tigers ballcap. What? Not Tiger fans?

Second, on the same trip we became hopelessly lost in Massachusetts. Finally convincing my husband to stop, I approached a firefighter enjoying the sunshine outside his station. As I neared, he said, “No. Whatever you want, the answer is no.” Wow, I quickly reassured him I wanted nothing but directions. Begrudgingly, he turned me In the right direction, or so I thought. When we finally found our way, we discovered the directions were completely wrong. Thanks, buddy, and thank goodness we now have a GPS.

I love Michigan.

We have a lot to be proud of in this state, but I’m not oblivious to our problems. Our roads need fixing, our schools need revamping, and my lawn needs cutting, but don’t sell us short. We listen, we care, and we’d gladly give you correct directions and an earful about our Pistons, Redwings, Tigers, and Lions.

After all, this is Michigan.


Mary has lived her entire in life in Michigan. She’s obsessed with the beauty of our state and spends a lot of time by the water. She’s a graduate of Marygrove College in Detroit and attended Saginaw Valley College for her post-graduate work. She enjoyed teaching middle school and high school for 27 years in East Detroit.
After she retired, she started a new career. With more time to read, she got hooked on romance novels and began writing her own. She currently has five novels in both e-book and print on Amazon and continues to find inspiration in her travels and in her imagination.
She lives with her husband of forty-five years, raised two great sons that have given her two great daughters-in-law, and five grandchildren.

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1 comment

Barbara Swiftney December 18, 2018 at 10:16 pm

Right on, Mary. I love Michigan, too. I love the seasons and each season seems to have one really perfect day that we always remember.


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