We went on a vacation!

Sort of…

Loyal readers will recall AGMA’s brilliant decision to go to Turkey in March, 2 days after the WHO declared the coronavirus a global pandemic. We ended up coming back to the US 72 hours after we landed in Istanbul.

Nobody has ever accused me of being the sharpest needle in the pincushion.

But this trip was safe. Or as safe as you can get these days that is.

Friends of 30+ years, K & S, own a vacation cabin in a small town in NW Michigan near Lake Michigan. And they let us use it for a long weekend this past weekend.

K’s parents used to rent a house for the summer there in the 70’s, 80’s & 90’s, and as young parents, K & S would bring their children, and K’s sister and BIL would bring their children, and it was a big ol’ family memory maker.

When her parents passed away, they left K with a nice monetary legacy. So to honor the memory of so many wonderful summers, she and her hubs bought a small vacation home on the very same street as her parent’s rental cabin. This was about 15 years ago.

K & S & sister & BIL and cousins have continued to gather there in the summers albeit the siblings & spouses aging (hopefully not gracefully!) and the cousins now being adults.

AGMA has a sneaking suspicion that the ultimate goal was for the grandchildren, who were only twinkles in K’s eyes at that point, to gather there each summer and create the kinds of memories her children did when they were little.

Now the grandmother of 7 (!), that is indeed what’s happened even though K’s children and nieces and nephews are now spread out over the US. At various times during the summer there can be a wide assortment of grandmas & grandpas & nieces & nephews & great nieces & nephews & cousins & second cousins making new memories.

Pre-COVID that is.

It’s been a quiet summer up there this year. K & S were up their with 2 kids and 4 grandchildren last month, but that’s pretty much it. Everybody is just too far away to drive and they don’t want to risk flying. Since all adult children and spouses work, and all have small children, it’s just too difficult to make it happen.

This makes me sad. The whole thing just makes me sad.

Damn virus.

That’s a very long and wordy way to say, because the place was open and we needed a place to escape our Hobbit Hole for a few days, K & S gave us their blessing to stay there for a long weekend. They weren’t there (on their way to CA to meet grand baby #7), but they figured we couldn’t do too much damage.


So Hubs and I rattled around by ourselves in a 3 bedroom, 2 bath house that is ABOVE GROUND and has a beautiful view of the Traverse River across the street.


We spent 3 days of socially distanced sightseeing since this was our first trip this far north in MI. The weather was fantastic and it was a much needed break from our tiny, basement apartment in Chicago.

Because MI has pretty strict social distancing and mask regulations, and the county we were in only has 34 confirmed coronavirus cases and no deaths, we felt somewhat safe in going out to eat a few times.

Damn virus.

We lived in Cincinnati, OH for 30 years (where we met K & S) before we moved in 2006. During our time there, we realized that 95% of the population of Cincinnati goes up to Michigan for at least 1 week in the summer. Okay, maybe AGMA is exaggerating a bit.

Maybe only 93%…

Because of this and because 90% of the people we saw this past weekend were baby boomer types, AGMA kept wondering if maybe I knew any of them. After all, it is a small world (according to Walt Disney right?)

Do you ever do the same thing? Do you ever stare at somebody and think, “Did I work with you in 1978?” or “Were we freshmen together in college?”

“Did I know you years ago?”

AGMA does.

Again, not the sharpest needle…

I know a couple of women in knew in college and haven’t seen since then moved to Chicago in the 70’s. Maybe one is sitting across from me on this lovely French bistro shaded patio right now and I just don’t recognize her. Actually, everybody here (except AGMA) is a millennial, but you get the idea.

There was a couple behind us in one restaurant in MI who were wearing Cincinnati sports team shirts. Did Hubs or I know them way back when? When our hair was raven and we actually had waistlines? BC (before children?). When the Cadet Orange Cheeto Bonespurs was content in just bankrupting his businesses (rather than a whole nation.)

Some people change dramatically in the course of 40 years. Some don’t seem to change very much at all. I have some friends from high school and college who, other than the gray hair and lack of waistlines, look pretty much the same. Others, I couldn’t pick out of a line up even with the threat of something horrible happening to me like turning me into a MAGA Republican if I didn’t.

AGMA’s idea is heaven is that, at some point during the “orientation” (seriously, there has to be an orientation…), we are allowed to ask any questions we want. You know, like what REALLY happened to Jimmy Hoffa or did Putin blackmail the Covidiot with a “golden showers” video?

One of my questions will be, “Who did I bump in that I knew way back when that I didn’t recognize? Can I see before and after pictures? Did they think I looked familiar?”

Until then, AGMA will just have to keep wondering and staring.

The staring may get me into trouble…






18 thoughts on “Staring

    • That’s impressive!!! Somebody I went to HS with posted a 6th grade class picture at one of the feeder elementary schools. Even thought I didn’t go to grade school in that district, I immediately picked out a girl who lived down the street from me in HS. Her looks were so very distinctive and she looked exactly the same. My bet is I would recognize her if I saw her now nearly 50 years later! I didn’t recognize anybody else in the picture even though some of the names he had written down were familiar.


  1. I love your line about Trump being content to just bankrupt his businesses.

    So sad to hear that Steve Bannon ( who Trump barely knew) got arrested today and plucked off his boat (or was that a yacht? )
    Even sadder to hear that those bullies in NY are going to peer into our honest (and persecuted) president’s tax returns that have been under audit for 25 years.
    Oh yeah. And I’m glad you had a wonderful long weekend. (But it’s YOUR fault I went off on a tangent by bring up our fearless leader. See, like him, I blame others for MY behavior. )

    Liked by 2 people

    • But you’re right Shelley…it IS everybody else’s fault!! Ha! So far he’s been the teflon president (with a small p…) and nothing seems to ever stick to him. I hate that because you know he is as dirty as they come on soooooo many levels! But I believe that there is a karma to the universe and he will get his due, Every bit he deserves. I just wish all of us could see it when it happens! Oh golly – I can’t believe I said that out loud…

      Liked by 3 people

      • Those lines about the Cadet Orange Cheeto Bonespurs cracked me up! The rest of the post was something I could have identified with if I lived closer to my home town. But I must admit after the 50th reunion in 2019 I have held up reasonably well! I am now 69 years young! Yay! Let’s see when body parts suddenly inflate, fall off, get wrinkled, or stop working. Lots of love!

        Liked by 2 people

    • Dookes!!! GREAT to hear from you! Some days I think it would be a blessing not to recognize myself rather than watch my jowls slowly drop and all those neck wrinkles start crowding each other. I could just deny it was me if I didn’t recognize myself. I have to say that I think I look way better than I actually do (it’s always a jolt to see my reflection in a shop front window!) so maybe the answer is no reflections at all (like a vampire!). I know some women I worked with in the late 70’s who basically look the same as they did 40 years ago. I want the name of their plastic surgeon and fitness coach and dietitian and hairdresser… Oh – never mind – I couldn’t afford it anyway.
      And what are you complaining about – you ride a motorcycle which is the ultimate in coolness! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi AGMA, good to hear from you too!
    Ha, vanity and fashion are two things that have, fortunately, always passed me by!😇
    Never mind the motorcycle, after weeks of pedalling my Cannondale, I look kinda cool in my cycling gear now…..well I think so anyway!😎
    I’ll email you soon, stay safe,

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s definitely more like 93% As a current Cincinnatian, I’ve never summered in Michigan. I’m not sure I’d recognize people I met last week, much less people from 40 years ago! I do know that down in FL, we meet folks from Ohio all the time… no one yet who we can trace a close connection with.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Well, AGMA, I’m pretty sure now I”m only going to read BC as “Before Cheeto.” 😉 I’m so jealous of you both because this was to be the summer we were planning to drive up to Michigan to see our respective families. But it’s just too far to go, what with dodgy hotel rooms and restaurants along the way. From Chicago, you had a nice drive to that area, I bet.

    I’m constantly looking at strangers convinced I know them, and I have embarrased my lovely wife too many times to count in approaching them. I think she’s now grateful for masks and distancing because it has (permanently?) stopped that practice. I’m almost always wrong, though. After several rounds of embarrassing questioning, there never seems to be any degrees of separation. – Marty


    • Ha! The thing that stops me sometimes Marty is generally the age gap. Back in the “good old days” (BM – Before Masks) , I would see somebody and was convinced I knew them because they looked so much like somebody I knew in the 70’s or 80’s. Just like them. And I realized that it couldn’t be them because they were 35 years too young to be the person I thought they were. Some of my friends from high school and college really to look very much the same as they did in the 70’s down to the hairstyles. How do you keep the same hairstyle for 50 years???

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Haha, I love this! I’m so glad you got to go on vacation, albeit it a mini. This year I’m living on the memories of many great family beach trips.

    I must have a very basic face. Before masks, I was constantly stopped by people who thought they knew me. Nope. Btw, when I look in the mirror my mother is looking back at me. 😳

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve been told I have a doppelgänger multiple times. I really have a very distinctive face – big nose, receding chin, somewhat olive skin – so I have to believe I have some clones out there of me! My mother died when I was 11 so I don’t know what she would have looked like when she was 66, but my aunt and uncle, when I saw them the first time as an adult (at 33 – 22 years after they last time they saw me at my mother’s funeral – long story), said I looked just like her as a 30 something.. I have a friend from HS who looks just like her mom did. I sent a picture of she and I to another HS friend and she got very confused because she thought I was with Kim’s mom (who had passed away!) Funny how that works!

      Liked by 1 person

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