Monday, October 26, 2015

Learning "how we do it"

I have been absent from my blog for quite awhile...there are no real excuses but I have a lengthy list, none the less. It is especially enjoyable to blog while travelling and, for some reason, despite having traveled the past couple of years with our grand kids, I didn't write and post photos. Possibly, FaceBook is the offending culprit. FB is so easy to use and quickly update but it is NOT a source of depth, meaning and least, for me. So, here I am again.

These past few years were filled with great stories and great leaps of faith. I have met the most wonderful people in our new home, Caseville, Michigan where we have had a "cottage" for ages. Now, Caseville brings new meaning to a culture shift. I have never lived in such a tiny community: a community where everyone knows everyone else, their business, who they are related to, where they eat, with whom they sleep and more!

We are a community without diversity, which bothers me to no end. We are predominately white, we all speak English, and many have very similar middle class upbringings. One does see some cultural and ethnic diversity during our yearly, 10 day August celebration called, "Cheeseburger in Paradise," named after Jimmy Buffet. Tons of music, great food, interesting vendors and much drinking and carrying on. Normally, Caseville is a relatively quiet community but this event brings tens of thousands to our tiny community. Streets are packed, bands are found in most parks, one can find 20 or 30 different types of burgers on sale and people are allowed to pack coolers full of alcoholic drinks and take them into the parks to enjoy while listening to the various bands.

Summer is an exciting, vibrant time of year for our community. Cottages are full on weekends, vacationers come to swim, boat, fish and chill in our town. Stores and restaurants are is brisk and there is much to do. Come Labor Day...that all changes. Stores shut down, restaurants either close or reduce their hours, school starts, vacationers and weekenders are busy in the city...and we are practically a ghost town.

The other day, I ran into a friend in town and mentioned that I was meeting another friend at the Wooded Island, a restaurant in town, and Dave indicated I would not be going there. They are only open now Thursday through Sunday. It was Wednesday. Change of plan!

I live in this community and am trying very hard to get involved. I want to know how and why we operate the way we do. To that end, I have become involved in our food pantry, volunteering and meeting more people who live, work, volunteer and love our area and all it has to offer. I have joined our Caseville Methodist Church, and although I have attended church over the years fairly regularly, it was in a Catholic Church and I went to church to worship, not to be an active participant in the church. Now, as a member, I find I want to be involved with committees and help make our church an extension of my family. I want to worship and celebrate with an extended "family." This church feels like home to it.

Growth in my community has included attending city council meetings every month when I am in town. I have always voted but, again, I never wanted to know how the city I lived in worked or why it worked the way it did. Now, I want to know the players, want to know the decision makers, and want to question why we are doing x, y or z. Hoping to join the planning commission shortly and Richard laughs and says that I will soon run for city council. HAHAHHAHAHAHA!

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