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An agreeable stay at middle ground

I’m from Alpena, but I’ve been to Bolton. Lately, I’ve been wondering what lies halfway between those two as I’ve been on a search for middle ground. But middle ground has been hard to find — more and more things are grounded elsewhere.

Many people are casual observers, their conclusions based on fleeting screenshots and passing sound bites. Nevertheless, they often adopt definite positions on one side or the other, creating vacuums where truth would commonly lie — at a middle ground.

Then too, there are studied observers of issues for which no definite answers exist. Many of those observers — like their casually observing counterparts — adopt polarizing positions, creating vacuums.

The adoption of polarizing positions can render otherwise pleasant people incompatible — periodically nasty — even hateful. Without filters, vacuums can fill with proposals that should rationally be discarded as garbage.

Presently, our society is displaying too much nastiness, exhibiting unrestrained hatefulness, and producing too much garbage. All of which threatens our ability to laugh at ourselves and with those fine people from Bolton.

The intersecting mesh of a well-woven compromise can serve needed compatibility and filtering functions. Could such a compromise be found halfway between Alpena and Bolton? I checked a map, then drove to the middle point between them and there it was — right where it should be — the Norway Resort.

Roland and Kathy Frey own the resort. They bought it after Roland left his job of 29 years at a Detroit-area stamping plant. Roland told me he thought he’d arrived in heaven when they acquired the resort. He and Kathy settled in.

The resort has six neat, all-season cabins that come supplied with all you’ll need, except provisions. Those can be obtained from the resort’s store. They have pizza, beer, and ice cream available, as well, though I’m not sure they sell the last two in that order.

I asked Roland if they would rent cabins to someone like me, being from Alpena. He said they would. I then asked if they would rent to someone from Bolton. Again, he answered in the affirmative.

I let a moment pass before asking the next question: Would they rent to someone from Alpena and someone from Bolton — at the same time? Roland didn’t miss a beat, assuring me they would.

That ready willingness to accommodate such diversity left no question in my mind they would also rent to “others” — folks from places like Posen, Barton City, Ossineke, and Hillman, both individually and collectively — never admonishing anyone to go back to where they came from.

I had found the place I sought: a middle ground with functioning filters.

The Norway Resort is a peaceful spot, where one can kick back and let parts of the world go by while leaving the door ajar for other parts that may stop by — from Roysten, Lachine, Mikado — and other parts lying even farther away.

How does the resort do it? In many ways, but one certainly is its fire rings.

There, sounds of snaps and crackles from burning pine cones and dried firewood carry on a river’s breeze, mellowing souls who hear them. The light from a campfire is its own delight and, when a person’s profile is captured within it, their image is softened while being enhanced. The campfire’s radiance spreads in all directions — its warmth distributed equally, equitably, to all who stand near.

You’ll remember with warmth your time at the Norway Resort, no matter what you brought with you or who or what stopped by. The resort’s campfires, accommodations, and welcomings work prospectively and retrospectively to filter a way — if not to answers — then to understanding and pleasant memories.

You can carry home the comfort you’ll find on a visit to middle ground.