Melanie Jeanne

My Kind of Heaven

There are some places that capture your heart and a bit of your soul. There are some places that are home, without necessarily ever being home. There are some places that create magic and wonder and memories and happiness deep within you. We all have those some places that hold our hearts… My “some” places are Oscoda, MI & Seattle, WA.

My places are home to me. Yes, the family that lives there plays a big role in making it feel homey, but it is also the way I feel at peace there that creates home for me.

Oscoda has been part of my families home base since my mom was a kiddo. My grandparents built a cottage when my mom was little, it was a family escape to hunt, swim and just be. Oscoda is the smallest and most quaint little lake town I have ever visited. Primarily made of of elderly residents, it just seems everyone knows everyone. It was my perfect escape as a kid too. Looking out the front windows of the cottage you are faced with the woods, deers racing through the trees. And out the back windows one can watch the still of Lake Huron. It is magic, woods meeting water. Heaven to me. My childhood was made up of summer trips to Michigan, spending most of our time in the city, but heading up to the cottage for an escape. From the cottage we would travel to Mackinac Island, ride bikes, eat fudge and get lost in the wonder and magic only the island held. But, the cottage, my, the cottage. As I grew older, it remains in my absolute favorite memories of Michigan. Summers swimming in the lake, playing on the beach, shopping in the local stores, spending evening at Jim’s Ice Cream & eating meal after homemade meal. Oscoda is a treat, a treat for my heart and deep within my soul it is my happy place. I so look forward to introducing my family to my little heavenly nook.

Seattle is quite the opposite, the slow familial time spent in Oscoda is opposed by the hustle and bustle that is Seattle. There is a beautiful hippie, colorful and natural vibe that beats through the veins of the city. It is impossible for me to explain just how much I love this city. As a kid I spent a portion of my summer break at my brother’s and sister’s homes over the years. We would picnic, camp, eat homemade jams and jellies, pick berries, light fire works, go fishing and explore. As I grew older Seattle became the city where I came of age… I explored colleges, took independent road trips to Snoqualmie Falls, road tripped up to Canada to take shots with my parents at earls, sailed with my cousins, enjoyed my frist Morrissey concert, spent nights at the Tractor Tavern listening to Wayne the Train Hancock and found myself. It has been heaven, filled with family vacations and birthdays eating cake in my cousins kitchen, bbq’ing in my cousins back yard, it was the place I ate my first bite of fish (salmon), let my first oyster slide down my throat and drank my first Bailey’s and Coffee. I became a grown up in Seattle.

Both locations hold so many memories and so much of my heart. Even in writing these words my memories flood my heart, the magic overwhelms me, my passions for both locations inspire me and I am filled with an excitement to introduce my loves to my cities. There is nothing better than escapes from home that just feel like home. I have not been to Seattle in nearly ten years, Oscoda in four, for a summer break not for twelve years… My heart still belongs to both these locations, no matter time or distance, adventures and new magical cities… Seattle and Oscoda have my heart. These cities are my kind of heaven.

Where is your heart? What vacation location fills your memories? What is one location you could return to over and over again?

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