Field Notes from Oceana County

We spent part of last weekend at our family’s new cabin in Oceana County. Everyone else wants to say, “We’re going to the cabin.” or “We’re going up north.” but I prefer “I’m going to Oceana,” because of all the county names in Michigan, that has to be one of the most beautiful.

Oceana, Oceana, Oceana. It’s like an incantation of water and wilderness. It reminds me of how, when CarlĀ and I moved back to Michigan from San Francisco, we mentioned that Lake Michigan was one of the things we missed. His San Francisco co-workers wondered, “Is it like Lake Tahoe?” And we laughed — no, better. Like an ocean. Sunsets and rolling dunes and somewhere on the other side, which you can’t see, sitsĀ Chicago, Milwaukee, etc.

We spent the day walking the land, checking the trail cams for deer and turkey activity, and breaking in the hammock for the season. I practiced with my longbow until my arms got tired and my aim got embarrassing. We came home with the mark of bonfire and pine in our hair, a kind of Michigan incense that says summer is here.