Photo of South Haven lighthouse by Thomas Zakowski and taken from the internet.
I grew up in a small tourist town on Lake Michigan, the Michigan side. Every summer there would be an influx of people from Chicago (mostly) and elsewhere that more than doubled the size of our little town. Many had summer homes or cabins and there were a few resorts (I worked at one in high school). When summer was over, the town breathed a sigh of relief. Things could go back to normal and you weren’t held up by traffic and boats causing the drawbridge to open and clog up the road.
Here in Corvallis, I have the same thing except in the opposite. Now, as summer comes to a close and the leaves begin to fall, the dread comes over me: THE STUDENTS ARE BACK!!! They clog up the roadways even without a drawbridge. It also always brings the thought of ‘why didn’t we go out to eat more often when they weren’t here’? Of course, as I mentioned yesterday, we really don’t go out much because we both prefer my cooking.
It is the same ambivalent feeling in both towns. I guess that’s why I always kind of think of Corvallis as a Pacific Northwest South Haven (the town I grew up in). On the one hand, you hate it when the “other” people come in and on the other hand the town wouldn’t even exist without them.
Of course now we are getting an even larger influx because, despite the University President saying they were going to stop at X-amount of students, they didn’t really do that. Huge, ugly apartment buildings are going up all over the place. But it’s not just the students now. The influx of people from other states is enormous because so many places have really been affected by climate change. Californians are the largest population but they are coming in droves from Texas, Oklahoma, Eastern Oregon, etc. It is just like seeing the students come back only these people are here to stay and, mostly, retire.
Again, it’s an ambivalent feeling. On the one hand, I hate to see all these huge changes in my little town and on the other hand, I have a house that is tripling in price!!!