The road ends, but the journey continues...

Gems from Jackson

a brief catch-up note: As I’m tying up loose ends on some musician stuff, dabbling in finishing some scrappy quilt UFOs and working on business tasks as hubby directs – my modus operandi is strictly in Summer Mode. To be more specific – Languid, Southern, Slow&Low Summer Mode.

I’ve kept up with most of the blogs I follow, correspond with a few buds via email but as for posting anything myself – meh.

Until now! HA!

A blogger I follow has been posting photos of her surroundings using a new camera. In her post a few days ago, I thought I recognized the place in which they were taken.  Besides the literal mural of a touristy postcard, my suspicions were confirmed when another photo of an art mural created on the sides of a downtown building appeared within this single post.

I remembered this place, this tiny rust-belt town in rural Michigan from just a single visit and a single positive impression made from that visit last year.

Michelle Lilly Solorio, PhD 2020

Late in September of 2020, hubby and I took a jaunt up to Michigan to visit our middle daughter and son-in-law. At the time, there was a narrow window of reduced regional COVID-19 surges so we decided it was a reasonable risk worth pursuing. (Please click here to read the fun, exciting details of our delayed Family celebration and in-house acting out of Michelle’s PhD Hooding ceremony that was cancelled earlier that month due to COVID).

One of our Family outings included ‘a Sunday Drive’ as it was noted in my Family travels MMXX post. We meandered the back roads from their home in Lansing to destination: Jackson. Streets empty of humans due to COVID closures made for an eerie but delightful walking tour of this place – filled with artistic surprises around every corner. Literally.  

Thank you, Pat, for continuing to explore your new camera and photography skills roaming the streets and snapping photos of the murals on the buildings in Jackson, Michigan. It’s heartening to see that Jackson is keeping true to its rusty rooted artistic flow.


  1. Annika Perry

    A wonderful and striking photo, Laura – it is so vibrant and uplifting! I’ve also taken an unplanned blogging break but prefer your way of putting it: ‘Languid, Southern, Slow&Low Summer Mode.’! Just so … even here in the South of England!

    • laura bruno lilly

      Well hello Annika! Happy to hear from you – happier still to know I have a partner in ‘blogging break’ crime.

  2. Khaya Ronkainen

    It’s lovely to catch up on your brief catch-up note, Laura. That mural is so beautiful, the flowers light up the place. Your last year’s images are stunning, and looks like you were having lots of fun!

    Congrats to Michelle for this outstanding achievement. This certainly deserves another celebration, more especially now travel restrictions are easing up.

    Hmm…interesting thing, I used to follow Pat’s blog but WordPress does its own thing. I’m glad I’ve found her again. Lots of catching up to do. The same thing too, with your blog. I’m sure I signed up to receive an email, when you publish a new post but nothing. Anyway, I know where to find you. 🙂

    • laura bruno lilly

      WordPress is indeed its own world filled with its own rules and ‘logic’. ..That said, I’m thrilled you got reconnected with a blogger you used to follow! Funny how you found her through my random post!
      Mostly, though, I’m relieved you know where to find me now, too.

  3. deborahbrasket

    Good to hear from you again.Sounds like you’ve been busy. I’ve been blogging slower this summer as well. It’s all good.

    • laura bruno lilly

      You’re right, it’s all good and all a bit crazy, too!
      hugs to my flower-sister

  4. cedar51

    My usual excuse, either notifications fall below my read line or I’m behind – love the flower mural and yes the streets deserted seems almost impossible with the amount of inhabitants in the area.

    • laura bruno lilly

      No problem, that happens to me, too! Thanks for stopping by, Catherine.

  5. Pat

    I really enjoyed your post, Laura. It was fun for us to connect through the murals.

    • laura bruno lilly

      You’re right, it was fun! Again, thanks for the ‘nudge’! HA!

  6. Jane's Heartsong

    Nice to see the images and to hear from you. Stay safe and enjoy the somewhat slower pace..

    • laura bruno lilly

      Thanks for stopping by.
      Looks like you guys are back into the throes of another Summer Heat Wave – hopefully the ice plentiful. Stay cool and hydrated, Jane.

    • Jane's Heartsong

      I will miss it when it gets colder so trying to just “be” in the heat, with a glass of ice water, of course.

      • laura bruno lilly

        What it really means to ‘be in the moment’, eh?
        Hang in there, Jane.

  7. Jennie

    Summer mode is a treasured time. When you spot something remarkable, something unexpected with meaning, that’s as good as it gets. I feel this photo discovery was meant to be for you, Laura. This is the stuff that makes me smile and nod a big ‘yes’.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Me, too!

      • Jennie


  8. marissthequilter

    Nice to hear your voice and walk along with you down the streets of Jackson. Those wall flowers are striking.
    Enjoy your summer time.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Thanks for showing up and walking along with me, Mariss!

  9. snakesinthegrass2014

    Love the Nixon imitation! So cool about your daughter’s graduation. My oldest sister lived in Lansing for many years before moving to Ann Arbor. Another sister lived and worked in Jackson for a few years, so I can find familiarity with this. Love those small world moments. – Marty

    • laura bruno lilly

      Some of those small world moments come out more readily and are seen more easily in the bloggosphere, like right here, right now! HA!

  10. Andy

    Thanks for this post allowing me to travel with you-to your blogger friend’s journeys and also back in time to see your hubby’s secret recording of you, your daughter and the photobombing cat ?

    • laura bruno lilly

      Thanks, Andy, for taking the time to investigate the referenced earlier blog post…I suspect you’re of the type to secretly record members of your own family, too!

      • Andy

        Of course ?

  11. petespringerauthor

    Don’t you just love it when others capture what is already in your mind, especially a small town that made an impression on you? I’m often fascinated by these rural towns that we pass through and note the changes each time. The second gas station in town has closed. Oh, they have a hardware store now. That place where I once had a delicious burger is now a laundromat.

    That mural would be one that would stick for sure.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Yep, you’re right about that, Pete.

  12. zippyquilts

    Well, that was a blast from the past! My family once spent a month in Jackson with an aunt who lived there and, predictably, worked in a factory. It’s nice to see the town has been spruced up a little 🙂

    • laura bruno lilly

      Funny how those ‘blasts’ often come from a casual blog post, eh?

  13. Janis @

    I’ve never been to Jackson, Michigan but it looks like a great place to explore. I love discovering new towns. I hope you are enjoying your summer mode!

    • laura bruno lilly

      You, too, Janis!

  14. Chela's Colchas y Mas

    Congratulations to your daughter! And I love the Nixon peace impression!

    • laura bruno lilly

      Somehow I knew you would – MamaKazoo!

  15. Ally Bean

    Beautiful mural. Very cheery. As are the smiles on the faces of your family. Looks like you all had fun.

    • laura bruno lilly

      How’s that for more smiles???

  16. piecefulwendy

    I’m not sure how I missed the MMXX post, but it was a good one! This trip looked like a good one too – y’all look like you enjoy traveling together. We have a few new murals in our town this year, and I’m wondering if it’s the same artist (of course, I can’t recall his name). A very belated congrats to your daughter on her PhD. That’s pretty impressive!

    • laura bruno lilly

      Thanks Wendy for taking a look at the MMXX post – I like to ‘connect the links’, too, in other bloggers posts!
      Yep, it was fun – but way too long ago done…

  17. L. Marie

    Wow! What an amazing floral mural! So beautiful!
    Did Michelle’s graduation ceremony finally happen later on? My niece’s graduation ceremony happened belatedly last week, rather than in May.

    • laura bruno lilly

      The huge general graduation 2020 ceremonies for MSU are re-scheduled for this September 2021. However, as of this writing the individual ‘schools’ haven’t officially rescheduled their more personal graduations for 2020 Masters and/or PhD candidates, even though they told everyone it would take place. This is quite disappointing…that hooding ceremony is a big deal IMHO.
      We’re still hoping, and will get up there in a heartbeat if it does finally get ‘added’ into the festivities.
      Thanks for asking, L.Marie.

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