Friday, December 29, 2006

Lots of Changes as the New Year Approaches

I've been very busy at the job. We're in the process of closing the Michigan business and opening the Florida business. Everything's the same as far as the customers are concerned. There's a heap of paperwork on my desk. I don't think it's gonna get done today. I have to be careful to keep the MI and the FL stuff separate so things don't get misfiled. I'm looking forward to getting together with friends this weekend.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

New Cell Phone

I got a new cell phone today. Despite signing up for a flat rate for the land lines there are still a bunch of extra access fees and taxes. Do I really need 2 land lines anymore? I don't think so. I'm shutting down one of the land lines and replacing it with the new cell phone.

The cell phone can go with me as I travel. I can change the number to a Florida number after we move.

I took the free phone that came with a nationwide plan, although I really wanted something that could play mp3's for jogging. It's a huge upgrade from the old cell phone that we use mostly as a car phone. I'm having fun pushing all the buttons and playing with the features. Alfonze is getting sick of me playing with the ring tones.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Somebody's Sick for Christmas

It's going to be a quiet Christmas. Mom had surgery on her sinuses 4 days ago. She thought she'd be well enough to host a Christmas dinner, but she is really sick. I brought her some home made chicken soup this afternoon.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

House Hunting Along the Dixie Highway

We were at the Florida end of the Dixie Highway (I-75) this weekend house hunting. We took advantage of off-season airfare. The housing market in Florida is as slow as in the Midwest. That helps even the playing field for us. We were able to narrow down price ranges and what areas that we liked. There was one house that we would have put an offer on if our house were sold. On our next trip we'll look at different types of property such as condos and townhouses instead of single family houses.

We stayed with Grandma Apple and had a good time. The weather was great. I was in shorts. (When we left Detroit it was snowing.) It was nice to sit on a veranda by the beach and watch the world go by.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Open Closets

I've really had enough of people parading through my house. Our house has been on the market since last spring. When it all first started a friend of mine asked me if it bothered me to have strangers walking through the house and looking inside my closets n stuff. It didn't until yesterday. A realtor came over to show the house. When we came back I noticed that the closet door in my bedroom was open. It bugged me. I wasn't embarassed about what someone might find inside. It just felt like an invasion of privacy and annoyed me that they didn't bother to shut it.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Telegraph Road

A colorful tree on Telegraph Road.

Telegraph Road (US24) runs parallel to Dixie Highway up in our neck of the woods. Further south in Toledo, Telegraph Road ends where it meets Dixie Highway at Laskey Road. US24 continues on as Detroit Avenue until it dead ends into River Road in Maumee, Ohio. If you follow the twisty turny path to cross the bridge from Maumee to Perrysburg, you can pick up another road called Dixie Highway that is US25. Where US25 goes from there is hard to follow. According the U.S. Highways historical web site it goes all the way to Brunswick, Georgia.

Why all this fascination with a physical description of a mythical road? It's like wondering where names come from, or local dialects, religious rituals, architecture and other aspects of a culture. It's so intanglible, because it's always changing. You want to be able to put your hands around it and say, "Aha, there it is!" It's hard to imagine that before the 1920's these roads didn't even exist. Since then, American culture has become deeply entrenched with things that have to do with cars. The automobile and the open road are symbols of freedom and that is what elevates them to the status of myth or legend. People write songs and tell stories about such things.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Living on the In-Betweens

The table is set for supper. I had to take a picture, because it's so funny. We sold our dining room set in anticipation of moving during the spring/summer months. We sit on opposite sides of a printer stand and wheel our desk chairs into the dining area. Sometimes we just stand around the kitchen and graze, like we're at a party. Looks like college living!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Hot Rod

We took the Hot Rod out on the road today, which is always a big deal. It's not street legal yet. This was a test drive for a short distance up and down the street. It always gets the neighbors' attention. There's no windshield, so if you're not wearing glasses you'll get tears blown along the sides of your head. The color of the car looks great in the sun.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Where is the Dixie Highway?

A road sign along M-125 (S. Dixie Hwy.) in Michigan.

I've been searching for roads named Dixie Highway on map web sites. Tonight I took a virtual trip from North to South down the Dixie Highway. I think that all that remains of the Dixie Highway is on local road signs. There were so many roads called Dixie Highway at one time or another that it can get confusing. Some of them run parallel. Maybe one road is older than the other and the new road is adopted as the latest Dixie Highway. There are also roads called "Old Dixie Highway." Most of them run nearly parallel to Interstate 75.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

First Snow

We saw the first snow of the season today. That's early for around here, but not unheard of. Some of the snow flurries where so thick that it looked like fog. Little white tufts of snow were on the mums and the pumpkins.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

American Flag on S. Dixie Hwy.

This house was painted with a mural of the American flag shortly after 9-11-01. It is on S. Dixie Highway in Monroe County, Michigan.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Getting Ready

It's not so bad that it's taking longer to move, because it's giving us a chance to get more organized. Moving is expensive. Moving our stuff cross-country will cost thousands. I've been comparing moving services. Professional van lines charge by weight, so the more heft the more it costs. Even though we have spent the last 3 years getting rid of stuff around the house, there's always more. Tonight Alfonze is shopping around for memory sticks. It's a good idea for lessening the heft of our data storage. I have a bureau drawer full of CD's and zip disks. What am I going to do with all these zip disks? They cost hundreds to accumulate and now they are worthless. I'm thinking about getting rid of the bureau, too.

Your feet are going to be on the ground
Your head is there to move you around
If wishes were trees
the trees would be falling
Listen to reason
Season is calling

~ from "Stand" by R.E.M.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The Snowbirds

This photo is the backyard of our retired friends The Snowbirds' house on Lake Erie. I'm not sure, but I think they may consider this the frontyard. The Snowbirds are getting ready to head south for the winter. They come to Michigan for the summer and spend winter in Florida.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Praying Mantis

Sometimes life goes in a straight line, like a road. The passing of the seasons shows the cyclical nature of life. It is the beginning of October and the leaves are starting to turn color.

It's that time of year again when bugs like to hang out in the sun on the south side of the house. I found this praying mantis soaking up the sun and cleaning its foot. My presence didn't bother it at all. A praying mantis is a rare sight. We have concord grapes in our yard this year, and Alfonze says that praying manti like to hunt on grape vines.

October is also the last month of our real estate sales contract. We have our house on the market and are planning on moving to Florida. The market is slow and I'm getting ready to hunker down for another long Michigan winter. Don't get me wrong. I'm not complaining about Michigan. We are actually in sort of a garden spot near Lake Erie where lake effect weather sends storms away from us. Southeastern Michigan is a lot warmer than even central Michigan. I want to enjoy what this region has to offer while I'm still here. I want to go back up north to the U.P. I'd also like to see some of the sights in western Michigan along the Lake Michigan shoreline.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Life on the Dixie Highway

Life is a highway. This blog shares my journey. I've spent a lot of time traveling along different routes along the Dixie Highway, which is a series of interconnected roads connecting Florida to the Midwest.

We took this photo on a trip to northern Michigan via I-75. Interstate 75 runs from Miami, Florida all the way up to Sault St. Marie, Michigan. The shores of Lake Superior (called Gitche Gumee by the Indians) are the land of Hiawatha.

Here are some of the places we visited: