We left Bay View one day later than planned. It became so hard to imagine leaving the cool breezes, the beautiful views, and the morning and evening plunges into the fresh waters of Lake Michigan that we negotiated an additional day with the owner of the cottage we rented. It was that easy.
One of the most replenishing things about this sabbatical time has been the freedom — to change plans, to meander, to daydream, to wonder about things in a way that I probably have not since I was a child. I have time to find out why Xenia, Ohio is called “Xenia,” and to remember who Tecumseh was and why there are so many places that bear his name, and what the Northwest Indian War was about. I have time to drive from Northern Michigan to Southern Ohio almost entirely on “blue highways,” and to stop along the way and celebrate the “45th Parallel.”
Rob and I and our old dog “Peppy” are on our way to the next community we are scheduled to visit: the Upland’s Retirement Village in Pleasant Hill, Tennessee. Each morning I will interview residents to learn about what drew them to choose this place; every evening Rob and I will join a small group of residents for dinner in their homes. We are already grateful for the hospitality they have shown us.
We are on the road again, and ready for the next adventure!
 Xenia is Greek for “hospitality.” Many of its residents supported the Underground Railroad in the years before the Civil War.