Summer is fleeting in this area. People here wait through a long, cold winter because they know that when it gets here…you can’t beat summer time in Northern Michigan. Spending a day at the beach, watching the sailboats, jumping in the lake on a hot day, jet skis, kiteboards, an ice cold beer on a scorching day while standing by the grill, enjoying live music while sipping a frozen drink by the beach. All wonderful things. All worth waiting for. This year, we are just waiting a little longer.
Forecasters are calling for a cool, wet summer and if May and June are any indication they may be right. We all know the lake levels are approaching record levels and yes, a lot of our beaches are underwater. Yes, it seems to rain more often than not and it is true that it has been awhile since we have had temps close to normal. I look at the forecast and I see more rain coming and another week of temps in the 60’s.
But I also see MORE than that. I see a bunch of Michiganders who adapt to the situation and find a way to still enjoy themselves. Why? Because we love this state and that means loving it even when it is hard sometimes. What else can you do? Sit around and complain about it everyday or move to Florida? Not a chance.
Last Friday there was an Art Stroll downtown. Local artists, live musicians, businesses that stayed open late. While there may not have been as many people in attendance as the organizers hoped, the people that came enjoyed themselves. They strolled up and down the street under their umbrellas, stopping to listen to a saxophone player standing under an awning. They ventured into the art gallery.
Saturday morning out at Tawas Point State Park there was a cornhole tournament. Something that took months to plan. So when the forecast called for rain, those in charge quickly set up tents and the tournament went on. A good time had by all…and not one person left when they were eliminated, they all stayed to see who got to take home the big trophy.
Saturday was also the Sunrise Summer Solstice Festival. A lot of planning went into the event and a local business ended up stepping up to offer a home for the scheduled musicians to play. Some of the other events still took place at the park under tents. It didn’t go as planned. But people adapted and still found a way to have fun.
I spoke with some campers this weekend and though they didn’t get to spend the day at the beach as they had hoped, they didn’t care. They were still having a great time just getting away and enjoying our town. They shopped and ate and danced. They were already talking about their next trip up here.
Tonight there is a community band concert at a waterfront park. And I know that people will still go to enjoy the music. They will just take a jacket with them.
Summer doesn’t even officially start until the end of the week, so there is still hope for hot, dry weather. But we are going to have a great summer even if it doesn’t! We enjoy the sunshine when it happens, and when it rains we grab an umbrella and head out anyway. (We also know that often the best sunsets happen after a rainy day.) We grab a towel to dry off the patio furniture between rain showers so we can sit out on our decks. We know to always bring along a sweater or jacket when down by the water. Most of all we know that even when cold and damp, Michigan is STILL the place we want to call home.