I’m in the Middle of Lake Michigan

I announced earlier this month that I’m swimming 22 miles across Lake Michigan this summer in the safety of my pool and hotel pools, despite their confusing pool rules. So, where am I at the end of June? Just over 7 miles in as shown by the red line.

I’m on schedule considering I missed a couple days at the beginning of June as I tried every gasket and washer in my cache of plumbing supplies to eventually successfully stop a leak in one of the pool connections. 22 miles is still possible if I average a quarter mile each day for July and August.

I know what you’re asking. Am I scared being in the middle of Lake Michigan? Sure, I’m terrified, but that’s normal for me every day after I wake up. And if you look at the map, you can see there’s land close by as I’m near that big peninsula jutting into the lake. That peninsula has a piece of Jim Flanigan history linked to it which I will explain.

That peninsula is steel mill land, so I probably don’t really want to swim anywhere close by due to pollution and contamination from the mills. My maternal grandfather was a steel mill worker in East Chicago.

That is not true, not that there would be anything wrong with that. Anyway, he may have worked right there or at one of the other many steel mills dotting the SW coast of Lake Michigan back in the mid-1900s.

That looks nice. No wonder he died young before he hit 50 and well before I was born. I know what you’re asking. Hey, isn’t this supposed to be a humor blog? I realize that this blog post has turned a bit dark. Would it help if I told you he had 8 children, my mother, aunts, & uncles? Never mind that 2 died as children and a third as an adult alcoholic. I’m sure my grandfather still had a full life as he toiled in oppressive heat and terrible working conditions in steel mills each day.

Every generation wants their subsequent generations to have it better than they had it, unless they are Republicans. Well, I’ve made it past 50 years old. I don’t work in a steel mill. I have 5 net children and have avoided any deaths. And I’m about a third of the way across Lake Michigan. So far, so good. I’ll let you know how July swimming progress goes as I leave the unnaturally warm waters of East Chicago and head toward the Indiana Dunes.

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