Saturday, January 18, 2014

Back to the Business of Living

Cheri went out of the house without a wig for the first time this week. Her hair is coming in really curly, and of course is still quite short so it's reminiscent of a child's. I suggested that she could sport a full afro, but I don't think she will take that advice. She did manage to take her fall vacation trip to see family and friends in Michigan in November, leaving me home to watch the dogs and earn a living. Then we had a wonderful Christmas with Mark and Katie visiting, but all the decorations and presents are put away now and it's back to the business of living./// Pretty soon the business of living will be all the business I'm doing because if all continues to go well this spring, I'll be retiring from my current role at Monsanto on June first, hoping for a transition to a part-time consulting and mentoring position when I return to Kihei in late August. This winter nursery season will be hard to top anyway, so I'll be getting out while the getting is good. We have a great looking nursery and expect a bumper crop of seed to send back to our research sites on the mainland this spring. Then in June, let the fun begin! /// We're planning to be on the mainland most of June through August, though I will be going earlier and staying longer because Cheri needs to return to the dogs. We have a lady scheduled to house and dog-sit from early June to early August, but I'll go ahead of Cheri to spend some time with my Mom, and then stay later into August for more visiting and probably a bike trip. Because the kids are in the same locations (Denver and Minneapolis) we're going to reprise the trip we took in 2012 with a road trip from Michigan to Denver, then back through Minnesota and back to Hemlock by way of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. We are planning a bicycle tour that Cheri and I will do together, with lower mileage and me carrying most of the freight, staying in hotels or B&Bs in northern Michigan for a week, and we rented a house for another week on Drummond Island . We have a tentative itinerary so far but very few reservations as of yet. The items in italics are reserved, and so less likely to change:/// * June 1: Mike arrives in Hemlock./// * June 7: Cheri arrives./// * June 11: Road trip to Denver./// * June 18-22: Camping in Rocky Mountain National Park./// * June 27?: Road trip to Minneapolis./// * July 3: Brown family celebration at Pine Island Lake./// * July 6: Camping at Stony Point Campground near Walker, MN./// * July 10: Camping at Lake Bemidji State Park, Bemidji MN./// * July 14: Road Trip to Munising, MI./// * July 15: Kayak Pictured Rocks (AM) then drive to Hemlock./// * July 19: To Gaylord, MI for Girls Night Out./// * July 21: Bike trip; Gaylord, Mackinaw City, Bois Blanc Island, Gaylord./// * July 27: Drummond Island./// * August 3: Hemlock./// * August 6: Cheri returns to the doghouse./// * Late August: Mike returns to Kihei. (This space for rent)/// Again, for now this is the long-range plan and there will be plenty of juggling as we discover other opportunities or roadblocks in our path. We don't even have airline reservations right now, but I wanted to get folks thinking about the fun we might have together this summer, and update the availability of our guest room in Kihei (hint, hint).