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The Michigan Adventure


As the heat increased in New Jersey. I realized it was time to turn on the air conditioning. I’d been able to hold off, keeping our home with windows open throughout the spring. And what a spring we had. I believe it had been the best spring in thirty years or more.

Actually, I’d commented to my weekly walking friend Star, that it was perhaps the nicest spring I could ever remember, perhaps for even four decades. The rain arrived as it should’ve. The grasses looked awesome. We had frost around April 21st which made me reseed grass for a third time for the north and west sides of my property.

My lavender garden blossomed so perfectly in its purply array. Even the lavender on our front stoop was flourishing. I spent nearly all but three days from March 20th through May 11th outside doing landscaping from two to nine hours per day, even in the rain. I’d put in 100-115 miles per week between my running, walking and hiking miles.

By the first week in June, I’d expected to see some new fawns, but to no avail. The deer seemed fewer. However, the birds of all sorts were many in our backyard. The second week of June, bunnies abound, too. Still no fawns yet.

As water restrictions were put in place—for what? But to piss off us Midland Park residents when we’ve been having tons of rain. Alas, our water company is one town over. The restrictions were the tightest I’d ever experienced since 1999. To the point of obvious political pressure of some sort against our town or so it seems. Not having the political pull from the federal  and state governments to pay for our PFAS and PFOA filtration. Meanwhile, we pay our more than fair share of real estate taxes as homeowners in own town. We were put on drought restrictions for political reasons. Trust me, I know that.

I digress, soon it was the week of my excursion via driving solo across the United States to move our oldest into her new apartment. Her other roommates were would arrive later after her initial move in. So, on Monday June 17th I’d set up the air conditioning to be on constantly while I would be gone for eighteen days.

Our youngest would be home holding down the ‘fort’. Two pet sitters were on duty to help with our  three elderly pets. With all paperwork on pet care typed up. And where I’d be and when also typed up on a separate sheet of paper for everyone involved back in New Jersey. I then went for my last New Jersey run for the next eighteen days.  I’d be running in virtually all new territory. Adding a state or two that I’d never taken a run in since I’d began running July 1st, 1976.

Before I knew it, it was Wednesday, June 19th and I was in my car, all loaded up with cooler, backpack, and a few pieces of luggage, maps, dry goods and such. I decided to bring along my husband’s and my first shared teddy bear from February 1982. I also had recently bought a cute little fuchsia colored beanie baby elephant that sat on the lower portion of the middle of my dashboard for an added ray of sunshine.

This elephant to me represented the innocence of when my husband received a stuffed animal elephant as an infant. We still have that white elephant which has grayed over the past 67 or so years. It sits in our computer room on his desk, across from where he would sit to do some paperwork. So, he would be with me in spirit on my trip to help our oldest daughter.---Jody-Lynn Reicher 


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