Well, we're now three days in to the longest month of 'em all, out here on The Leelanau. Lots and lots of folks leave for the winter, especially those who write poems and books about how great it is to live here. March is really a nothing month. There's still a lot of snow on the ground, and still good chances of winterlike storms. Yet the sun is often out, and the temperatures can climb into the 30s and 40s.
By March, most of the touristy businesses in town have closed up.....the older ones closed early....their proprietors know what winter business is like up here. The newer business folk tend to stay open longer into winter....hope springs eternal, I guess.
This is the first winter in a while that the greasy spoon didn't stay open all winter. I used to go down there a couple of times a week last winter. There was a bunch of retired guys that came in every morning for coffee. As I was just joining the ranks of the retired (or was I still just unemployed, it was really hard to know), I started sitting with those guys. At first, I was pretty much ignored, but eventually, if not exactly wanted, I was at least tolerated. Those guys were very conservative, politically. I've always considered myself to be a conservative, but mostly, these guys were plain out mean spirited cheap asses. I never did feel real comfortable with that gang, but what the heck, if I was gonna be a senior, I had to start somewhere.
This year, with the greasy spoon closed, I've ended up at the one yuppie coffee shop that remained open for the winter. I stop in there two or three times a week, about mid morning. At that hour, I run into the town liberals.
I have to say, I've never been able to embrace the economic ideals of liberals, although I am comfortable with the whole "love your fellow man and woman" concept. And frankly, now that for all practical purposes I live on the government dole, I notice that I've softened my economic views quite a bit.
What I've found is that the liberals don't really talk politics all that much. They're always talking about a wide range of subjects, and usually with a wry thread of humor running through it all. I'm enjoying these morning coffee meets very much.
And so where do my new found comrades fit on the "Living in Leelanau County" versus "Living on The Leelanau" scale? Well, they're pretty much Living ON The Leelanau. Most of the natives don't understand, nor have time for, such conversations as are going on amongst the coffee drinking liberals.
All this being said, however, if politics become an issue for me, the conservatives might take me back.....they meet at the yuppie coffee shop at about eight every morning!!.
NOTE: This blog is part of an irregular series of reports entitled "Livin' out here on 'The Leelanau' ". Please feel free to read those earlier posts.