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Monday, September 2, 2013

Labor Day

The official end of summer. The highways are clogged with vacationers returning home. A day for picnics and one last visit to the beach. Pools close tomorrow and school begins for the kids in Michigan.

For the 56th time, thousands of people, led by the governor, will walk across the Mackinac Bridge. Labor Day is the only time the bridge connecting Michigan's Upper and Lower Peninsulas is open to foot traffic. Although my sister, uncle, cousin, and friends have walked the 5-mile span, with my fear of heights, I won’t be a participant. It’s all I can do to drive across, white-knuckling the whole way.

Despite my fears, I never get tired of looking at the bridge. Its beautiful white spires rising above the green base with the blue of two Great Lakes (Huron and Michigan) 200 feet below. Before it was completed in 1957, people traveling from one peninsula to the other had to use a car ferry. I remember summers as a child waiting in long lines snaking through Mackinaw City (and St. Ignace on the way back) to board the ferry. We watched in fascination as the bridge was being built then finally got to ride over the longest (at that time) suspension bridge in the world.

As beautiful as the bridge is in summer, travel can be so treacherous during high winds and/or blizzards that authorities will close the bridge. Every time my son returned to college (Northern Michigan University in Marquette), I worried about him driving across the bridge. With my fascination for this icon, I have to use the Mackinac Bridge in a story one day.

Today while everyone else is picnicking, traveling, walking, or just relaxing, Hubs and I are (still) packing the contents of the house we’ve lived in for nearly fourteen years, preparing for our move to the Lake Michigan shoreline.

How are you celebrating Labor Day?

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