Tag Archive: Old State Hospital


Our vacation home to Michigan went well, though it was cut short by a week do to unforeseen circumstances.  The above photo was taken from a tin-type and features Erick’s great*4 grandparents (the small woman center and man just to the left of her) in front of their home once located at the corner of Seven Hills Rd. (Peninsula Dr.) and Kroupa.  The rear end of the house still stands and is now used as a shed.  

Christy and Liz threw a party for me at the Old State Hospital (GT Commons).  We enjoyed homemade chocolate pie, coffee and a walk around the grounds.  I gave the girls my “ghost-hunting” equipment and they uncovered several haunted areas.  Even my shirt was haunted!

After walking and talking, we decided to take the kids over to the Civic Center for some play-time and for us, it represented some much needed chill-out time.  

I have girlfriends who really are super-women.  They made it a point to get us out and about town.  The following afternoon was spent at Grass Lakes swimming and playing with clay.  Christy and Liz worked on teaching the girls how to swim.  The following afternoon was spent trying to teach our oldest how to ride a bike.

And then there was the slip-n-slide.  Erick made it look easy and eagerly (and gingerly) showed everyone the proper jump-slide technique.  All modesty went out the window that afternoon. 

The girls loved having the freedom to play outdoors all day long and especially enjoyed Grandpa’s extended driveway on which we created a chalk roadway for them to navigate complete with stop-signs and cross-walks.

We brought new meaning to the phrase “dog-tired,” didn’t we Celli-Belle?

And lastly, my parents threw me a second 30th birthday party in Elk Rapids where my cousin, Medora, made a surprise visit.  Dori and I are the only grandkids on my mom’s side and we’re just a year apart.  She got the looks, as you can tell.  Dori has three boys to compliment our three girls.  Her father, Craig, and I shared the same birthday.  For my birthday, my mom gave me a note my father had written the morning before my birth.  It was for my uncle and it directs him to the maternity wing.  On the back, it reads, “Happy Birthday!”

And that concludes this batch of vacation photos.  Greetings from Michigan!

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I’ve had to change course a few times in the last few years. First, with cancer, and recently with Erick’s new position with Cardinal. I started a farm-project for education purposes, but soon I will be living in a hugely biodiverse region with a large peramculture network neatly and conveniently threaded already into the culture. I’ll also be near two- and four-year universities where I might pursue a degree in Horticulture. In the meantime, the experiences are translating into interesting chapters not only for my book, but also in writing the pages of a fulfilling life.

This weekend some friends I hadn’t seen in a while and some friends I’ve made more recently got together. I listened as they talked about stories that we had made together or I had shared and it helped me realize, that even in those times when I was being an absolute f*ck-*p, I was experiencing a part of life I now know with certainty has enormous value. I was on an extended adventure and what I lacked in collegiate education, I made up for in life experience. And now I’m able to appreciate both.

We did some exploring this week at the Old State Hospital and it revived in some of us, that feeling of adventure; in pressing boundaries just a little; in hoping for something magical awaited just around the next corner, behind the next door or within each of us. And we discovered the adventure, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant relative to the rest of our lives, was made special because we were in it together; we were supporting each other and the collective adventurous experience. In essence, we let our inner-children come out to play.

In pursuing a career for myself, I’ve nourished my strengths and realized some of the weaknesses that have held me back. My current goals include returning to schools, feeling good about Imperfectly Yours, finding a way to continue Healing Tree, and discovering a tree under which I can contemplate these and other goals/thoughts in the future. Have you ever noticed the beautiful form a tree holds; arms stretched upward in constant praise of the energy off which it feeds? The tree reminds me to celebrate each day, to stand in peace, with integrity. It also reminds me to move with the wind, but to remain rooted to those principles I hold in higher regard. In doing these things, my life has become a fulfilling experience.