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?

10 comments:

Sue said...

Sounds like a wonderful trip! If I could go back to anywhere, it would be to my granny's log house to play on the top of the built-into-the-hill garage or to taste her homemade bread and real butter. To run away from the billy goat that used to chase us or to climb the big red maple tree in the front yard...unfortunately my granny is gone now, the house is now a funeral home and they took out the garage. You brought up a wonderful memory for such a hot summer day. Thank you ! :)

Rebecca Bany said...

Wow, sounds like an amazing, memorable trip. I love home. I can stand on the road and remember the countless walks and horse rides!
www.rebeccabany.com

Janet said...

Just downloaded the new book for my Kindle. I can't wait to spend time with Gertie and the whole gang.

Books by Heather said...

What a wonderful trip down memory lane, Deb. And BIG congrats on the new release!

Linda McDonald said...

Congrats on the new release! Your trip sounds very nice. It is always nice to go back and see significant places from the past. My grandparents lived in Lake Havasu City, AZ and we'd visit them a lot when I was a kid/teenager. A few years ago (now long after they have been gone) I was in Lake Havasu and I went by their old house. It brought back a lot of nice memories.

Aurian said...

Great post Deb, I love going back to where I grew up, to see how eveything is changing, but some things never do.

Vickie said...

That sounds like a lovely trip home. Very cool on the recognition by the town even if the Mayor might not have read your books. We have and we know you deserve the honor!

Deb said...

Thanks for sharing, everybody!

Maggie Sefton said...

Deb---Fantastic news on the new Gertie mystery!

I'm so glad you got to go back to the U.P. Going "Home" is so important. Everytime I return to northern Virginia/DC, I always take the time to divert from my other routes driving around to go past my childhood home in Arlington. It's a daycare facility and is painted robin's egg blue. I love it.

Nancy said...

You really do deserve the proclamation and gold seal, Deb. I'm curious to know if the Mayor read your books. Maybe he did, or his wife did. Anyway, I read Murder Bites the Bullet the other day and loved it. Any book that can make me laugh the way that one did is worth its weight in gold!