Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Home Is Where The Heart Is

by Deb Baker/Hannah Reed

I just returned from the Michigan U.P., one of the places I treasure more than any other. I was born and raised there, and I love to go back. The Gladstone beach, where I took the most frigid swims, is now in the top five best beaches in the U.P. It deserves the recognition. I walked through the sand, waves slapping at my ankles, the water was as cold as I remembered.

Next, I drove slowly past the first home my dad built for the family, then parked across the street from the house where my grandparents had lived. Until the neighbors became suspicious.
After that, I walked through a field I'd grown up playing in as a kid. We used to pick berries, climb an enormous sand hill, pretend we were cowboys and cowgirls.
This time I found wild blueberries in that field. They were so good. Then I had ice cream at the Dairy Flo, just like when I was little, just like Grandma Johnson and Blaze did in one of their mystery adventures.

At a library event, the mayor of Escanaba proclaimed me "one of the most distinguished writers in the history of literature in the U.P." I have the proclamation and gold seal to prove it. I'm sure Mayor Cheves never read my work or really knew who I was, but they're desperate for any kind of news up there.

Anyway, the timing of that trip couldn't have been more perfect. Because my next Gertie Johnson Yooper mystery, Murder Bites the Bullet, came out right after I got back, a week earlier than I expected. So it's available. Later, if you have time, stop by my website, where you can read an excerpt.

So how about you? Any special places that are dear to your heart?