“P” is for South Payne Drive

This post continues a series using the Alphabet to go through streets that were significant in my life as part of the Family History Through the Alphabet Challenge. This week we go to S. Payne Drive in Idlewild, Michigan. We moved there in August of 1986 when I was 39 and lived there until January of 2006. Almost 20 years. The longest I have lived anywhere.

When I was growing up we used to go to my Uncle Louis’ cottage in Idlewild. My cousin Barbara and I  fantasized about riding our bikes from Detroit to Idlewild and living in a vacant cottage. Our plan fell through because we never came up with the agreed upon $10.00 each.  This is still my favorite house of all I have lived in. If only the children and grandchildren had been closer, we would still be there.

Some of the things I remember about living on S. Payne Drive are – the lake in summer for swimming and in the winter for skating. The stone fireplace. The wood burning/electric stove we cooked on for several years before the electric side went out. Cabral joining the family the year after we moved in. The unacceptable local schools and our journey into homeschooling. The years the uncles, aunts and cousins were at their own places in the summer and sometimes the winter. Story rounds and the AOL homeschooling area and my addiction to the computer. Years without television. Dollhouse Doll Ville. Delving deeper and deeper into my family history. Track and basketball and Interlochen. Tulani’s dog sledding. The children growing up and moving out. When you have 6 spaced out 2 to 4 years apart it seems an endless process but end it did.

I remember times when family came from far and wide to be together.  The grandchildren being born. My husband Jim traveling hours to work for the Michigan Dept. of Transportation in Ludington, Traverse City and points north. Winter layoffs. His years on the Idlewild volunteer fire department. The short periods of time I worked at the Baldwin and Idlewild Libraries. Our yearly Community Kwanzaa Celebrations. Icicles hanging from the roof. Keeping the wood burning furnace going and realizing the meaning of the saying “Keep the home fires burning.”  My most wonderful garden. Henry’s Status Theory. Endless discussions. Walking 4 miles around the lake most days. Developing chronic tendonitis and no longer walking around the lake fast enough to keep the weight off. Deer season and the deer Ayanna, Tulani, James and Cabral skinned and cut up. Relatives selling their places. Louis, Henry and my father dying. Moving to Water Way Drive.

Here is a page from our family newsletter, Ruff Draft, from those years.

Others posts about life at S. Payne Drive

Thanksgiving 1991, Idlewild, Skating Champions, Kwanzaa

14 thoughts on ““P” is for South Payne Drive

  1. Kristin,

    Thank you for taking me on a virtual tour of places in the US I probably won’t ever have a chance to visit (although we are considering driving across the US after Rootstech 2013).

    By relating your family stories to these places you make them come truly alive.

    Cheers, Jill

    1. I have driven/ridden the north to south route through various states numerous times. Once I drove from Michigan to Atlanta, GA to Oceanside, CA with my oldest daughter and two of her then toddler children. I have also taken train trips through the northern most states from Michigan to Seattle and then down to Oceanside and from Michigan to Albuquerque New Mexico. I highly recommend driving or a train trip as a way to really see the distances and differences. So much better than flying!

  2. Your photos are stunning – and I simply LOVE the photo of the letterbox. Down here in South Australia we don’t get snow at all – so I can’t even imagine how cold it was. But it is spectacular.

    1. I love the cold and snow as long as I don’t have to drive any where until the roads are clear or packed down with sand on the slippery places. It is beautiful.

  3. In viewing the photos, I can tell that your home on South Payne Drive was quite an idyllic place for enjoyment. Have you been back to visit the area in recent years? Love Tulani’s “Not the City”… poetry at its best. Great post. Thanks for sharing.

    1. It was by no means perfect but it was good. Since we moved from the area in 2007, I haven’t been back and have no plans to return.

  4. hi Kristin, I read this the other day but find it tedious to comment via ipad. What a lot of life experiences you encapsulated in this story. Sad, happy, adventures and family times. I loved the story of the planned escape to Idlewild. I always love your collages of family photos and the icicles on the letterbox are of course delightful to those in the tropics.

  5. A fabulous post Kristin which I so enjoyed… packed full of lots of wonderful memories, love the collage and the family newsletter is brilliant!!!
    It also brought back a lot of memories of 1994, the year of was living and working (as an exchange teacher) in Seattle. FIRST time I ever saw snow!!! What a wonder… First day of school having to ring the office and ask how to get the ice off the windscreen. HA HA HA… and the less pleasant things like the “drive by shootings” which I prefer not to think about. Thanks for sharing 🙂 … Cheers, Catherine

    1. We also tried not to dwell on the crime. It was easier before it began to involve my older sons age mates. And such stupid stuff. But that is not this upbeat post. Hope you were able to drive on the snow after you got the ice off of the windshield!

      1. No they didn’t!!! … Lots of rememberings now about the ice/snow and especially “cold” like I’ve never known it… Most of all was the shock/surprise/difference between visiting a place and actually living there. e.g. who ever would have guessed there were so many different ways to “fill up your car/pump gas” etc 😀 … not to mention learning to drive on the wrong side of the road/ going for THE driving test/ and learning how to “ride the freeway”. Oh, realise now Kristin that these are stories I really do need to record … Thanks for being such a great “blogging” friend.

        1. I had a friend who did her student teaching in Australia. It was in the 1990s too. I hope you do write about it because I would really like to read it!

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