So I went up to my sister’s homestead in the Michigan north woods one last time before she sells the place. Stone farm-house built in 1919 on 40 acres, surrounded by farmland and woodland.
The nearest neighbor out of sight, and is the length of 40 acres away, literally. Northern Michigan was divided up into sections of 40 square acres. They sit on one side of the 40 and the nearest neighbor is over 1,320′ away. That’s over four football fields. Or over 2 par fives and a par four away.
When a car happens to drive past the place it is an event. Even though they are remote from their neighbors, they are only three miles from a main drag (Route 10) and 5-7 miles from another (Route 115). My brother-in-law shoots trophy bucks out in the back of his property. He usually leaves the smaller bucks for his guests to take.
But I digress. My sister and her family do not have access to the internet. They do not get a newspaper. They have cable but instead of news when watching T.V. I watched the NFL total access station and the history channel, or the “Band of Brothers” for the 18th time. I was totally cut off from my usual political watching activities. And you know what? It was no big deal. What Obama and Pelosi and Reid did had zero effect on life up in rural Michigan.
I missed the 24 hour news cycles about the latest gossip. I missed learning of Obama’s latest proof of incompetence. And I re-charged my batteries.
The area around Farwell, Michigan is depressed. Half or more of the population is on some sort of government hand-outs (I’m guessing), either disability or retirement. The area is also heavily dependent on down-staters “going ‘Up North'” to vacation each weekend. The nearby many lakes and streams are populated by cabins mostly owned by people who live and work down in the southern portions of the state. And those people are hurting, so many cannot afford to vacation “Up North” in their spare time.
Oh, by the way, an acre of open farm land can be had for around $2,500. My brother-in-law is trying to sell his 4 bedroom, 1 bath, 1 very large pole barn for only $155,000. For those keeping track, that is $100k for the land, and only $55,000 for the house. And he probably won’t find a buyer. For those with money, now would be a good time to scoop up land in northern Michigan. The value will rise again, after that dip shit in the White House gets un-selected.
So I guess politics does effect even those in remote northern Michigan, but only in the long run. In the short run, nobody cares. So long as their government checks keep coming regularly.
p.s. I heard a pack of coyote howling late my first night there. They sounded as though they could have been somewhere on the 40 acres. All the time that I was growing up in the 60s and 70s there were no coyotes in the area, period. And very few turkeys. Now there are plenty of both…