When there's not a lot of good going on, you've got to “go to ground,” as one of my friends puts it.
That is what he calls it when he has to hide from the world. He typically drives as far as he can, finds a friend to stay with and just pretends to be someone else for a few days.
Things are bad here – on many, many levels. So I grabbed my kids and we took off. Now, we stayed fairly local; we drove to Dearborn and checked out Greenfield Village (the outdoor part of The Henry Ford). But it was so good for the soul.
My son is a huge history buff (comes by it naturally thanks to my husband's good genes). So he loves this amazing historical museum. A friend (Tina B.) invited us to join her at Greenfield Village on her family's park pass. So we trooped off: Two moms, six children, backpacks full of snacks and sunscreen.
If you have never visited The Henry Ford or Greenfield Village, you must. You just must. And if you visited it once and haven't been back in years, you just must. We had amazing weather, great company and a bunch of worn-out children by day's end (and who could ask for anything more?)
We rode in a Model T, racing around at all of 10 miles per hour. We watched a sheep get shorn. The kids begged for candy. We toured a lumber mill. We watched a glassblower create a Christmas ornament. We rode a train and inside a horse-drawn carriage. We rode the carousel. We walked through a working farm. The kids asked about the candy again.
Oh, and we talked about Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, the Wright Brothers, Noah Webster and more. We told them about how Detroit was known as the Arsenal of Democracy. Two moms tried their best to impart a little knowledge about the city, the state and this country. (And the kids asked about candy.)
All in all, it was an amazing day. My kids got a sense of history, and they received a sense of what makes Michigan (and all of Metro Detroit) so great. They have a new sense of place. And I'm reminded again of why – despite all that is hard, cruel and cold about Detroit – this is still a great place to live.