By Missy Rogers
Our first trip to Sleeping Bear Dunes it seemed to take days to get there. “Are we there yet? Are we there yet?” We asked the whole way. When we arrived everything seemed so big. The hills seemed to touch the sky. The shoreline went on for what seemed like miles. 100 more questions would be asked before it was over. Lady’s Slipper, Forget Me Not and Iris painted the swamps and brookside blue and yellow along with other flowers. The wild strawberry and red clover added a red tint to the fields and road side along with other various white yellow and blue flowering plants. On the sand covered hills of the dunes you could spot Pitchers Thistle, now on the endangered plants list. It grows for 5 to 8 years before it blooms and gets 3 feet tall. Trudging on up the hills, through all the sun heated sand as the wind blew, the waves rolled in, I finally made it to the cool water. I truly believed that the water never ended looking out into the blue.
Sometime later I found myself curled up on the car floor as we crossed Mackinac Bridge. I looked up at the strings. The bridge appeared to be held up by heaven. As we stopped on the bridge, bravery led me to stick my head out the window. I looked down to see the grates on the bridge, bravery soon ended and I curled back up on the floor. Quite sometime later we made it to Pictured Rocks.
A picture of my parents at Pictured Rocks fills my memory when I think of this day. Smiles painted their faces as Mother Nature painted the background. I have only been out of Michigan 2 times in my life and yet I have seen some of the most beautiful spots in the world. I have felt the hot sand in my toes, heard the water fall down a 200 foot cliff where earth’s crust creates a colorful blend of layers and seen the sunset in what seems like an endless horizon. I have been to my little piece of heaven where I know that the sights, smells and sounds that surround me will always take me back to my childhood. I know that my mother and father will be with me in spirit whenever I visit. It is where I will take my children and be with them in spirit when I am gone. These are the places that we create memories that last an eternity generation after generation.
Missy Rogers is a mother of 8, from Newaygo, Michigan, wife of a wounded warrior, and blogs at www.Simplyraising8.com.