Jingle bells, jingle bells, all around the Bay

Posted on December 3, 2011

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Yesterday was a very nice day, and I am glad to think of it, because today it is raining and looking for all the world like the tail end of November.  Let’s stick with yesterday.

I thought I was going to Elk Rapids to have lunch with Louan, but life is full of surprises.  When I picked her up she was wearing her sparkly pink Santa hat.  Let’s go to Northport! she said.  I’ll buy gas.  If you are from Around Here that makes perfect sense.  For those of you from Away–Northport is leventy-six miles around the Bay, out at the end of the Leelanau Peninsula.  It is an expedition.  We filled up the tank at the Village Market, where the gas was favorably priced, and headed off into the afternoon.

Driving through Leelanau County with Louan is an adventure.  She lived over there for a long time, and has many, many stories about it.  She even wrote a song about it, which I will play for you sometime when I have achieved broadband.   The time went quickly, and then we were in Northport at Dog Ears Books.  Sarah, the Official Greeter, wagged her plumy tail.  Pamela Grath, a/k/a PJ, gave us tea.  Louan bought a book about the West Michigan Pike.  Satisfactory.  No pictures.  Sometimes I am too busy living life to think about recording it.

We turned south toward Suttons Bay and arrived in time to watch volunteers setting up for the Holiday Stroll.  By the time we’d finished our lunch–which by now was really our supper–evening had settled in and the lights showed to best advantage.  We strolled.  We were greeted with cups of complimentary hot cider in front of the 45th Parallel Cafe.  We were greeted with fudge samples and a rousing chorus of Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer at Candy World.  We strolled all the way to the other end of town and back again, admiring the windows, stopping at every gallery.  Louan exchanged pleasantries and hugs with old friends.  She bought beeswax candles.  She bought–oh, I almost forgot, it’s a secret.  And finally I took pictures.

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Holiday shopping in Suttons Bay (or Northport, or Elk Rapids, or Alden, or Bellaire, or Central Lake–or in a small town near you) is a wonderful treat to give yourself.  Very peaceful.  May you find pretty lights, friendly greetings, and a rousing song of good cheer to warm your spirits during this busy season.

Also a brightly lit BP gas station with a clean restroom.  No holiday decorations there, just the deeply appreciated essentials.  Thanks, guys.

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