Wading shin-deep in the Great Lakes searching for Petoskey stones.

Michigan’s official rocks are discreet, gray things and disguise themselves as nothing impressive. But once they’ve been polished, or even just wetted down by the lake, they show off their lovely, fossilized-coral designs.

The Michigan U-Turn.

Also know as the Michigan Left. Sure it isn’t always convenient. Yes, it may add a couple extra minutes onto your drive. And sometimes trying to zip between cars to pull into the far lane in order to take the “left” (now right) turn is a form of gambling with your life, but nothing is more excited that riding along with an out-of-stater who doesn’t know how to make the turn. I have fond (terrifying) memories of a certain college friend from Illinois who first tried to turn left where she couldn’t. Then missed the U-turn where she should have turned, and tried to turn in the other lane’s U-turn lane.

Michigan’s official card game – Euchre.

My great-grandma lived to be 98 and I think the two reasons for her long life were strong, gritty coffee and her love for euchre. My friend’s family plays euchre for the entirety of every family get-together. They are allotted a quick, 30-minute break when food is on the table, but as soon as everyone is done eating, the dishes are swept away to make way for the cards again.

Aggressively scrapping ice off windshields.

This turns into an enormous source of stress for those of us who are habitually late or when a storm unexpectedly turns nasty. While scratching a thick layer of ice off the windshield is cold and annoying, it is also cathartic. Take some of that stress out on the ice and work up a sweat.

Freshwater beaches.

I hear you, California. You say beaches need oceans. Well, our water isn’t salty, but we have beaches all the same – and we don’t have to worry about sharks or jellyfish.

Warm comfort food when a snowstorm rages outside.

Is there anything cozier that Grandpa’s White Chicken Chili?

Fall time means apple EVERYTHING.

With Michigan’s abundance of apple orchards, an autumn trip to an apple orchard is a necessity for fresh apple cider and a cider donut or twelve.

Walleye, perch, and all kinds of freshwater fish.

We prefer it battered in a craft Michigan brew and then fried.

Bemoaning the fate of the Lions.

Has a single family get-together happened without someone bringing up the Lions? It doesn’t even matter if they’ve recently won a game – they’re nearly always seen as hopeless. Michiganders are the most loyal fans because it is commonly known and loudly professed that hell will freeze over before the Lions win the Super Bowl.

Referring to pop as pop.

Don’t even try to compromise and call it “soda pop.” It’s more fun to say “pop.” Try it. Pop, pop, pop!

Fresh produce bought along the road.

Browsing among mountains of blueberries and cherries at a Saturday morning farmer’s market is charming, but even better are the roadside produce stands. “Sweet corn 1 mile ahead”. Yes please!

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