Sebewaing, Michigan

I’m spending this week at BayShore Camp, nestled between the Saginaw Bay and the Michigan Sugar Company.  My job is to lead music/worship for “big church”, lead a morning Bible study on the book of Philippains, direct the camp Choir and eat copious amounts of food.

When I’m not serving in these capacities, I have time to try and recharge.  Since I’m regularly getting over 8 hours of sleep per night for the first time in, well, years, I don’t need to take a nap during the day.  I’m finding great joy in wandering around the town of Sebewaing, complete with my iPhone 3G-S, whcih takes some pretty outstanding pictures considering that it’s a telephone.

As I’ve walked around Sebewaing, I notice right off that this town is a strange mix of nice, well maintained cottage homes that share the same street as giant steel bohemoth warehouses.  Try to imagine standing in the driveway of Grandma’s house.  Picture the perfectly manicured lawn (by Grandpa) and the frilly curtains in the window.   Smell the fresh bread or pie or whatever your Grandma tended to bake, if anything.  Notice the giant oak tree, the small pond in the back and the lamppost out front, the same one that your Great-Grandpa converted from gas to electric in 1931.

Now — while standing in the same place, turn around 180 degrees and get a glimpse of the neighbors across the street.

Imagine a giant wall of steel, loading docks with blinking green or red lights and the smell of burning sugar.  Hear the sound of a grain-sorter whirring away at an altitude of 50 feet above street level.  Hear the train?  You should.  It’s about to run over your toes.  Steel toed?  Oh, you still might want to move.  I would recommend hiding at Grandma’s.

Sebewaing is a delightful mix, a meeting of two totally different creatures.  On one side of the street, residental neighborhood.  Across the way, a building that stands 3 stories and spans a quarter mile.  These two coexist beautifully, which is a great feat considering that there is no buffer space.  I’ve never seen such a juxtaposition of heavy industrial and rural living.  Oh, you see the occasional grainery that sits in the corner of a town, but I’ve never seen this extreme.  With factories, homes and the beauty of the Saginaw Bay being snuggled together so tightly — well, words aren’t enough.  Here are some pictures that capture (somehwat poorly) the amazing mix in Sebewaing:

Hello Neighbors!
Hello Neighbors!
Right Across from Grandma's House
Right Across from Grandma's House
A Main Stretch in Sebewaing.  Downtown stands by in the distance.
A Main Stretch in Sebewaing. Downtown stands by in the distance.
Please... watch out for forklifts.  For your health.  Does YOUR neighborhood have a sign like this?  Me neither.
Please... watch out for forklifts. For your health. Does YOUR neighborhood have a sign like this? Me neither.
Why do they make water towers sky blue?  Isn't that like camouflage to planes?
Why do they make water towers sky blue? Isn't that like camouflage to planes?
If you have a Jeep, this is a good sign.
If you have a Jeep, this is a good sign.
I can now say that I've driven in the Saginaw Bay.  I was only stuck for a couple of minutes.
I can now say that I've driven in the Saginaw Bay. I was only stuck for a couple of minutes.
This is where the unimproved road ended or continued, depending on your 4x4 worldview
This is where the unimproved road ended or continued, depending on your 4x4 worldview
Train Tracks-a-plenty.  This line runs right next to the campground.  They usually get the switching started around 10:30PM.
Train Tracks-a-plenty. This line runs right next to the campground. They usually get the switching started around 10:30PM.
BayShore Camp Tabernacle.  My view from the MusEvangelist seat.  The KORG TR-88 stands by, ready for the next set.
BayShore Camp Tabernacle. My view from the MusEvangelist seat. The KORG TR-88 stands by, ready for the next set.

Yes, I’m having a good time.  I’ll be happy to get home to my wife and kids.  Many have asked why they’re not here with me.  I just can’t imagine saying to Emily “Hey, could you keep the kids busy while I go and galavant on a keyboard for 4 hours?”  Maybe in a year or two, they’ll be ready for their own camp experiences.  I get the feeling that they’d love this place.  Perhaps I’ll bring them out here someday and have the joy of watching them experience their first forklift.