There really is no place like home

Rural Road

“The magic thing about home is that it feels good to leave but even better to return.”

— Anonymous

Heading out on world travels has never felt enormously compelling to me, but a little getaway once in awhile is good for the soul.

A long weekend away was planned over Labor Day, and we decided to travel north this time. A year ago, a hurricane churning toward the shores of our vacation spot cut our stay to a mere two days.

Hurricane Dorian was churning and ended up hitting that same region just a few days ago. Add news of sharks trolling in shallow waters, and it seemed time to veer away from a beach vacation.

Lakefront getaway

Torch Lake in Michigan proved to be a glorious September getaway. The home overlooked the beautiful blue water that has often been referred to as the American Caribbean and it did not disappoint.

It is vividly colorful and amazingly clear. Standing in waist-deep, cold water, I could see my toes and count every stone all around me.

The postmaster of the nearby town had rented the lake house to us, and on Labor Day was so kind in taking us out on a boat ride across the lake. It was hospitality beyond all expectation, and such a great way to see and learn about the area in a way that few visitors would experience.

Crowded out

With Labor Day behind us, we then drove further north and took a ferry to Mackinac Island. It was rainy and blustery, and the ride was a choppy one.

What I notice most of all in situations where crowds gather in droves is the desire to return to tranquil surroundings. We hadn’t yet spent a night on the island and felt ready to be home.

A horse-drawn carriage tour was highly recommended, so we bought our high-dollar tickets and climbed aboard. The driver told us he once was a farmer but now lives on the island through the busy season to drive tourists, his carriage pulled by a pair of Fraziers, a rare breed of horse with rather small hooves for a working horse.

After breakfast the next morning, a beautiful, sunny day ahead, it didn’t take long to realize the bustling island was about to get much more crowded as ferries arriving were packed to the hilt with tourists. It’s a sign of a long-married couple when, without a word spoken, we knew we both were ready to head for home.

While waiting for the ferry, we visited shops designed to separate us from our dollars and our sense with all sorts of colorful offerings.


Years ago, my dad rented ground a bit of a hike from our home. He jokingly said there were days, working those fields, he felt homesick.

The day we moved the equipment back home each year was always a happy one. I think of him with a smile each time we head for home after being away, the miles fading in the rearview mirror moving us closer to where we want to be.

Turning on to the road that will take us home brings a feeling like no other. There really is no place like home.


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Judith Sutherland, born and raised on an Ohio family dairy farm, now lives on a 70-acre farm not far from the area where her father’s family settled in the 1850s. Appreciating the tranquility of rural life, Sutherland enjoys sharing a view of her world through writing. Other interests include teaching, reading, training dogs and raising puppies. She and her husband have two children, a son and a daughter, in college.



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