Monday, September 9, 2013

10 Things You Take For Granted Growing Up In Michigan

The Landmarks - Michigan is full of beautiful places and vacation spots that people come from all over the world to see.  When you grow up hitting Mackinaw Island every summer and crossing the majestic Mackinaw Bridge a couple times a year, its easy to become blase about these glorious sights.
The Water - there is water everywhere around here.  My brother commented often when he went to Twentynine Palms and then Iraq while in the Marines about how much he missed the water.  We have not just water but fresh water - some of the most beautiful lakes, rivers, waterfalls, streams, ponds anywhere.

The Trees - driving through Michigan there are trees nearly everywhere.  They come in every shape and size and are constantly changing.  If you live in Michigan, chances are you spend a lot of time driving - I never get bored riding in the car because even areas that are just full of trees are so interesting.
Nature - living creatures great and small can be found all over in Michigan.  The animal life is fascinating here - from wolves, bears and elk in the Upper Peninsula and northern Lower, to whitetail deer and turkeys throughout.  There are winged creatures of all sorts who pass through from the great herons to the tiny hummingbirds and you can often see them when you are just driving on the highway or relaxing in your backyard.  If you are an animal lover, Michigan is paradise (we even have a town by the name Paradise!).
Seasons - we tend to forget other areas of the country don't get 4 distinct seasons like we do.  I love having 4 full seasons - each has their very different things that make them special.
Change - not only do the seasons change, but Michigan has such a diverse topography as you travel through the state.  From the rich soil, farmland and hardwood forests downstate to the sandy dunes on the west side to the Jack pines and ferns in the north.  I love living near the middle of the Mitten because you can drive 2 hours in any direction and access totally different land, culture, towns and experiences.
History - Michigan has a rich history and everywhere you go you can find museums, events and displays honoring that history.  Even the tiniest of towns have hidden little historical museums and artifacts you can visit to learn about the state's history and the people from our state who have played important roles in history.
Agriculture - the diverse seasons and topography, changing weather and ample water make Michigan a great place for agriculture.  Because of this, Michigan has food resources and self-starting job opportunities we often take for granted.
Hardiness - anything that survives here is tough.  The people are tough, the wildlife is tough, livestock and plants have to be hardy.  This is a state constantly changing and you have to be able to adapt.
Progress - everyone knows Michigan is the birthplace of the automobile but throughout the state there are many other types of industry that have started here.  Michigan is proud of its local entrepreneurs and efforts have been made especially in recent years to support and encourage growth - from new inventions to roadside start-ups.
Its easy as a Michigander to take all these things for granted.  But if you start looking at license plates while you drive around, its easy to see that Michigan has traits that are appealing to those from all over the country.  Visit some historical sites and you will find visitors from all over the world.  I love Michigan!

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