July 7, 2022
There were so many good things happening this week, we didn’t stop with just one final story! Enjoy, and let’s all make this week even better.
First, Governor Whitmer came to visit our Traverse City flagship store on Tuesday afternoon. We met her at the back door and chatted in a quiet hallway. I introduced her to a few key staff members, and then she headed out to surprise Cherry Republic customers from all over the state and country. It was a special moment for my staff and for all the customers that got a chance to take a photo with her. Through all the challenges she has faced over these first two years in office, she’s done a pretty good job of balancing the needs of Michigan’s businesses with the safety of our citizens.
And that night, we were up at the Selby’s working on a mountain bike trail and as the evening darkened, the lightning bugs came out. Not just a few, but thousands it seems – like a string of neverending lights floating over a grassy meadow. It was such a blast of wonder and mystery. Jim and I and the kids were all asking each other, “Have you ever seen so many all together like this?” Jim climbed back on his tractor and the boys jumped on their bikes for another jump run.
I walked to the edge of the meadow and looked into a thick woods of hemlock and maple trees. The woods were dark, almost creepy in contrast to the lively field of boys and fireflies. It was pitch dark, but for a few faded tree trunks catching a bit of light from the tractor. Yet, there were hundreds more fireflies – bright and lively – and they cheered these dark woods up with a little Christmas joy in July. It would have been great to show the Governor these woods, and everyone visiting up north who could recharge off the energy of these little electric bugs.
Earlier in the week, we got to celebrate Glen Arbor’s 4th of July parade. At 12:15 on Monday, I reached my station at the intersection of M-109 and Forest Haven. The pack of Elvis Presley impersonators were gathered, the boisterous camps of Leelanau and Kohanna were waiting, and several other big groups, too. While we watched for the parade to come from Glen Haven, I searched around for other entries that wanted to be weaved in between the old cars and simple floats. A neighbor of Amy Peterson’s was there with her late husband Ted’s 1942 Ford Tractor. There was a young couple hoping to join Mimi’s Kazoo corp. I told them that Mimi injured her hip, but offered that if they’d like to march, I would love to weave them in. A swim instructor/lifeguard dressed in gray neoprene and carrying a fancy life ring and fins asked to march. “We’ll put you between two boats,” I suggested.
Then we saw and heard the fire trucks coming – the parade was on its way. After the police cars and fire trucks came a plow truck, four privately owned historic military jeeps and three old army troop carriers rolled by. Old cars and convertibles honked and tossed candy. And then I started slowing a car or two down and mixing in the walkers.
At the end of the parade, the Cherry Republic delivery truck came loaded with fresh cherries. I joined them and down the parade route we came. Hawthorn jumped out of the crowd to join us as well, and we handed out 1,000 cups of cherries. As I walked, waved, and handed out ruby red morsels of joy, I choked up and felt a tear in my eye. I haven’t seen so many, many smiles in a long year. I’ve been a part of this parade for 35 years, and this year, with all we’ve been through, with all the reckoning the USA is doing, it’s so healing to gather in good spirits with good people.