This country of ours is pretty small considering the many miles it covers. I am not talking about the technology that has brought us all closer together-for better and for worse-but the fact that countless guests here at the ranch have been to the small town in Michigan that is my true home: St. Joseph/Benton Harbor, or at least the west coast of Michigan.
I work with a Hope alumni out here and met a group of 6 alumni who came in the restaurant one day. Last summer while enjoying some sushi on the patio of a restaurant in Bozeman the guy at the next table over asked me if I went to Hope College. "Ummm yeah? I just graduated this past spring." I was not wearing any Hope College gear. He replied, "Oh I just recognized you from on campus."
One of the Ranch's groomers is from Holland and lives on a street I used to bike down all the time-who knows how many times I have passed his house.
A couple from Chicago who ate in the restaurant in January told me they used to own a house in the Fire Lanes, about 15 minutes north of me. We went on to talk about the area and what a cool street Ridgeway is with all of architecture and the brick road itself.
Another couple from Indiana used to visit Warren Dunes all the time in their youth.
Just last night I met a couple from Ontario who had spent a couple of vacations in the St. Joseph enjoying the sun and scenery.
The list goes on.
Every time this comes up it reminds me how wonderful the West Michigan area is. Lake Michigan is irreplaceable. It is a verdant fruit basket in the summer, and enjoys (usually) beautiful winters with snow and cold. Of course there are drawbacks, but nothing too harsh. The sun does shine a couple of times in between November and May.
Yes, I do believe I will end up there again some day.