The Sunrise

The Sunrise

I have some friends who, when I speak something irritating to them, or say something negative about them, respond by saying “I don’t receive that”. This is an interesting way to go about fending off ill-will, even if the ill-will is just a joke, but there may be something to it. Take Tim Allen’s Pure Michigan commercial that talks about sunrises. It’s about sunrise this and sunrise that, but to start the commercial Tim tells us that, “25,000 mornings, give or take, is all we humans get”. In honor of my friends, I choose to not receive that.

Here’s the thing- 25,000 mornings equals just 68 and a half years. What exactly is this commercial trying to do? Depress us into vacationing in Michigan? Oh well, I guess I only have a few years left, might as well go to Michigan to see a sunrise. And who says I only have 68.5 years? Maybe this is some deep conspiracy, pushed onto us by those behind the ad campaign, a spoken inclusion engineered to get us to take our eyes off the ball. The commercial is about sunrises, and we will get to that soon enough, but for now, for today, we need to talk about our own mortality.

According to these guys, life expectancy in Michigan is 77.89 years. Respectable, I suppose. Certainly not as bad as Mississippi, which asks that you report to the morgue sometime just before your 75th birthday. In Wisconsin, we are more benevolent. We allow our residents, and by default our vacation loving guests, to live to the ripe old age of 79.32. This is significant. So much so that I believe a re-write of the Pure Michigan commercial is in order. Perhaps something like this: “25,000 mornings, give or take, is all we humans get, unless you live in Wisconsin, then you get roughly 540 more”.

That would be a great commercial.

And this is important, because our lives are pretty important, and an extra 540 days is something I do believe we’d all be interested in. But this is less about how much longer you get to live in Wisconsin, and more about those pesky sunrises. Tim loves them. That commercial is filled with all sorts of sunrises. Sunrises over barns and over fields and over city centers. It also features some sunrises over water, which I assume to be water located within Lake Huron or Erie, because for the sun to rise over Lake Michigan, when standing in the state of Michigan- this is an impossibility.

If Harbor Country is your destination, you cannot see the sun rise from your lakeside deck. Unless, of course, you positioned your chair to face your home, and then you might see that sun rise over the gable of that home some time around 10 am, perhaps later, depending on the time of year. This sounds dreadful. Sunrises, like sunsets, are finite. We do not have many of them to consider, so why would we end up in a place where we have to choose which one we prefer? I am not afraid of commitment, but even I cannot commit to seeing either the day end or the day begin but not both.

Ah, but I’m forgetting that you can go out in a boat to see the sun rise, should you be so enamored with the thought. Right. I’ll just hoof down to my pier and climb onto my boat, and run a quick few miles off shore to see the sunrise. Problem solved. But you’re forgetting that we’re in Michigan now, and we don’t have piers in front of our homes where our boats safely rest. We have boats in harbors that might be many miles from our home, so a quick jaunt out to see the sunrise is not as easy as it sounds.

Perhaps the solution to all of this is to vacation at Lake Geneva. Here, at this lake, we can see the sun rise and set in the same day, many times from the same perch. Any home with frontage on the north or south shore can generally see either sun event, if not from the home itself then certainly from their sturdy white pier. And if the pier isn’t suitable, then the benefit of having a boat tethered to that pier that sits right smack in front of your home is even more pronounced. A quick run out to the middle will reveal the sun wherever it might be rising or setting. The sun cannot hide from us here.

So consider the glorious sunrise, and consider it well. It is easy to find here, and if the sunrise itself isn’t enough to sway you to our side of that giant frothing sea, then those extra 540 days certainly are.

Fontana sunrise by Matt Mason Photography.

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