Okay, cat sitter taken care of, reservations made, a few errands to run and we’re off for the annual visit to my home town, Flint, Michigan– the town abandoned by General Motors and forgotten by everyone else. Amazingly, some of the restaurants of my childhood still exist. Some good new places too. Most people my age left a long time ago but my mother has quite a few friends who still get around so there are lunches and dinners and visits with people who love to tell unflattering stories about me at two and five, etc. I’m old enough now that that’s actually kind of charming.
Over the years we discovered that we have trouble getting on the road early in the morning and driving that far. Having found a lovely little restaurant in Findlay, OH for lunch stops, I figured out time and distance and we decided a few years ago that on the way up we would leave early afternoon and head to Findlay in time for dinner at our fave place and spend the night there.
Thanks to the wonders of the internet I dug up a neat little local spot that makes its own yummy ice cream and another that carries good coffees and makes homemade donuts. We took a ride and discovered that the historic part of town is quite lovely and small enough to drive around easily. And so began our love affair with Findlay, a town with which we have no other association than these few charming spots that are now a part of the pleasant anticipation of the annual journey.
My mom isn’t getting around too well any more and a number of the old friends have been in and out of the hospital since our last visit so we head out in the morning knowing that this could be our last visit and if not our last, possibly the last time we see one or more of her old friends. Somehow it brings me more into the moment about this one. Ready to be present and drink it all in.