Cauli Le Chat

Cauli Le Chat
Cauli Le Chat, MPL Roving Reporter

Monday, January 23, 2012

Memories From the Mitten State

by "Flat" Cauli I
MPL Flat Feline Roving Reporter

When Scowl-Face was a little boy, he learned the different names of the 50 American states.  It was an exciting time, because, not too long before, there had only been 48 states when Scowl-Face was born.  Fifty seemed like a really large number to remember, so his kindergarden teacher told him to try distinguishing the states by shape.  "Remember that certain states look like things," she suggested.  So Scowl-Face gave it a try.  Most of the states looked like boxes to him, so that didn't really help much. Still, there were the distinctive shapes of Michigan, New York, Florida, and Texas.  As best as he can remember, here are the things Scowl-Face associated with these states' shapes.
  • Michigan looked like a mitten.  (Well, the bottom part, anyway.)  The top part looked like the paper hats the cooks wore at the Frisch's Restaurant to which his parents occasionally took his brother and him to eat, about eight blocks from his house.  (The "Big Boy" sandwich is still his favorite hamburger, ever.)
  • Florida looked like a pirate's peg leg.  Specifically, Long John Silver's, in the novel Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson, which Scowl-Face read much later in elementary school, and for which my Library has made a book trailer.
  • New York looked like a pork chop.  Ooooo-kay.
  • Texas looked like a T-Bone in a T-Bone steak.  (Looks like somebody spent a lot of his childhood thinking about food.)
Whatever he may have thought the other states looked like is lost to history.

Map of Michigan

This Michigan memory thing was pretty straightforward.  Definitely, the lower peninsula looks like a mitten.  Left or right hand?  Doesn't it depend upon which way the hand is facing (front or back)?  Anyway, the mitten memory trick worked, because he always got Michigan correct when he had to do geography worksheets in First Grade.

I remembered all this when the Crumbacher family, who participate in my Library's Homeschool Group, took moi along on their trip to Michigan.  Four Great Lakes touch Michigan--Lake Michigan, of course, is on the mitten's westerly side, while Lake Superior is north of the upper peninsula (Frisch's cook's hat), with Lakes Huron and Erie touching the mitten's easterly borders--but the beautiful lakes and forests inside the state are often stronger attractions for tourists looking for a peaceful weekend destination.  There is much to enjoy there, so I was quite excited about our trip.

My favorite part of the journey, however, was swimming at the hotel pool where we were staying.  (The Lady With the Red Hair says that her children always enjoyed the hotel pools more than anything else on their vacations.  Ask Scowl-Face what he remembers about his family's vacation to Colorado when he was six years old, and he will tell you swimming in a motel pool someplace in Kansas.)

Swimming is super-fun and wonderful exercise, and I got to use these amazingly cool goggles.  I could see underwater without getting my eyes wet!  It was just like being a fish (or, as Cauli would say, a "swimming dinner").  My Crumbacher special correspondents and their cousins (remember, we omit first names to preserve family privacy) helped moi put-on the goggles.

My Crumbacher Special Correspondents
Put On the Goggles For Moi

"Flat" Cauli I, Deep Sea Diver

 My Hat Always Stays On

Ready to Swim Some Laps

Another highlight of the trip was the hot tub.  This was sooooooo relaxing!  The water was wonderfully warm, and it swirled around, which loosened our muscles while it simultaneously invigorated us.  It was perfect after swimming in the pool.

We all had a terrific time!  Many thanks to the Crumbacher family for taking moi along on their Michigan adventure.

Reporting for Cauli Le Chat,

"Flat" Cauli I
MPL Flat Feline Roving Reporter
Homeschool News Beat

P.S.  I really wanted to include "Michigan Blackhawk," composed by Michael Nesmith and included on the Monkees' "rarity" CD Missing Links, Volume Two (1990), but I can't find a share-alike, royalty-free video on the Internet.  (You may listen to an excerpt from  So we'll go with another nice Michigan tune from the same album, "If I Ever Get to Saginaw Again," with Nesmith singing lead. 

P.P.S.  Want to watch my Library's book trailer for Treasure Island?  Sure you do.

1 comment:

  1. Love the imaginative way that Scowl-Face learned the shapes of the US states! It got our two legs mom staring at US map of states to see what image associations she could see!


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