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Livin' out here on "The Leelanau". An introduction

I live on Michigan's Leelanau Peninsula, which also comprises almost all of Leelanau County. Thus, I'm equally correct if I say "I live on the Leelanau Peninsula", or if I say "I live in Leelanau County".

Its a beautiful place to live...we're surrounded by Lake Michigan on three sides (well, two sides actually, as the peninsula is a triangle). We have forests, we have lots of inland lakes, and we have great tall hills with panoramic views. We have picturesque little towns, both inland and on the shores. We have great National Park and State Park dunes and sand hills along our Lake Michigan shores.

Amazingly enough, we only have one traffic light completely within our borders (and one at the county line), and for fast food, only two Subways. Its really a unique place to be.

I moved here thirty four years ago, to join our family business. My father had moved the business here a couple of years before that. Since then, the population has tripled, but it wasn't very much to start with, so there's still some elbow room to be found, if you know where to look.

When I arrived here (almost out to the very northern tip of the peninsula) it was still a typical northern Michigan hardscrabble town. Jobs were somewhat plentiful, but most all were temporary or seasonal, and paid quite low. People did what they had to do to get by. As there is now, back then there were seasonal visitors, mostly summer folk with cottages. There are still common folk around, scratching out a living, but not as many now.

This place has always been a mecca for artists of all types. In the last twenty or so years, as we've become "discovered", the artists have flocked here. It really is a beautiful place for an artist. We have lots of art galleries and quaint book stores, and now we even have about fifteen wineries here.

I'm not much of an artist....my mind thinks more in black and white. I'm a nuts and bolts kind of guy. Consequently , I don't hang much with the artists. Once in a while, I have the occasion to talk with some of them, but not too often. I usually ooh and aah over what ever needs to be oohed and aahed over, and then I quietly leave.

It struck me, several years ago, though, that many of the artists have become so taken with this place that they refer to it as "The Leelanau". "The Leelanau" distills it to the essence, I guess.

So, in a "tongue in cheek" way, I have also been refering to Leelanau County as "The Leelanau" for several years now.

As the spirit moves me, I hope to write a blog once in a while about living here.

And I suppose, at some point, I should touch on why some people refer to this as "The County".

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Comment by Aggie on May 13, 2015 at 5:01am

Do they have prune kolaches?

Comment by Kittycat on December 21, 2009 at 1:36pm
Sounds heavenly!! Oops, too artsy. Sorry, Gary. Sounds like a great place to live. Quiet, peaceful and beautiful.
Comment by Stir Young on December 21, 2009 at 9:35am
MM, do your artists (especially the writers) refer to it as "The Bruce"? LOL!
Comment by Stir Young on December 21, 2009 at 5:34am
Lar, at those wineries they like you to take sip and then chit chat about bouquet, clarity, what it goes with and so on. Now me, I'd rather pound down a Bud and grab another one before they're all gone! LOL! We did have a McDonalds, but when the land lease ran out, they tore it down, packed it up in a couple of trailers, and took off for greener pastures.
Comment by larry kremis on December 21, 2009 at 5:18am
Sounds like my kind of place Gary, 15 wineries and 2 fast food places. Five dollar foot-longs. Looking forward to hearing more.
Comment by Stir Young on December 21, 2009 at 4:51am
Hi Animak. I worked several years in Traverse City to support my Leelanau habit (and habitat).
Comment by Stir Young on December 20, 2009 at 4:45pm
Thank you, Ms Farquar. As thoughts pop into my head that I can channel out through my fingers, I'll be relaying them on. Of course, after getting "the boot" a few minutes ago, I'll need to stand at the keyboard for awhile. Hugs!
Comment by Stir Young on December 20, 2009 at 4:30pm
Its also refered to as "the Little Finger of Michigan", Robbie, if you look at the back of your left hand, I'm up at the top of your little finger. They don't have such a way to describe our Upper {eninsula.
Comment by CWO3ROBBIE on December 20, 2009 at 4:29pm
OK, now I know where you are on the map. I got snow in my boot while I was trying to get to the jeep to get the map. So, I felt in the mood to look at Michigan.
Comment by CWO3ROBBIE on December 20, 2009 at 4:16pm
Well Gary, Now you've done it. I have to go back out inthe cold to get my atlas out of the car and look up the Leelanau peninsula.

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