Day 7: Let It Rain, Let It Rain, Let It Rain

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We have had day after day of rain.  There is not a hint of sun in the 10 day forecast.  We need it after an unseasonably warm and dry winter last year and record hot summer.  Many of our rivers and streams were the lowest I had ever seen them.  So while we are feeling a little bit of “cabin fever” and my morning run this morning was not as enjoyable, we are welcoming the rain this Christmas season.

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My hometown

I recently returned from Michigan.  I am a news correspondent with the Banner magazine.  We have a conference every two years typically in Grand Rapids with all the other news writers.  Grand Rapids is one of  my hometowns.  I lived there from 1989 – 2000 and then from 2005 – 2006. Part of my visit included spending time with family members who live there and reconnecting with old friends.

When you return to a place from your past, hundreds of memories flood your mind.  Things that you do not think about on a given day.  My friend Tricia and I explored Kuyper campus where we both went to college.  I graduated from there in 2000.

This is the very spot where my husband Rob and I had our first conversation.  It was following a 90’s style Coffeehouse/Talent Show.  He was talking to a mutual friend.  We began conversing together.  I walked back to my dorm room thinking, “He seems really nice.  I could date him.”  He walked back to his room thinking, “She seems really nice, but she’ll never date me because she’s a senior.”  Rob was a freshmen.Rob and I were married on May 19, 2001 in Kuyper’s chapel.  This is the room where I got ready on my wedding day.  It was not a cardio room at the time!  It was a big open room where we would watch movies on Friday nights.  Apparently Rob started watching Judge Judy in here on afternoons.  He acquired a few Judge Judy followers who watched it together on a regular basis.I also ventured out to Fruitport, Michigan where I lived from 2001 – 2004.  It is a cute little town seven miles from the Lake Michigan shoreline.  One of my closest friends Beth lives there.  I miss eating large bowls of ice cream and watching silly teen movies with her.  She is a mom to two beautiful kids she adopted from Ethiopia.

This is what Tulip Time is going to look this year!  While in Oregon we got a cold and flooding winter, Michigan had one of the warmest on record.  The tulips all bloomed way too early!

And I always love hanging around Calvin College where our conference took place.  Calvin is my other “alma mater” where I spent my first two years of college.  My siblings, parents, various aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents are all Calvin alumni.  I broke the trend by graduating from Kuyper.  I am forever grateful for the two years spent at Calvin–some of the best years of college.

Now that I have lived in Oregon for almost six years I see how I have shredded some of my “Michigander” identity and have become immersed in the Pacific Northwest culture.  Or else I have become a bit more well rounded.  There are parts of Michigan I will always miss, but I am grateful to return to Oregon which is the place I refer to as “home.”