Friday, June 16, 2017
I slammed on my brakes just before the second bend in M22, south of Empire, startling my fiance. But his eyes were lit up.
“Did you see?!” he asked.
I drew a really dramatic breath and nodded. I pulled a u-turn—dangerous, probably, but worth the risk.
We backtracked and pulled into the neighborhood along Erie Street — a collection of funky, tiny houses cutely arranged around a village green. This is what excites us.
We’re both 32 years old.
The first tiny house was sort of cabin-esque. Situated a little further off the road and behind a modest podium of shrubbery. He’s a little shy. And definitely a he. Dark, but bright-eyed and welcoming.
And then the blue one — a little reminiscent of the A-frame wanna-be where I grew up, over on Long Lake (the one downstate, in Kalamazoo, not the one up here). It’s a bit of a stretch but I’m an inconvenient combination of nostalgic, romantic, and unapologetic.
All the Icks.
It’s sort of tropical, the blue house. But that’s the trick of Northern Michigan, isn’t it? One year we stayed on Old Mission Peninsula shortly after spending some time in Ibiza and swam out to the raft at Haserot Beach. We laid on our bellies, backs to the sun, and watched the fish swim in the clear blue water below.
“Kind of like the Mediterranean,” I said.
“My love,” J snapped, tutting at me with disgust. “Much colder.”
Again, a stretch.
What can I say?
A diminutive red Victorian. Elegant and established. Regal. Monarchical. This one. This could be a place to display our tchotchkes in heavy mahogany cabinets and re-watch episodes of the Great British Bake Off into the wee hours of the night.
But is that us, really?
One of us, maybe.
The best for last, of course. My favorite — the white one. It’s the first one you see if you enter from M22 on Ontario Street. Simple. Symmetrical. Minimal. Modern and traditional at the same time. A fusion of our two opposing styles. It seems like it’d be light and airy inside. Perhaps with wide-planked wooden flooring. A neatly designed kitchen that spilled into the living area. Plenty of comfortable seating for friends to kick up their feet after hiking the dunes.
It wouldn’t be suitable for our tchotchkes—all the little knick knacks we’ve collected throughout the years. I’d have to throw them out.
Or tuck them in a box in the attic because I’m sentimental
And maybe that’s okay.