They say you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Our first impression of Michigan was to be a Shell Station bathroom just over the state line (If you’ve been following this blog, that really won't come as a surprise). Now I know that it’s pretty lame to form a first impression of an entire state from a gas station bathroom, but we had a lot riding on this move, so this bathroom really had to nail it.
Yes, I’m kidding…sort of.
My only visual exposure to this area was entirely virtual. During the past three months I had closed out of an 8 ½ year job, and we had sold the first home my husband and I had ever owned. Yes, arriving in Michigan was the culmination of a long journey, but we weren’t coming home – we had just left it.
As we got closer and closer, it became more and more important to me to actually see something likable in the state where I was going to hang my coat for the next half decade. I kept saying to myself over and over, “Please don’t let it be a disappointment.”
My husband and I held hands as we crossed the state line.
The “Welcome to Michigan” sign is nestled into a heavily forested area. The dryad in me does a dance, the wife and mother in me wonders what the actual city will be like, the navigator in me notes that the next exit has a bathroom. Our final destination was still well over an hour away and, as my husband says, never miss an opportunity to eat, sleep, or relieve yourself. So our first official introduction to our new state would be the Shell Station at exit two. I have to say that I have never seen a cleaner or nicer bathroom.
While I felt a palpable sense of relief (no pun intended), we weren't really at our destination, not just yet. We got back on the road and for the rest of the drive we were treated to the sight of trees, deciduous and evergreen, lining the interstate, guiding us in.
That was really my first impression of Michigan, tall green trees and blue skies
As I thought about it, perhaps we were coming home.