Have You Ever Spent a Cold Winter Night Outside – With Wolves?

Other  than  being  able  to check  off  some  New Year’s  resolution activities I’d  committed  to doing, I feel like 2019 is getting off to a “meh” start. I haven’t  even  felt like using my laptop much today   (perhaps  that is good)?

I called  off a trivia  night  last night  because  of a toothache. Right now I’m  vertical  on my couch  and using my tablet – the toothache started  flaring up, so I popped a couple of ibuprofen to nip the pain in the bud before  it gets  so severe I start  looking for Mike’s machete  and  I try  to lop  off  my own head. Yes, he has a machete  ( two actually). Photos  or I’m  lyin’? Oh ALL right  – make me get up (LOL).


He bought  both  of  these  in  Panama in 1990-1991. AND got them through  airline security (he put them under clothes  in  his suitcase  and…hoped  for  the best). A security officer opened  the suitcase, massaged  his clothes a bit, and let him be on his merry way. No X rays, nothing. Wouldn’t  be  able  to  do  that now!  Neither  of the machetes  are sharp.

Rest easy, I’m  not  going  to  try  beheading  myself!

There  was  an  up side to all of that “down” time  I had last night. I finished  a book  I’ve  been  working  on called Hidden History  of Ypsilanti by Laura Bien. One of the last little stories in the book inspired  me  a bit! It  was  the  story  of Mary (nee Muir) McDougall. She, her family and the McDougall  family emigrated from Scotland in 1828 and were among the first settlers in the area south of Ypsilanti. Her father, Andrew Muir, bought  a small farm near what is now the intersection  of Stony Creek and Bemis Roads (Rolling Hills County  Park is also nearby). Mary’s husband  George  bought a farm a little ways south and worked in a flour mill. I drive through this area whenever  I go to a trivia  game at Original  Gravity in Milan. She married George McDougall  after they settled here.

Mary got lost in the “wilds” of what is now Ypsilanti/Augusta Townships when she was trying  to take a walk through  thick forests after dark to visit her folks. She wound up losing her way, and spent a night  outside on a cold winter  night. With wolves. She found her  way to a farm three miles south  of Saline, where  a family took her in for the night, fed her, fixed her shoes and drove her back to Ypsilanti  Township  the next day.

Think  about all of this for a second. She had no cell phone. Nobody had a phone in the early 1800s! She had no fancy down coat, no boots rated to -40…just a dress and a shawl. I’m  sure she was terrified, but still kept  her wits about her to find some help. I am  sure her family  was pretty  worried about her and happy to see her return home!

I’ll  bet Mary never imagined becoming a figure in local stories!

That was one thing inspiring  me to stick to my guns and take my walk  in  the cold today. “If Mary could do it…I can do it!”

This story can be found on the web site for the Milan Historical  Society if you want to know more (I will share a link here later).



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