It has been a couple of weeks since I have last written our blog. During that time Mary Margaret and I were back in the San Francisco Bay area attending a wedding and spending some time with our daughter, Heather, our son, David Paul, his wife Allison and their children. We had a wonderful time and filled our life’s bucket with tons of great memories. It was a hoot to see how much little Victoria and Molly are developing and growing. We look forward to November, when we will be driving LeuC down from the state of Washington, to spend Thanksgiving with them all.
We returned to where we left LeuC, just outside of Columbus, Ohio earlier this week and spent one night recovering from our overnight flight before bundling up LeuC Tuesday morning and striking out for Ann Arbor, Michigan. Most people don’t know that while I was not born in Michigan, I have spent more time living in Michigan than any other state. My parents brought their young family here in 1953, when I was three years old. We lived in the East Lansing/Okemos area for 15 years while my dad first went to Michigan State University to receive his Doctorate in Education Administration and then stayed as a professor there in their College of Education. He also served as Deputy Supernatant of Education for the State of Michigan in 1957. In 1968, when I graduated from high school, I went to the University of Michigan, where I received my BS and then MS degrees from the College of Engineering. During that time, I met and married my life mate.
Mary Margaret spent her formative years growing up in Kalamazoo, Michigan. She was born in South Bend, Indiana but her parents brought their young family up to Kalamazoo when she was eight, where her dad became a Professor of Library Science at Western Michigan University. Once she graduated from high school, she went of the University of Michigan in 1969 and entered its School of Nursing. She graduated there with a BS in Nursing and then started working there on her Master’s degree. Two years after arriving at University, she had swept me off my feet and we married while in school in 1971. Four years later, we moved to Delaware, where I eventually received my Ph.D. from the University of Delaware and Mary Margaret transferred to the University of Pennsylvania, where she finished her Master’s in Nursing.
All told, I lived in Michigan for 22 years while Mary Margaret lived there for 16 years. We have been looking forward to returning “home” and rediscovering this wonderful state.
The drive up from Columbus was about 5 hours with stops to fuel up and then fill up with DEF. DEF stands for Diesel Emissions Fluid and is an aqueous solution made with 32.5% urea and 67.5% deionized water. It is sprayed into the catalytic convert to destroy the nitric oxide in engine gases before being released into the atmosphere. Before buying LeuC, with her 460-horsepower diesel engine, neither of us had ever heard of or knew of DEF. Now, about every 1000 miles, we have to refill our 7-gallon DEF holding tank. We can usually only get it at truck stops.
While in the Ann Arbor area, we will be staying at the Brighton Recreational Area, about 15 miles north of Ann Arbor. They have a campground set near Bishop Lake. It is not the nicest of campgrounds since it is really just a clearing cut out of the woods and does not offer much privacy. It reminds us of the campground we stayed at when we were in the Washington DC area
While here, we will be checking out houses since Ann Arbor is one of the areas in the US that we are considering moving to when we stop our nomadic days and sell LeuC. Since it is a very vibrant university town, it offers many things that we love: good plays and musicals, great sports, wonderful restaurants, a youthful attitude and lots of energy. Plus, compared to the housing and living costs we are used to after living in California for so long, it is a relative bargain. It’s only disadvantage is its winters, which can be cold and snow filled. That is something that we never missed in the remarkable climate we enjoyed in California.
While here, we will also be visited by our college friend, Rich. Rich and I were roommates in the dorm we shared during our Freshman year. He and his wife, Joy, will come on Friday to spend the afternoon and we are looking forward to their visit and catching up after all of these years.