Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Yooperland, Here I Come

I'm a Yooper and proud of it. It's an exclusive club. You are either born a Yooper, or you get a Yooper green card until you live in the Michigan Upper Peninsula long enough for the locals to forget you aren't native. When I was a kid, we said we were from the U.P. Somehow that morphed into Yooper.

As you read this, I'm on a road trip from home (between Milwaukee and Madison) to Rock, MI, where my family still has a 'camp'. Eighty glorious acres - wildflower fields combined with pine ridges. And the dinkiest house you'll ever see. Since the Finns and Swedes settled the area, and saunas are big with them, the camp used to have a sauna. Until my brother accidentally burned it down.
 
On the way to our place, I'll stop in Escanaba for a pasty (pronounced past-ee), not to be confused with those things exotic dancers wear on their..you know. Those are paste-ees. A pasty is like a pot pie, sort of, stuffed with meat, potatoes, onions, rutabagas, and whatever else. We drench them in ketchup and dig in.

My very first mystery (Murder Passes the Buck) was set in the U.P., because that's what I know best.

Yes, Yooper's rock! We can do the hokey pokey and the chicken dance. We can tell the difference between a squirrel and a skunk. We think 40 below is a 'might chilly'. And yes, we roll in the snow naked after our saunas, while all God's creatures look on.

Can't wait to get there.