Yesterday I experienced my first fourth of July in the midwest. It was great. We had a really fun day with the children. At one point Anya commented it was “the best day in the world”. We started out with the Ada parade, the kids got free face painting and were so excited that people threw candy at them. Then we went to the festivities on the village green. They had free rides and things for the kids. Also some arts and crafts. On our way to the parade we stopped to chat with a woman and she told us her home is always open if we needed anything for the kids.
Later we drove to another nearby town, East Grand Rapids and looked out on our beautiful Reeds lake, watched the boats and the girls got to jump in the blow up jump things as part of their fourth of July celebration. The weather was so beautiful and the family friendliness of the area never ceases to amaze me. We went to get ice cream at our favorite little soft serve place attached to a gas station.
Today we went out to swim at a lake near Rockford. Mary and Anya had a lot of fun and little Stephen stayed on shore and had fun with Daddy. I tried to swim a few laps out to the buoy and back but realized my triathlon days are a distant memory. However, I have hopes of getting fit again someday soon bit by bit and I did manage to swim three laps without drowning.
So maybe, western Michigan is not as “progressive” as some places. Maybe, some even think of it as a backward place. However, I think it really is a great place and a pretty laid back place. I think more companies should consider relocating to Grand Rapids as it has a great art scene, cheap housing costs, great neighborhoods and is a great place to live overall.