Allegan, MI

We are home now, back from two-plus months at the cabin. Busy now trying to put back together all of the pieces of our life here in the Lou. Thanks, to Joanie for looking after the old homestead while we were a way so long. We left the cabin early Saturday morning, taking two days to drive home. We overnighted in Allegan, MI, a small town (about 5,000 people) southwest of Grand Rapids. Anne wanted to attend a fiber-fest there and got to spend the better part of the afternoon doing so. I spent the afternoon exploring this small town.

I dropped Anne off at the fairgrounds, where the fiber-festival was being held, at about one. Check-in wasn’t until three, leaving me a couple of hours to wander around. Allegan sports a waterfront park, on the banks of the Kalamazoo River. There was an ongoing Gay Pride festival going on, but there didn’t seem to be much happening. After circling the three or four blocks that comprised the town’s downtown business district, I visited Tantrick, a local brewery that overlooked the riverfront park. They had a wide selection of ciders, one of which was snozzberry cider. I asked the bartender what was a snozzberry, to which she answered by quoting Willy Wonka, “Lick an orange. It tastes like an orange. The strawberries taste like strawberries! The snozzberries taste like snozzberries!” Which really didn’t answer my question, but the sample that she served me tasted fine and I ordered a pint that I drank downstairs in the park.

Three o’clock rolled around and I headed over to the Jade Estate Inn, a fancy Victorian (1860) bed and breakfast that I had booked for the night. As the various pictures will attest, it was everything that I had hoped for and more. We stayed in the Emerald Room, the best of five in the inn. I was uncertain, what with the age of the inn, whether or not each room had their own bathroom, but was quite pleased with the modern facilities. Our room even had a hot tub. Later, I was sitting out on the covered veranda, when first it began to rain. It had been threatening to do so all day. Next Anne arrived from the nearby fairgrounds, a little damp, but no worse for wear. We waited out the rain, snacking on provisions that we had brought south with us from the cabin. After the rain left, we walked around downtown. Allegan really is a small town. By a process of elimination, we ended up back at Tantrick, where we ordered bar food for dinner. Afterwards, we headed down to the riverfront park, where the once lackluster gay pride festival was now really hopping, headlined with a family-friendly drag show, I kid you not. To top off the day, while watching the drag queens perform, a dozen sandhill cranes overflew us low, before disappearing into the sunset.

Family Group Shot

One More Family Group Shot

On Monday, our last wave of visitors to the cabin left. First to go were Harry and Jane, then Jay and Carl headed south, leaving Anne and I all alone. I packed up the new cots that we had been sleeping on while everyone else was here and we moved back into the master bedroom. I don’t know if it was the new again bed or the silent absence of all the others, but both Anne and I experienced some sleeplessness last night. Anne had some trouble falling asleep and proceeded to count the number of prime numbers between 1900 and 2000. She counted eleven, but after later looking it up, discovered that there are thirteen. Anne has always had this thing for prime numbers that dates back to a high school science project she did. If prime numbers don’t work, then she recites the fifty states and their capitols. Breathing-in she says to herself, Alabama. Then with a slow exhale she spells out the state, A-l-a-b-a-m-a and then recites its capitol, Montgomery, before breathing again and moving on to the next state. Sometimes she does the state alphabetically, but on other occasions she will do them geographically, either north-south and then east-west or visa-versa. She finds that these mental exercises help to relax her and let her fall asleep. I am nowhere near as imaginative as she is when dealing with insomnia. Last night, I awoke at three, probably, because I had to pee. Returning to bed, I noticed a light on outside. I finally figured out that it was the overhead moon. It was shining on the window screens, giving the forest a gauzy sheen, except for the top foot of the windows, where the roof’s overhang shielded the window from the moonlight. After I had figured all of that out, I soon fell asleep, not very imaginative.