In the early 90’s my mother and I took a Greyhound trip to Ann Arbor, Michigan from the Chicago area. She often agreeably accompanied me on my many excursions after she was widowed. Whether it was author book-signings, literary conferences, missioned road trips or whatever I ventured to do, she was ready to go along. This time, I had an interview as I sought to get into a library school to further my career.
Many library schools around the country had closed by that time, so I was excited to see that the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor still had an impressive program. This particular trip held a special intrigue for both of us for multiple reasons. I was born in Michigan and it is where she met my father and had her daughters. So, a return to the place of my humble beginnings was a win-win situation.
This time, we decided to take the Big Hound and leave the hassle of driving to the driver. The weather was dry and mild and it may have been early spring. We sat back, read and mostly enjoyed the flat, beautiful Midwestern landscape. There were no bumps in the road, nor negative occurrences and once we arrived in Ann Arbor, things continued to flow smoothly.
We had a nice, comfy hotel room and I do remember us walking and visiting some nearby small shops. Everything was low-key which is one of the beauties of college towns. It was a calm, dream setting for educators and librarians and we both had worked in both fields.
As I think back, it may have been spring break because I do not recall a flurry nor rush of students. I do remember climbing the steps of the building where I met the library professors as I gathered lots of information about the library program. Some coursework took two years or longer so a lot of thought and money would have to go into taking on such a feat.
Ultimately, the timing was off and the dots did not connect for me entering library school at that time. (But, it did many years hence!) I was not discouraged nor did I regret making the trip. When we returned to the hotel, there was some festive event going on the restaurant/bar area downstairs. People were happy and simply enjoying life. It added to our joy as well.
And yes, of course, before we left the famed University of Michigan campus, we visited the bookstore. I bought many mementoes such as a refrigerator magnet with the school colors (yellow and blue) and logo, bookmarks and other sacred keepsakes that I kept for years.
As I look back during this time when memories continually flow to the top, I am happy that we took that scenic journey. It was the last time that we were in Michigan together, the place where it all started for our family. I am truly blessed, indeed for that great opportunity!
April 23, 2022