If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you. I learned Michigan's motto in elementary school, but back then, I probably didn't truly appreciate it. In fact, I doubt I really appreciated my state until I left it.
I was born and raised in metro Detroit. I visited other places, but I never really imagined myself anywhere else. And then my husband got stationed in South Dakota and I spent almost four years away from the Great Lakes state. No offense to South Dakota, but it just never felt like home and I couldn't wait to get back to the mitten.
I missed family, sure, but I missed so much more. I missed beautiful lakes and stunning shores. I missed the smell of fall and fresh-pressed cider. I missed the Detroit Red Wings and coney dogs. I missed steamy summer days and going "up north." I missed the sight of the Mackinac Bridge and the Detroit skyline. I missed looking south and seeing Canada. I missed the MSU/U-M rivalry. I missed Faygo, Sanders, Better Made and Vernors. I missed home.
I love this state. Are there things I don't love about it? Sure, but overall the good things outweigh the polar vortexes, mosquitos and economic challenges. These 57,022 square miles of land, including 3,126 miles of Great Lakes shoreline, mean the world to me.