Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

UP dreams


The Upper Peninsula is mostly rural. Though there are small towns everywhere, and a few larger more urban areas, much of it is woods and water. That’s why I like it so much.

Someone cared enough to paint the trim.

But as I travel around I always notice the old homesteads. The places where people once lived but have abandoned. Nature is gradually taking back what was always hers.

Somehow the goldenrod made this one seem a bit friendly.

I think about the people that used to live here. I wonder what happened to make them leave. I wonder what dreams they had when they first built, moved in, worked the land or at the neighborhood store. I wonder when and why they gave up on their dreams.

Sometimes, in cold climates, bright colors help to make the winter more tolerable.

Maybe they haven’t left at all, maybe they’re around the next corner, maybe they just built a bigger, stronger house somewhere.

This one was already quite large. Love the virginia creeper taking over the porch.

But it doesn’t usually feel that way.

Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

17 thoughts on “UP dreams

  1. ” I wonder when and why they gave up on their dreams.” I wonder the same things when I see old abandoned homes – but then I think perhaps they didn’t give up on their dreams. Perhaps they lived their dreams, and then they found new dreams to live elsewhere. Because as time passes, we change and our dreams change – and sometimes, just sometimes, change is not hard.



  2. I search out old homes like this, but they mostly break my heart. ‘Someone cared enough to paint the trim’…oh, gosh. That is such a lovely thing to say, Dawn.


  3. Reminds me of parts of rural Maine, where people have left because good jobs are scarce and supporting a family is very difficult. Sanford Phippen, a Maine writer from Down East once asked if beauty was enough. That question has stayed with me.


    • I know. I loved living up there, it was sooooo beautiful (I lived in the peninsula at the top of the UP) but after awhile, 6 years, I got lonely and needed my family who all lived down state, or further south, and some normal shopping. Still, it gets in your blood, and these days, retired, I wonder if beauty isn’t really enough.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Good points, Dawn, and you’ve got some pretty (though obviously abandoned) homesteads here. I imagine the remoteness — especially during long, bitterly cold winter months — might nudge some of them to move on. Sad, but there’s a big part of me that likes to think Nature can expand without all that civilization!


  5. I love those old ramshackle barns and houses too, and often wonder who lived there. Where did you visit this time in the UP? Did you get over to the Western end? I am going to go look at your other posts.


  6. Awesome images Dawn. You are really knocking it out of the park, there were barns and now old homesteads… Wonderful!


  7. Nice little parallel jaunt to old houses from old barns. I still think we need to send you back on another architectural excursion to Detroit. I loved all those pics you took back then. How many years ago was that anyway?


  8. Oh I love old buildings…the stories they could tell:)


  9. Your images are wonderful. So are your musings. I often wonder, too. We have a lot of abandoned houses down this way. When we moved here, seven months or so after Superstorm Sandy hit, I got an idea about why some were abandoned. People couldn’t afford to fix what was broken or had been flooded, or they tired of dealing with the weather, or they got old and had nobody around to take over the place (we see that a lot here — young people don’t stay because there are no jobs). It always amazes me how fast nature takes over an abandoned home. We’ve watched that happen with some fairly new (probably built in the 80’s) homes that were abandoned after Sandy.

    I really, really, really want to visit the UP again someday. 🙂


  10. Oh, I love this Dawn. The dreams, the history. I sure hope I get back to UP one of these days. Thank you.


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