Impromptu Michigan Trip

I'm lucky enough to have been raised in Mid-Michigan, and whenever I get home I sometimes revel in its understated beauty – especially this time of year when everything is so lushly green. This trip was dedicated to visiting with my incredibly lovely 93-year-old grandmother, Genevieve. The eldest of eight, my dad grew up on our family farm, where grandma still resides today.

Image 7
photo-28

Sifting through dozens of old photos albums is one of my favorite things to do at The Farm. My grandfather recently passed away, so uncovering many shots of he and grandma looking happy and healthy brought a smile to my face.

photo-26

When my sister and I visit The Farm together, we spend some time down at the pond throwing back a Black Label or two. My Uncle Joe actually has a "hiding spot" located under a rock in the spring, where the beers keep cold year-round (sorry for the reveal, Joe!). This trip, the pond had been drained for a cleaning so Jen and I got to walk through it and uncovered some gorgeous agates and fossils.

photo-22

On the drive back, we stopped by one of our most-loved childhood ice cream spots, King Kone. Chocolate and vanilla twist dipped in chocolate? Yes, please!

photo-27

And of course you know I had to document some Michigan flowers. The clematis are in bloom in my folks' backyard.

photo-24

For more proof of Michigan's beauty, check out this short video that Matt made a few years ago. About 3:26 minutes in you can see footage of The Farm and my grandmother.

1.1.11

Oh hello, friends! Happy New Year. Last night Matt and I had our traditional New Years Eve festivities which included eating loads of yummy food, drinking vintage Bollinger champagne, playing board games and watching movies, all in our pajamas while sitting beside the Christmas tree! I hope you all had stellar a good time as well. So I want to ramble about New Years Resolutions for a hot second. Last year I vowed to do yoga at least once a week and make a considerable effort to rid my body of the stress I tend to plague it with. I am happy to report that I did a solid job and will continue my yoga practice for...well, probably forever! This year, my resolution is to spend more quality time with my family - this will mean traveling back to MI more than usual, and to Napa to see my sis and bro in law, and of course, conning them into coming back to Florida to visit us as well. I am so lucky to have such an amazingly strong and supportive family, unfortunately we're scattered on opposite coasts, so I don't get to enjoy their company as much as I'd like to. I love traveling but it's expensive and hard to get away from work, and frankly, the thought of airports lately gives me hives, but seriously I'm going to push that aside and do my best to spend as many vacation days and three-day weekends as possible with them because to me, my family is as dear to my heart as it gets.

I've always had a deep appreciation for the roots on both sides of my family. My mom's heritage stems all the way back to the small Italian village of Pofi (about an hour Southeast of Rome) and I'd like to get back to visit with my extended family there again someday soon (a few photos from my last trip are posted here).

On my dad's side, his parents have owned our picturesque family farm (see it here) since 1946 in almost-upper Michigan, and a good majority of my favorite childhood memories took place there. Over the time I've lived in Florida, I only get back to the farm twice a year and that's just not enough. My Grandpa's health and memory are both steadily fading and my Grandma's spirit seems to be dwindling a bit as the the aches of old age set in...and I want more time with them.

On that note, my mom has commissioned Matt to make a short documentary about them and The Farm - here's a short bit of footage from a few days ago, while walking (and doing some kind of weird dance) on the beautifully snow-drenched property.

[vimeo 18334012 w=640 h=360]

Walking in the snow at Kruch Farm from Matt Morris on Vimeo.

Bottom line: time is precious and I want to spend as much of mine as I can with the people I love. I was reminded of this today when my dear friend Allister posted a very wise quote that hit me hard: "Follow your passion, life is shorter and less serious than you think..."

Thanks for reading my first blog/babble of 2011. May this year be a classy one!